Ovulation is a pivotal part in conception, and the timing is what dictates the "fertile window." It is something that happens at predictable intervals for women with regular menstrual cycles—yet it’s not that easy for everyone to tell when it's happening!
Here are some ways to help identify if you’re ovulating:
- Ovulation predictor kit (aka OPK) -uses urine to detect for a hormone called LH that induces ovulation
- Many different types and brands- doesn’t matter which as long as you can read it easily
- They’re meant to be used between 2-8pm (using first thing in the morning could lead to a false negative!)
- If its positive—you are about to ovulate—that day is an ideal time to have intercourse
- Basal body temperature tracking
- Take your temperature daily and keep a log of it.
- A subtle rise in your body temperature occurs in the days following ovulation.
- Not helpful information to identify when to have intercourse in the cycle you are tracking, but it can be useful information for the subsequent cycles—to give you a sense of when and if you’re ovulating.
- Cervical mucus
- Changes occur in the days preceding ovulation, it will begin to become thin and stretchy in consistency, often described as “egg white” appearance.
These are ways that you can track and see if you’re ovulating on your own, but if after a few cycles it’s not clear when and if you’re ovulating—that’s OK. It’s not always straightforward for everyone, however it might be a good indication to reach out to your OB/GYN or a Fertility specialist to discuss it.
Even if you learn that you are not ovulating regularly—don’t worry. Talk with your doctor—there are ways we can help with that.
Hopefully this information was helpful to those of you looking to learn more about reproductive health!
Dr. Nidhee Sachdev
Nidhee Sachdev, MD has trained among the most prestigious and diverse medical programs in the country, including fellowship training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the prestigious New York University (NYU) Langone Fertility Center in New York City where she conducted research on preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) and the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she earned the academic distinction of chief resident in obstetrics and gynecology, and trained under a top recurrent pregnancy loss expert. Dr. Sachdev is passionate about providing individualized, collaborative patient care. She started her medical career right here in Orange County, earning her Doctor of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine.