How do I know when I am ovulating
When you are planning a baby, it is important to know whether you are going to be ovulating in that cycle, and if so, when are you ovulating. There are a few ways of determining ovulation:
(a) Ovulation Predictor kits:
Ovulation predictor kits are the most convenient method for predicting ovulation. Although slightly expensive, they offer you that luxury of testing in the privacy of your home. They simply require you to collect a few drops of urine and test them on the stick over a period of about 7-10 days of your likely ovulation time. The day the stick changes color to a shade darker than the previous days, you are likely to ovulate within the next 48 hours. If you have run out of all the sticks in the pack without detecting a color change, you may have to buy another test kit and continue testing. It could mean that either you have not yet ovulated, or that you may not be ovulating in this cycle.
(b) Basal Body Temperature (BBT):
This method requires the woman to keep a chart of her daily temperature readings. The temperature needs to be taken from the woman's anus first thing in the morning while she is still in bed. It can be recorded using either special test kits available in the market, or a regular thermometer. The basis for this method is that a woman's basal body temperature drops briefly and then rises half a degree following ovulation, and remains elevated until the start of the next period. Normal BBT is between 96 and 98 degrees, and after ovulation rises to 97 to 98 degrees. A rise in temperature that persists for at least 3 days indicates that ovulation has occurred.
(c) Mucus method:
Another method that is more recent depends on the analysis of the vaginal mucus. A few days before, also called the 'dry' period, there is very little mucus in the vagina. When there is white vaginal discharge in the vagina, it indicates the beginning of the 'wet' period. At the time of ovulation, the mucus becomes clear, sticky and stringy in nature, and can sometimes stretch to over a couple of inches between your two fingers.
(d) Ultrasound Scan:
Another way of determining your ovulation is through an ultrasound scan. An ultrasound scan is also usually used when it is critical for fertilization to take place at the precise time of ovulation, such as for artificial insemination. This method of predicting ovulation, although very reliable, is quite expensive.