If you are wondering about ovulation tests, chances are you are trying to or thinking about getting pregnant. While this may seem like one of the simplest things in life, for many women – getting pregnant requires a reiteration of an anatomy and physiology lesson from years ago.
In order to become pregnant certain things must happen in a certain order. Most of these “things” require a great deal of hormonal collaboration by both a man and woman. One of these things is ovulation. In most women, ovulation occurs between day 10 and 14 from the FIRST day of their last menstrual cycle. Ovulation is sparked by a rise and fall of progesterone and estrogen which causes one egg to develop and be released into the uterus. The egg travels through the fallopian tubes until it reaches the uterus where it waits to be fertilized by a viable sperm. The kicker is that the egg normally does not live more than 24-36 hours in the uterus, which means that it has to reach a sperm rather quickly.
For many women, ovulation can be symptomatic. There are women who experience more female discomfort during ovulation than they do during their menstrual cycles. Because the egg is being released, the muscles and nerves behind the ovaries and uterus can experience pressure which can cause diarrhea, constipation, low backaches, nausea, and fatigue. Once the egg passes, this pain disappears quickly. Other indications that ovulation is near is the increase in vaginal moisture. Ovulation causes vaginal mucous which is normally clear, without smell and stringy. This is what helps the sperm reach the uterus in record time. This moisture is essential to fertilization and the lack of it often indicates a hormonal imbalance.
For many women who are trying to become pregnant, pinpointing ovulation becomes instrumental in their success. Ovulation test kits are available at drug stores that can measure the amount leutinizing hormone in your urine to indicate when ovulation occurs. When the urinalysis turns positive for leutinizing hormone, it is considered the optimal time for intercourse for conception. Ovulation tests are not only accurate, but can provide a clear-cut analysis of what is going on in the female body.
There are other ways to pinpoint ovulation as well. One of the most common is to measure the basal body temperature for a week. This is done by taking a basal temperature (using a specialized thermometer) for an entire month starting on the first day of your period. During ovulation, the female body will show a rise in basal body temperature by at least a third of a degree for two – three days leading up to ovulation. Once ovulation occurs, the basal temperature returns to normal. This is one way to accurate decide when you are ovulation however, compared to ovulation tests it can be very deliberate and tedious to track and do every day. If you choose to use the basal body temperature as an ovulation test, you are advised to take your temperature first thing in the morning before rising out of bed each and every morning.
For many women with irregular periods, there are hormonal issues present within the body that need to be straightened out in order to pinpoint ovulation. Women who have cycles longer than 35 days or skip months without periods, may only be ovulating with one ovary. Normally, each month the ovaries switch. Sometimes a woman may ovulate twice in one month, meaning that both ovaries release an egg. This can result in a twin pregnancy with conception being anywhere from 5 to 17 days apart.
Ovulation tests are not a means to an end for women wanting to have a baby. In fact, just because ovulation occurs, or because it can be detected by leutinizing hormones does not mean that pregnancy is imminent. The uterus also has to have a significant lining for implantation that is caused by a rise in estrogen once the egg is fertilized. If this does not occur, even ovulation will not result in a viable pregnancy. In many cases, a thorough check of the thyroid function can identify ovulation problems and be corrected with synthetic thyroid hormones administered daily.
If you use an ovulation test and it comes back positive, it does mean that it is the optimal time for intercourse. Considering that the uterine life of an unfertilized egg is not very long, it is also advised for women to have sex BEFORE ovulation to result in a pregnancy. A sperm can live up to 5 days (sometimes more) in the uterine environment providing that it is not too acidic. If the sperm is already present when the egg is released, it can lead to a better chance of fertilization.
There are many theories about the best time to have sex in order to conceive. There are also lots of homeopathic and alternative methods to helping ensure that you ovulate regularly and have enough hormonal stimulation to ensure proper fertilization and implantation. One aspect of ovulation that many doctors do not talk about is the innate function that sexual desire is often heightened when you are most fertile. This may present itself as a rise in desire, vaginal wetness and is very similar to every other animal instinct known to the wild. One of the downfalls of an ovulation test and the meticulous planning of a pregnancy is that the stress taking ovulations tests, basal body temperatures, and monitoring vaginal mucous can disrupt the normal flow of the body by an introduction of heightened stress levels. Stress levels produce many hormones like cortisol, which disrupt the natural balance of the body. Your best advice is to remain optimistic and try to have some fun with your ovulation prediction methods. Having a baby requires many of the silent functions of life to be in perfect order – which is often why pregnancy happens when it is most unexpected.