Ovulation is the process by which a mature egg is released from a woman’s ovary. The egg moves into the fallopian tube where it is available for fertilization with sperm. The timing of ovulation within the menstrual (monthly) cycle plays a very important role in determining when you can get pregnant. You have a 3-day period of ovulation, called fertile window period, during which time your chances of conception is the highest. Tracking the ovulation period helps you time intercourse for a positive pregnancy result. The window period comprises of 2 to 3 days, which is calculated by subtracting 17 from your average monthly menstrual cycle. For example, if you have an average menstrual cycle of 28 days, ovulation occurs on the 14th day and your fertile window falls on 12th to 14th day.
The time of ovulation during the menstrual cycle is associated with certain signs that can be closely monitored to determine the window period:
- Cervical mucus changes: During ovulation, vaginal mucus appears slick, clear and slippery, resembling the white of an egg. This is one way of tracking ovulation.
- Basal body temperature: The temperature of your body rises immediately after ovulation. You can track ovulation by recording your basal body temperature (BBT) using a BBT or fertility thermometer, every morning (as soon as you wake) throughout your menstrual cycle.
- Ovulation calculator: An ovulation calculator is a kit available over-the-counter to predict the day of your ovulation. Certain hormones surge during ovulation. The test measures the levels of these hormones present in your urine or saliva to determine the window period.