The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long, with ovulation occurring near day 14. But even for women who have very regular cycles, the day that ovulation occurs may vary.
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The majority of women don’t have exact 28-day cycles, so ovulation and the fertile window can be difficult to predict. Luckily, your body has certain ways of communicating when it’s fertile, and Ovia Fertility has developed an algorithm that can accurately predict your fertile window and ovulation date, based on a few different metrics.
Cervical fluid is the fluid that your body produces to help (or block) sperm moving through your cervix and up to your fallopian tube where it can fertilize your egg. Cervical fluid changes in consistency throughout the cycle, becoming most “fertile” (helpful for a sperm’s travel) during the fertile window and ovulation.
Cervical fluid tends to be dry right after menstruation, then thick and clumpy, then more watery, and finally thin, clear, and stretchy as you approach ovulation. Tracking your cervical fluid throughout the cycle is an excellent way to tell when ovulation might be near.
Basal body temperature
Basal body temperature is the lowest temperature attained by the body in the normal course of the day. It’s best taken right when you wake up in the morning, before you are active and start heating up. Basal body temperature can be a key indicator of your ovulation date, as it will quite often spike in the 24-48 hours after ovulation, due to a rise in the hormone progesterone.
Conversely, basal body temperature may dip a bit right before you ovulate, so tracking your temperature from cycle to cycle can help you anticipate the dip and/or spike, and pinpoint your ovulation and fertile window.
Symptoms are your body’s way of communicating what’s going on inside of you, including an upcoming fertile window and ovulation. Tracking and paying attention to your symptoms can be extremely helpful in narrowing down your fertile window.
Certain symptoms, like backaches, cramps, and pelvic pain, are common indicators of ovulation. There may be some discomfort when an egg is released from the ovary, generally on just one side. This is known as “mittelschmerz” pain, which is German for “middle pain.”
Your moods can tell you a great deal about what is happening in your body, similarly to how symptoms can. The data that we have collected has found that certain moods, like feeling confident or frisky, may be positively correlated with an upcoming ovulation. Though moods alone may not be able to indicate that you are fertile (especially if you’re already a confident or frisky person to begin with!), but they can definitely contribute to and improve your fertility predictions
Ovia Fertility uses many metrics beyond period data to predict ovulation and the fertile window, but entering your period data is a good way to set up a baseline for your predictions. Tracking your period will let you know how your cycle length and luteal phase length change from cycle to cycle, which could be crucial for helping you get pregnant faster.
Ovulation tests can confirm whether you are currently ovulating, but they can’t tell you that you’re about to ovulate, or already ovulated, only that you’re currently ovulating. It’s nice to have confirmation of ovulation, but it’s important to track other metrics in combination with with ovulation tests to best predict your fertile window and ovulation so you can plan ahead.
Predicting your ovulation and fertile window can be difficult, but Ovia Fertility makes it easy. Simply enter these data points above as often as you can, and let our algorithm do the rest!
- Creinin MD, Keverline S, Meyn LA. “How regular is regular? An analysis of menstrual cycle regularity.” Contraception. 70(4):289-92. Web. 10/4/2015.
- D.F. Katz, D.A. Slade, S.T. Nakajima. “Analysis of pre-ovulatory changes in cervical mucus hydration and sperm penetrability.” Advances in Contraception. Volume 13, Issue 2-3, pp 143-151. Web. Jun-97.
- Stephen R. Pallone, MD and George R. Bergus, MD. “Fertility Awareness-Based Methods: Another Option for Family Planning.” Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. vol. 22 no. 2 147-157. Web. March-April 2009.
- Pearlstone AC, Surrey ES. “The temporal relation between the urine LH surge and sonographic evidence of ovulation: determinants and clinical significance.” Obstetrics & Gynecology. 83(2):184-8. Web. Feb-94.