For women who are trying to get pregnant, and even those who are searching for natural alternatives to birth control, it is important to understand the signs of ovulation. Although there are several days throughout the month that a woman is fertile and can conceive, during ovulation she is most fertile and finds it much less difficult to conceive. Counting days for ovulation periods has been a popular method in the past, although this method is not always completely reliable. Counting from her last period, a woman can determine approximately when she will be ovulating, although again, this method has been less than reliable. There are better signs of ovulation that are more accurate.
Physical signs of ovulation such as cervical mucous changes have been used successfully by women to determine ovulation much more accurately than counting the days since their last periods. Cervical mucous changes occur from the first few days after menstruation until just after ovulation. During the highest chance of pregnancy, women will notice mucous that resembles raw egg whites. Although there is a slight risk of pregnancy during low ovulation periods such as directly after menstruation and the few days approaching complete ovulation, the stage in which the mucous is thinnest and most noticeable offers the best chance for conception.
During this time the mucous will stretch, by finger testing, to a point that is several centimeters before and if it breaks. This test works when a woman collects a small sample of her cervical mucous and stretches it between her finger and thumb. This test for consistency will enable her to determine when the mucous is in its ovulation stage. The amount of mucous in this stage will increase steadily until the peak, which is the last day of this stage of ovulation and offers the very best possible chance for pregnancy to occur. Another way to determine the physical signs of ovulation is to monitor basal body temperature. During the peak ovulation periods, a woman’s basal body temperature will be slightly higher, normally around 0.4 to 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit. During the first day of ovulation the basal body temperature will rise slightly. During the next two days it will rise slightly higher still and by monitoring these rises it is very possible to predict the exact day of ovulation. By monitoring her basal body temperatures for several months, a woman can predict the best day to conceive.