How to Predict Ovulation & Get Pregnant

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Calendar Ovulation Tracking

How to Predict Ovulation

When you are trying-to-conceive or avoiding pregnancy, you want to know when your fertile window is. Your fertile window is the range of a days around ovulation where the chances of pregnancy are possible. It sounds simple, but our cycles vary and there are many different methods to predict ovulation. To understand the best ways to predict ovulation, let’s look at how ovulation occurs.

How Does Ovulation Occur?

Ovulation occurs when an egg is released during menstruation. After release, the egg travels down the fallopian tube. It can either be fertilized by sperm or if no fertilization occurs, it causes your next period cycle. For healthy women, ovulation usually happens in the middle of their menstrual cycle. Women are born with all the eggs they have and only a small percentage of them could potentially lead to pregnancy.

Ovulation is controlled by hormone releases, which are managed by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. It instructs the pituitary gland to secrete follicle-stimulation hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). The hormones also trigger certain changes to the body such as mucus properties, electrolytes inside the vagina, and saliva crystallization. After ovulation occurss, basal body temperature increases by about 0.5°F.

Calendar Method For Predicting Ovulation

Without taking into account personal and inter-cycle variation, ovulation happens about 14 days before the onset of the next period. For those following the calendar method of fertility tracking, start charting the length of your cycle, and calculate the predicted date of ovulation. Since the number of days until you ovulation in your cycle typically depends on the length of the cycle, the calendar method requires this type of charting. Unfortunately, this is not always true because every woman and every cycle is different. It usually takes >1 year of continuous charting to understand the pattern of your cycle. Although this is very easy to do, it may not be the most accurate method when you really want to get pregnancy or avoid pregnancy naturally.

Basal Body Temperature For Predicting Ovulation

Basal body temperature (BBT) is your body temperature at rest. It is measured the first thing in the morning, usually before you get out of bed. BBT increases about 0.5°F about 12 hours after ovulation. The egg only lives up to 24 hours after it is released from the ovaries, but sperm can survive in a woman’s uterus for 4-5 days, depending on the woman’s mucus consistency. Therefore, the fertile window starts about 4 days before BBT surges. Given this, by the time you track the temperature surge, it is already too late to predict the entire fertile window.

Another common problem with this method is that it is easily affected by environment and health status. Since 0.5°F is a rather small change, environmental temperature change such as weather fluctuations, physical exercise, illness or even the presence of air conditioning or electrical blankets could affect your temperature and make BBT fluctuate more than 0.5°F.

Hormone Testing For Ovulation Prediction

Luteinizing hormone (LH) surges about 24 hours before ovulation. Physiologically, LH hormone is the primary cause of ovulation. Estrogen increases about 4 days before LH surge. LH and Estrogen combined give women the full fertile window. Aside from ultrasounds, which can only be done in the hospital, this is the most accurate method doctors use to predict ovulation. The challenge is that hormone levels significantly vary across different women and cycles. Ovulation prediction kits (OPK) determine ovulation based on a set hormone threshold, which leads to false positive and false negative results.

Mira is the only home tracking device that tracks your actual hormone concentration at home. Using cloud-based AI, Mira learns your cycle variability through quantitative hormone tracking. Mira’s ovulation prediction is based on your personal situation, not the population average. Mira tells you how fertile you are, instead of a giving you a binary “smiley or no smiley face” answer. This helps you prepare and understand your body more accurately.

Other Methods

Cervical mucus, saliva crystallization, and vagina electrolytes are also sometimes used to understand your fertile window. Unlike hormone testing, these methods are your body’s responses to estrogen hormone changes, which means that they are secondary indicators that might be affected by other physiological factors. These methods help you become more aware of your own body, but can be easily affected by sex, food, illness and other factors. Therefore, they may not yield the best prediction results as the primary ovulation tracking method, but they can be helpful additions to understanding your body when used together with hormone testing.

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What is the Best Way to Predict Ovulation?

Ultimately, this answer depends on your personal goals. For women who are seriously trying to conceive or avoiding pregnancy, we recommend hormone testing, which can adapt to personal cycle variability. Hormones are the primary cause of ovulation and if tracked correctly, can achieve similar accuracy as lab-grade tests.

If your goal is to log your period, the calendar method is easy to use, and it gives you a good countdown towards your next period so that you can prepare. The mucus and saliva methods are good for when you want to pay more attention to your body and can be helpful to use alongside hormone testing to track the correlation between your hormone changes and physical symptoms.

Order Your Mira Today

Ready to easily, precisely, and automatically track your ovulation cycles? Let Mira take the guesswork out of getting pregnant, so you know exactly when to conceive.

Reserve Your Mira Today

Ready to easily, precisely, and automatically track your ovulation cycles? Let Mira take the guesswork out of getting pregnant, so you know exactly when to conceive.

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