Am I Ovulating?
First things first, what exactly is ovulation? Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from the ovarian follicle into the fallopian tube. Inside the fallopian tube is where the egg will be fertilized. If the egg is fertilized, it must implant successfully on your uterine lining, which typically takes place 6-12 days after ovulation. If fertilization doesn’t take place within the 12-24 hours, the egg disintegrates and is absorbed into the uterine lining, which is then shed at the time of menstruation.
There are many ways to help you determine not only if you are ovulating but also when you are ovulating; increased levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and estrogen, and changes in your basal body temperature and cervical mucus.
Just prior to ovulation, your body experiences a rise in estrogen, which in turn stimulates a surge in LH. You can detect your estrogen surge with saliva fertility monitors and your Lh surge can be detected in your urine using ovulation predictor kits. Electronic monitors, such as the OvaCue, are very easy to use and can help predict your fertile window with even more accuracy – using your saliva to detect ovulation as well as an optional vaginal sensor to confirm ovulation.
After ovulation, progesterone levels rise (could be a little as four tenths of a degree). You can detect this rise if you are charting your basal body temperature. Another sign to look for is the consistency of your cervical mucus. As you approach ovulation your cervical mucus should become clear and slippery, also known as ‘fertile-quality’ cervical mucus. Keeping track of all of these ovulation signs can help determine if and when you are ovulating and are most fertile.