Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from the ovaries, which then descends into the uterus awaiting fertilization. Even though the egg can survive only 24 – 48 hours depending from women to women, the (fertile) ovulation period in most women is said to around 4 -5 days.
Before ovulation occurs, there are certain hormonal changes in the body preparing it to be ready in case of a positive fertilization occurrence. The luteinizing hormone ( LH ) increases which causes most of ovulation symptoms such as clear cervical mucous, change in moods, cervix position etc. The LH surge primarily happens approximately 2 days before ovulation. Thus beginning your fertile window. Trying during this window maximizes your chances of falling pregnant. Lets not forget, the super sperm can survive in the fertile mucous for up to 4 days. Therefore it is important to have sex in the days leading up to the ovulation than the day itself. For the same reason, we say that the fertile window in women can vary anywhere from 4 – 6 days. Check out your ovulation period with our ovulation calculator.
Having regular sex in between your cycles is the most reliable way of falling pregnant. The norm is day 11. If your first day of period is counted as day 1, then approximately day 11 is when you can start trying. However for many reasons, it is not easy or practical to have sex excessively this way. Additional factors such as having other babies, partners living away, having hectic schedules can make it very tough to catch your fertile window. This is where it would be helpful to invest in Ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) for ovulation tests.
There are two types of OPKs available in the market and you can chose any that serves your purpose and budget.
The LH hormone is always present in the body but in very small quantities. During ovulation it increases by 2 – 5 times and can be detected in the urine. There are many tests available in the market and they all follow the same technique – peeing on the stick or dipping it in your urine for 10 seconds. Since these are non re-usable and pricey, one can go for any brand that provides maximum sticks in minimum price. It is advisable to perform this test during afternoon time, unlike the pregnancy test, which is done during mornings. Additionally, start using the stick to test on day 11 and continue to do so till you get a positive reading. After which you do not need to do it again and the remainder sticks can be saved for the next month or you can hope that you don’t need them again
Saliva Fern Test
This is a small pocket microscope, which is used to observe your saliva. During ovulation, ones saliva consists of more salts, which crystalizes to form fern like pattern. You just need to swab your saliva and observe it under the microscope. In comparison to the urine test, this one is a one-time investment and can be re used to time. By that comparison alone, the saliva test is more economical.
Despite the saliva test being more economical, the problem with it is that it is not very reliable. Many women find it hard to identify the fern pattern as well. On the other hand, the urine test is 99% accurate and more reliable.
Leaving you with a last reminder, that these tests can only help you in identifying your fertile window or ovulation period. In no way do these tests assist or ensure fertilization, they just increase your chances. At the end of the day, as stated before, regular sex is your best shot at getting pregnant.