When you’re trying to get pregnant you really need to be trying to predict when you are at your most fertile in every month. Your fertility waxes and wanes, and the number of days in each menstrual cycle when you’re actually able to get pregnant are surprisingly few.
Today we’re looking at the ways you have available to track your fertility and find the right time to try and conceive in each month, to help you build the fertility kit you need to that gives you all the information for the perfect pregnancy.
Ovulation Predictor Kits
Otherwise known as OPKs these are very like pregnancy tests. OPKs test your urine for the hormones that drive ovulation, and when they detect a surge, they return a result telling you that you’re ovulating!
If you have a regular cycle and an average hormonal background, then they’re helpful tools that tell you when the best time is to get pregnant. Unfortunately if your hormones don’t fit the average profile that the test is calibrated for they become dramatically less useful.
While some conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or Hyperthyroidism can affect your hormones and have a dramatic impact on your fertility, some women simply have naturally strong or weak levels of the relevant hormones. Their bodies work perfectly normally, and they ovulate regularly but their level of Lutenising Hormone (LH, that drives the reproductive cycle in important ways) is simply too low for the test to pick up. Another woman might have a very strong background LH level, meaning the test constantly reports false positives and cannot tell you when you’re actually ovulating!
Basal Body Temperature
A more accurate measure, that doesn’t rely on hormones, is measuring your BBT. This is the low temperature your core falls to during an extended rest, so charting it requires taking your temperature (vaginally for a more accurate result) every morning, as soon as you wake up.
Charting the results over weeks and months show a consistent pattern when you’re due to ovulate: a drop, followed by a three day rise. This happens down at the level of tenths of a degree, so it’s data that’s easily swamped by your body’s natural processes.
Luckily, apps and specialised thermometers that can report directly to the cloud make recording the data and making sense of it much easier! This is the most accurate way available for you to measure your fertility and get the best answer to the question ‘when am I most fertile?’