When trying to fall pregnant one important factor to consider is timing. There is a sweet spot a couple of weeks after your period, which is where your egg is released - called ovulation - it's when you are most fertile and is the best time of the month to try for a baby.
To maximize your baby-making chances, it’s advised to have sex on the three days before you ovulate and on the day of (if you can!).
So how can you find out when exactly you are ovulating? Here are the different ways to understand and track your ovulation.
How to track ovulation
1. Ovulation calculator
An ovulation calculator is an easy and fast way to find out when you’re ovulating You just need to add the first day of your last period and what is usually the length of your cycle. If your periods are irregular, however, it’s wise to take your results with a pinch of salt.
2. Fertility apps
There are plenty of fertility apps available which can help you determine when the best time to try for a baby. Usually, you will need to input your basal body temperature and your discharge changes. These apps will learn with your cycle - the more you use them, the better!
Check out our guide to the best fertility calendar apps.
3. Ovulation predictor kit
These ovulation predictor tests are very similar to pregnancy tests, but instead of telling you if you are or aren’t pregnant, they tell you when you are ovulating. These test sticks or strips react with the urine, and you will get a result based on colour changes or digital readings. One of the hormones detected by these tests is luteinizing hormone (LH), which indicates your body is trying to release an egg.
Read more about how ovulation predictor tests work. You can also buy one of the options below:
Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test Kit
This pack comes with the option of 10 ovulation tests or 20 ovulation tests. These tests promise to accurately track your levels of two essential fertility hormones (estrogens and luteinizing hormone) and to identify additional high fertility days that no other test can.
Femometer Ovulation Test Strips Kit
This is a great device for predicting most fertile days. It comes with 50 strips and with an app that you can use to track your daily tests. You just need to take a picture of your strip result, and the app will help you to keep track of your ovulation status. Clever, huh?
Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor 1 Touch Screen Monitor
A more expensive solution, this monitor promises to increase the chances of getting pregnant naturally by 89%. This product comes with many applications to help you to track your ovulation. You will need to use it daily and following all the instructions to make sure you increase your chances.
4. Your body temperature
To create an accurate basal body temperature charting, you will need to take your temperature every morning. It’s important to do this when you’re resting, to not skew results.
The higher your basal temperature, the more likely you are ovulating and possibly getting pregnant. You will need a specific thermometer for this, to ensure accurate results.
BABYMAD Basal Thermometer
This is a digital basal thermometer highly accurate and sensitive. You only need to wait around two minutes to get your temperature reading.
Femometer Vinca Basal Thermometer for Ovulation
This clever device connects with an app, to give you better understanding of what's happening within your body.
5. Check your cervical mucus
What you’re looking for is the mucus that is a bit like raw egg white. ‘It becomes more watery and if you put it between your thumb and finger and pull it apart it has a stringy appearance,’ explains Helen Kendrew, matron at the Bath Fertility Centre. This abundant watery mucus is nature’s way of making it easier for the sperm to swim up through the cervix to the waiting egg. You should be able to spot the changes by keeping an eye on the toilet roll as you wipe.
6. Use a saliva ferning test
Saliva ferning tests are not well-known, but definitely worth a go for some women. This type of ovulation tracker is an at-home test that uses a microscope to check your saliva. your time of estrogen levels increase near your time of ovulation and dried fern-like crystals appear in your saliva.
These kits come with a lens and viewing scope. You drop some saliva onto the lens then, after a few minutes, check to see if the fern-like crystals are present.
Fairhaven Health, Fertile-Focus, 1 Personal Ovulation Microscope
Due to the hormonal change, the woman saliva gets some ferning patterns detected by this microscope. This personal ovulation microscope promises 98% of accuracy.