Ovulation Calculator: What is it and how do you use it?
If you are trying to get pregnant naturally, there are several fertility signals that your body gives each month signaling you when the time is right to have intercourse. Using these signals to plan the timing to have sex can greatly increase your chances in getting pregnant in any given month.
Ovulation calculators or predictor calendars are an excellent way to monitor what is going on with your body month to month. After just a few months using a calendar, you will start to notice patterns in how your body works and you will be able to better pinpoint prime times for trying to get pregnant.
There are several ovulation predictor calendars available online or through your app marketplace on your cellular phone. These calendars will track your entire journey to pregnancy a day at a time.
How to use it
The first step in trying to use one of these calendars would be to download one onto your phone or track one down on your computer. If you do not have computer access regularly, print out a calendar page from a website online and make photocopies so you can input your data manually.
To use an ovulation calendar, you must start on the first day of your menstrual cycle. Input this as “Day One” on whichever calendar program you are using. Track each day of your period on the calendar, signifying if your flow is heavy, medium or light.
When your period has ended, you will be able to track other points, such as symptoms you are feeling each day or cervical mucus changes you have noticed.
When using an ovulation calendar, you should input your waking temperature each day. Your temperature should be taken at the exact same time each morning, while you are still lying in bed.
You should have gotten at least three uninterrupted hours of sleep before you wake to take your temperature, otherwise that day’s information will not be as accurate, making it more difficult to determine the time of ovulation.
With ovulation prediction programs that you use on your phone or computer, you will not need to worry about the numbers and what they mean. You simply input the information and the computerized program will do the rest.
If you are plotting your temperatures on a paper chart, you will need to look for a pattern in the numbers. When your temperature rises at least .2 degrees higher than previous temperatures for at least three days in a row, it will be assumed that the day with the temperature right before the rise will be the day you had ovulated.
Basal body temperature will rise after you have ovulated. This method however, will not tell you when to have intercourse. It will tell you after ovulation had occurred, so if you wait for the temperature increase, you would have missed the best chance to try to get pregnant.
Determining the pattern
What good is this information if it isn’t cut and dry then? Well, if you take your temperatures for a few months, you may start to see a pattern in the number of days it takes your body from the first day of your period to the temperature rise.
This will give you a better idea as to when in the cycle you ovulate. If you notice the shift occurs on day thirteen or fourteen, you will know to start trying to have intercourse anytime from day ten to day fifteen or sixteen in an attempt to increase the chances that you might conceive.
It is best to have intercourse every other day during your most fertile time of the cycle. This will allow your partner’s sperm count to replenish during the day that you hold off on having sex.
Increasing the odds
Using your basal body temperatures along with cervical mucus patterns can help increase your chances, as well. If you notice after having a bowel movement, that you have an increase in the amount of mucus your body naturally excretes from the vaginal area, you may be near your fertile time of the month.
When you are fertile, your cervical mucus will be the consistency of an egg white. If you are not looking for it, you will not notice. When you first hear about the concept of cervical mucus, you will all of a sudden be aware of it and it can help you determine fertile times by paying attention.
Your ovulation calendar will let you know when you have possibly ovulated by using your temperatures and cervical mucus observations.
After a few months, you will be able to time your intercourse sessions more closely to the exact times you are most fertile by taking a look at the patterns in your calendar results. This is one of the most effective ways in becoming pregnant naturally. Give it a try and get used to the signals your body is trying to tell you to achieve pregnancy.