1. Basal body temperature tracking
The basal body temperature (BBT) method is a traditional way to track ovulation. The idea behind BBT tracking is that a woman’s body temperature will rise slightly after ovulation, indicating when pregnancy chances are highest. To track BBT, a person’s temperature must be taken first thing in the morning, before getting out of bed, every day for several months. The temperature readings should be recorded and plotted on a chart to look for patterns. Temperature rising and staying elevated for at least 3 days indicates that a person has ovulated and pregnancy is possible.
2. Ovulation predictor kits
Another popular method of ovulation tracking is ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), which can be used at any time of day. The kits detect a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) which is produced just before ovulation. To use an OPK, an individual simply needs to urinate on the test stick a few days before ovulation and wait for a positive result. The positive result indicates that ovulation will occur within 24 - 48 hours. OPKs are convenient and easy to use but can be more expensive than other methods.
3. Fertility awareness method
A natural method of ovulation tracking involves paying attention to the body’s natural signs of ovulation. The fertility awareness method (FAM) tracks the menstrual cycle, cervical mucus, and basal body temperature to determine when a person is ovulating. FAM requires a lot of patience and discipline as people get used to tracking different indicators. However, over time, the process can be an effective ovulation tracking method.
4. Ultrasound and blood tests
For women who have been trying to conceive (TTC) for a while without success, ultrasound and blood tests may be the ovulation tracking method recommended. A follicle-tracking ultrasound can determine if and when a woman is ovulating. Typically performed on days 9-17 of the menstrual cycle, the quick scan looks for proper development of the follicles and assesses size and growth.
Embracing the journey
Ovulation tracking is a journey that requires patience, discipline, and a willingness to learn about the body. Whether choosing the traditional route of BBT tracking, the convenience of OPKs, the natural approach of the fertility awareness method, or the precise accuracy of ultrasound, the key is to remain consistent and persistent. Realizing the dream of starting a family is possible with the right approach and tools.