By learning how to track your ovulation, you may be able to predict when you are most fertile. Women often do this when they are trying to become pregnant, but it can be used as a contraception method as well. Various ovulation tracking methods exist, ranging from monitoring basal temperature or cervical mucus to expensive predictor kits. Your budget may dictate which one you use, and these methods can be combined.
What Is Ovulation Tracking?
Ovulation tracking is the process of detecting and keeping track of when you ovulate, with the eventual goal of being able to predict when you will ovulate. There are various methods, including low-tech ways that are basic but effective and cheap, as well as high-tech but expensive ways.
Why Should I Track Ovulation?
There are two main reasons why women track their ovulation. Probably the most common reason is to help them achieve pregnancy. Knowing when you ovulate can help you target which days to have sex to improve your chances of getting pregnant.
The other common reason is to help women avoid pregnancy. While this certainly isn't the most effective method of birth control (and it takes quite of bit of effort and self-control, since you must avoid sex or use a backup method of birth control for a significant portion of each month), it may be the preferred method for women who choose to avoid contraception for religious reasons.
There are some other benefits to tracking your ovulation. If you become pregnant, you'll be able to date your pregnancy with greater accuracy, compared to women who have no idea when they might have ovulated. You will also know when to take a pregnancy test. You'll be more "in tune" with your natural cycles, and, with the help of your healthcare provider, you'll be able to identify problems that might be occurring.
American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Ovulation detection (2006). ASRM Web site. Available at: http://www.asrm.org/uploadedFiles/ASRM_Content/Resources/Patient_Resources/Fact_Sheets_and_Info_Booklets/ovulation_detection.pdf. Accessed September 10, 2013.
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Ferreira-Poblete A. The probability of conception on different days of the cycle with respect to ovulation: an overview. Adv Contracept. 1997;13(2-3):83-95.
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