Tracking when your ovulating is not that difficult and you don’t need an ovulation kit either. In fact, for most of my patients I recommend watching their cervical fluid as the only indicator. Cervical fluid is comparable to seminal fluid in men because it creates an alkaline environment to protect the sperm from an otherwise acidic vagina. Right after a period, the vaginal area is dry and nothing can be observed near the vaginal opening. A few days or so later, a healthy woman of reproductive age will notice sticky cervical fluid. From there it will become more creamy or lotion like. It tends to be cold, wet and watery. Finally, the most fertile cervical fluid looks like raw eggwhite. It’s very slippery and very stretchy. Most women will notice a slippery or wet sensation in the vaginal area. When a woman is younger she will have more days of cervical fluid and more abundant cervical fluid. However, as she gets older the number of days of cervical fluid will decrease as well as the amount of cervical fluid produced.
The next indicator of ovulation is the waking temperature. Most women will notice their temperature range from 97.3 – to 97.7 degrees Fahrenheit prior to ovulation while post ovulatory temperatures are closer to 98 and higher. The heat producing hormone progesterone is what causes the temperature to rise. Please remember that a rise in temperature indicates that ovulation has already occurred. It is not an indicator of an ovulation to come. Fever, alcohol and inadequate sleep can make your temperatures higher than normal. If you decide to take your BBT (Basal Body Temperature), you must take it at the same time everyday before getting out of bed to get accurate readings. The position of the cervix can be an indicator of ovulation. During ovulation, the cervix will become open, wet and lifted higher to allow for sperm entry. Otherwise, the cervix is low, closed and dry. You would have to go up into your cervix with your finger to check the status of your cervix.
Other symptoms of ovulation can be increased sexual desire, heightened sense of smell, vision and taste. Midcycle spotting can also occur. Sharp, cramps or achy feeling around the ovary is also a sign of ovulation. So you see that you can simply observe your body and know when your ovulating and save yourself from having to purchase an ovulation kit. In fact, ovulation kits can be misleading. Because ovulation kits test for LH surges that precede ovulation, it does not ensure 100% that ovulation actually took place. In fact, a woman can have a LH surge without the egg actually popping out of the ovary. Furthermore, if your only checking once a day to see if you ovulated and your LH surge is short (lasting less than 10 hours), you might have missed the surge but in actuality you did ovulate. So you can see that your body can be the best indicator. Ovulation kits can be a great way to verify what you already know. However, I have many patients that prefer to use ovulation kits and I encourage them to use them if that’s what they feel most comfortable doing.