Whether a woman is just beginning to plan for a pregnancy or she has gone from dedicated to frustrated, it is crucial that every woman knows the ins-and-outs of her own female fertility. Learning what an ovulation cycle is, when it happens and how fertility can be improved is key to successful family planning.
Tracking Your Ovulation:
Another helpful fertility tip when trying to get pregnant is to track and closely monitor your basal body temperature. This is your “resting body temperature” or rather the temperature before rising in the morning. It is important when tracking her BBT that a woman takes her temperature at the same time each morning to be as accurate as possible. A woman’s BBT will raise slightly after ovulation. If she has a consistent menstrual cycle it will allow her to assume the completion of her ovulation cycle, thus determining its duration. A woman can also track her ovulation cycle by examining and recording the consistency of her cervical mucus. While that might sound off-putting, the consistency of a woman’s cervical mucus is incredibly helpful when determining peak ovulation. Recording this information allows a woman to determining her point of ovulation. When a woman is ovulating, her cervical mucus will appear as a thick, clear discharge. If this day is the same day during each cycle, it then becomes extremely easy for a woman to determine which days are most likely to yield a positive result.
Knowing when you are most likely to get pregnant will increase your odds of conceiving. Ovulation prediction kits are available for purchase to help you. In general, a woman ovulates 14 days before her next expected menstrual cycle begins. If you are not exactly sure when you will ovulate next, make your best estimate and plan on having sex before the expected ovulation date as well as on the day. Some women may not notice changes that occur during ovulation. Here are a few symptoms that indicate that you may be ovulating:
- Cervical mucus that looks like egg whites
- Increased cervical fluid
- Increase of basal body temperature
- Light spotting
- Breast tenderness
- Increased sex drive
Monitoring the signs and symptoms of ovulation and becoming familiar with your body will help you determine when you are ovulating and help you get pregnant faster.
Factors That Impact Ovulation
The first step, and often one that is overlooked, is diet and physical activity. It sounds like such a small part of fertility, but it can make an enormous difference when trying to get pregnant. Being overweight or underweight can drastically affect the hormonal balance of a woman’s body. Maintaining a fertility diet that is rich in vitamins and protein is also crucial. The body needs to know it is healthy enough that a pregnancy could be sustained, so maintaining a steady, balanced diet rich in nutrients will allow the female body to more readily accept a fertilized egg. Things such as alcohol and caffeine should be consumed in extreme moderation, as both substances decrease the chance of conception and can interfere with the balance of a woman’s hormones.
Your choice of protein may make the difference in your ovulation. Foods with high trans fats and animal proteins may cause ovulation disorders. So instead of eating meat, choose beans, legumes and nuts, or at least increase the amount of these that are in your diet and decrease the amount of animal fats. High-fat dairy will help you reach your calcium requirements, add good protein to your diet and may also increase ovulation. Avoid dairy with lots of sugar like ice cream. Instead, choose milk and cheese as your high-fat dairy choice to improve ovulation.
Your weight before getting pregnant can influence ovulation. If you are underweight or overweight, you may have issues with ovulation. Overweight women with a BMI of over 25 take twice as long to become pregnant as do women of a healthy weight. Women with a BMI of less than 19 may take up to four times longer to become pregnant as do women of a healthy weight. Losing even five percent of your body weight can increase your odds of becoming pregnant.
Caffeine and Alcohol
If you drink more than five cups of coffee per day, you may be reducing your chances of becoming pregnant. While drinking less caffeine than this amount seems to be okay, drinking more than 250 milligrams of caffeine per day seems to reduce a woman’s fertility. Drinking alcohol has a similar effect on fertility. More than two drinks per day are not recommended, though if you are actively trying to be pregnant you should refrain from drinking at all.
Vitamin C is a great addition to your diet to increase your ovulation. This vitamin increases the amount of water in cervical mucus, which makes conception easier. Make sure that you eat lots of leafy green vegetables, citrus fruit and also in a pill form as ascorbic acid. Choosing a multivitamin with folic acid not will not only improve your rate of ovulation but will be required during pregnancy, too. So, choose a high-quality daily vitamin with folic acid to become pregnant and be healthy while pregnant.
Part of maintaining a balanced and fertile body is physical activity. The healthier the body, the easier conception is. While pregnancy does not require a woman to be a triathlete, it does require her body to be able to sustain the growth of a pregnancy to eventually deliver a baby. So, preparing the body before conception is crucial for the body to attain peak fertility. Exercise also assists with weight and hormone control, allowing for more consistent ovulation and menstruation periods.
While a life without any stress at all is unrealistic, a woman who is trying to increase her fertility and boost her ovulation cycle should do everything she can to avoid unnecessary stress. Stress releases hormones and chemicals that are counterproductive to a woman’s reproductive hormones. The physical chaos that stress creates in the body makes it very difficult of the body to be receptive to a pregnancy. By minimizing stress, a woman is allowing her body to focus on fertility rather than trying to focus on and endure the way stress is affecting her body.
Natural Remedies for Regulating Ovulation:
Using a natural means of family planning may require a bit of patience, but it can allow a means for a woman to conceive without the ingestion of medications or hormone injections. While it is no guarantee, naturally preparing a woman’s body for pregnancy and tracking her fertility and reproductive patterns can help boost fertility health to aid in her chance of conceiving. Even if natural remedies don’t lead to a successful conception, after seeking the help of a medical professional, the boost in natural efforts to improve fertility can provide an improvement in her overall health that can help fertility specialists with treatments down the road. If a woman is able to tell her physician the irregularities and consistencies in her reproductive cycles and health habits, her physician will be better able to quickly and efficiently come to a diagnosis and possible solution as maintaining a healthy body can be imperative for a woman seeking prescription fertility treatment so that she is physically prepared for a successful treatment plan and an eventual pregnancy.
- Manage your weight: Being overweight or underweight can affect both whether you ovulate and when you ovulate. Furthermore, studies show that women with a body mass index (BMI) of over 25 or under 19 are more likely to have trouble getting pregnant. As such, eating healthy and exercising can help achieve a healthy weight and restore hormonal balance.
- Track when you ovulate: Knowing when you ovulate can help you determine if your body is releasing the egg as it should. There are home kits available to help you predict when this is happening. The information you collect can be helpful to your doctor during a medical evaluation. The egg is usually released on day 14, counting from the first day of your period the previous month. Signs that you’re ovulating include an increase in basal body temperature, tender breasts, bloating, and an increase in vaginal discharge that looks like egg white.
- Choose the right foods: A diet rich in proteins and low in carbs can help to boost fertility in women who ovulate irregularly or have trouble conceiving. It is especially useful in women with PCOS and insulin sensitivity. You should also avoid trans-fat to reduce the risk of ovulatory infertility. The risk can increase as much as 31 percent if trans-fat foods such as margarine, baked products, and fried foods are part of your daily diet. Beans, legumes, nuts and high-fat dairy choices such as milk and cheese are protein-rich foods that can help you ovulate more regularly.
- Herbal remedies: Evening primrose oil has been used by women through the ages to improve menstrual function and menopausal symptoms. It also increases cervical mucus which, in turn, increases ovulation and the chance of pregnancy. Stinging nettle is nourishing and promotes generalized health as well. Making a tea from this plant will give you an amazing source of minerals, especially Vitamin K. It also is good for the baby and promotes milk production after the baby is born. The most important ingredient in nettle tea is chlorophyll, which has been reported to prepare the body to become pregnant and sustain the embryo after conception. Red clover has been recommended to improve the health of the female reproductive system down through the ages. Because it is alkaline it balances hormones encourages the uterus to have a balanced PH which is beneficial for conception. Red clover tea is great by itself or combined with peppermint. Red raspberry tea is in the same category as red clover tea. It strengthens and improves a woman’s entire reproductive system and soothes the uterus, preparing it for receiving the ovum and conceiving. Red clover and red raspberry have been combined for use in women’s health and pregnancy for generations. Dong quai and false unicorn root tinctures can be used alone or in combination with stinging nettle, red clover and red raspberry tea to continue to enhance fertility and ovulation.
When to Speak with Your Doctor
If your menstrual cycle has been irregular for a while and you suspect it is related to your weight or believe it is linked to infertility, you can talk with your doctor or fertility specialist. Your doctor can examine you and perform various tests to determine what’s causing it. You may have to follow a special diet, exercise, or take medical treatment such as hormone therapy to restore hormonal balance and regulate your cycle. Additionally, fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization may also help optimize fertility.