Raising a child can be lots of work, but it's worthwhile. The same can be said about starting a family of your own. While there are plenty of treatments that you can undergo at our Houston fertility center, we often offer advice so people can conceive naturally. Should that not work, that's the ideal time to seek help from a fertility specialist. One of the most important tips we can offer women who are trying to conceive is to be mindful of their cycle and when they are ovulating.
What is ovulation?
Ovulation is when an egg is discharged from the ovaries. A woman is most fertile a few days before ovulation. Many women will notice a certain pattern to their cycle, and find that they ovulate during certain times of the month. Women who have irregular menstrual cycles won't have the same consistency from month to month, but they will notice certain recurring symptoms/signs when they are ovulating.
Should you need any assistance in determining when you're most fertile, our fertility doctors in Houston and Sugar Land can perform or offer a few tests. Let's start, however, with signs women can notice on their own.
Increased Sexual Desire and Sex Drive
A few days before you ovulate, you'll notice increased sexual desire. This is a common sign of ovulation, and it makes sense given innate biological imperatives that people have to reproduce.
Changes in Cervical Mucus and Firmness
Other signs of ovulation involve the cervix. For one, the consistency of a woman's cervical mucus will change as ovulation approaches. During this period, the cervical mucus usually resembles egg whites, though it can vary from woman to woman. In addition, the cervix itself will change in position and firmness -- it will be higher, softer, and more open during ovulation. It may take some time for women to notice this latter sign of ovulation.
Changes in Body Temperature
Body temperature can also be a sign of ovulation occurring. The change in body temperature (usually just a few tenths of a degree) occurs after ovulation has happened. Combined with other signs of ovulation, this is a good way of locking a fertile window during the month based on your regular cycle.
Tenderness of the Breasts
Women may experience tenderness of the breasts before or after ovulation as a result of hormones. Since it varies, it's another good way to help understand your body and identify a window of greatest fertility. Some women also note a heightened sense of taste, smell, and sight.
Testing for Ovulation
Some women will use ovulation predictor kits (OPK tests) to help detect if they are ovulating. These require women to pee on a stick or dip a special test paper into a small sample of their urine. These OPK tests can become expensive over time, though they are helpful when used in conjunction with the above physical signs.
Assisted Reproduction Options
If you have difficulty getting pregnant naturally for a year, that's when it's an ideal time to consider fertility treatment options. We can use any number of treatments, including Houston in vitro fertilization, egg donation, or sperm donation. The best option, of course, will be determined by the needs of the patient(s).
Learn More About Assisted Reproductive Technology
For more information about female fertility and other matters related to assisted reproduction, be sure to contact our Houston and Sugar Land fertility clinic today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you start the family that you have always dreamed of having.