June 7, 2021 | By Melissa Dean
Ovulation, or the release of the egg from the ovary, is a naturally occurring phenomenon in women. Consistent ovulation is your body’s way of telling you that everything is good. Anovulatory cycles, or cycles where you don’t ovulate, are often the result of excessive stress and/or illness, such as PCOS. In light of this, it's important for you to track your cycles so you can confirm ovulation and stay in tune with your health.
So ovulation is important, but how do you know when you ovulate?
Contrary to what you might believe, you don’t always ovulate on day 14 of your cycle, as this occurs in roughly 20% of cases. Everyone is different, and you may ovulate on different days each cycle. Given the fact that ovulation is affected by things like stress, having one anovulatory cycle is likely not a cause for concern. However, a consistent absence of ovulation might be an indication that there are other factors at play, such as illness, that are affecting your health.
Fortunately, there are a variety of ovulation symptoms you can track to successfully predict/track ovulation.
Cervical Mucus and Positioning
The consistency of your cervical mucus (CM) and the position, openness and firmness of your cervix are examples of helpful ovulation symptoms to track. Generally during your cycle, your cervical mucus will change from dry to wet as you approach peak fertility, culminating in a stretchy egg white consistency. Your cervix will change from firm, low, and closed to soft, high, and open. You can track your cervical ovulation symptoms in your Premom app. Learn more about cervical positioning.
OPKS (Ovulation Predictor Kits)
Ovulation prediction kits, or OPKs work by measuring the levels of luteinizing hormone in your urine. In the days leading up to ovulation, your LH levels should gradually increase until the levels peak. Following this peak, ovulation is likely to occur within the next 24-36 hours.
With the Premom app, you can easily track your LH progression. After you upload pictures of your ovulation tests (aka LH strips), Premom will quantify your results so you can pinpoint when you are most likely to ovulate. A consistent absence of an LH surge likely means that you are not ovulating regularly, if at all.
It’s recommended that all women -- particularly those new to tracking ovulation -- begin testing early and consistently in their cycle to ensure they find peak. Users who test through at least ⅓ of their cycle have a 75% or higher chance of finding their LH peak in their cycle.
Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Tracking
An LH peak does not guarantee ovulation, which is why we strongly encourage you to confirm ovulation with a basal body temperature thermometer.
When tracking and charting your basal temperature, you will likely notice a slight increase in your basal body temperature, around 0.5-1ºF, one to two days after ovulation. This rise in temperature, a BBT spike, is the result of your corpus luteum releasing an increased amount of progesterone after ovulation. In order for BBT tracking to be effective, you have to consistently take your temperature every morning before you get out of bed after at least 4 hours of sleep.
Each stage of your body's cycle is different. So consistent testing with Premom’s ovulation tests and monitoring your basal body temperature are essential for tracking ovulation and evaluating your overall health.