A Women’s Health Expert Answers Your Questions About Fertility Tracking
Dr Michelle Chia of Dr Tan & Partners answers your questions about fertility tracking!
We sit down with women’s health expert, Dr Michelle Chia of Dr Tan & Partners, to answer your questions about fertility tracking!
Why should I track my fertility? What are the benefits of tracking?
Being aware of when your fertile or infertile periods are can be extremely useful for a woman. Whether you’re trying to use this method of menstrual period counting as a form of birth control (albeit an unreliable method) or if you’re trying to conceive. Tracking your fertility and having regular intercourse at the right time can increase your chances of conceiving.
How can I track my most fertile days?
Tracking of your fertile period will depend on how well you know your menstrual cycle and how regular your menstrual periods are. Tracking is only reliable if you have a regular menstrual period.
Most women track their fertile periods via downloaded apps online or by counting the days on their calendars.
What are the stages of fertility throughout the month?
A normal menstrual cycle is an average of 28 to 35 days (for the majority of women). Your period usually lasts for an average of 5-7 days. After which your body will prepare to release an egg for ovulation.
Ovulation can occur anytime between day 12 to day 16 of the menstrual cycle for most people, or sometimes even later for women with longer cycles. You are most fertile during your ovulation.
How can I tell if I’m ovulating?
Most women rely on ovulation kits to check if they are ovulating to time their intercourse when they try to conceive.
These ovulation kits test for the presence of the luteinizing hormone (LH) in the urine. LH usually undergoes a surge in levels just before ovulation and hence this is one of the indicators of when a woman is ovulating.
Other methods used by women to predict ovulation will be through checking of their basal body temperature or by checking the consistency of the cervical mucus. These are however more subjective and prone to inaccuracies.
What is basal body temperature?
Some women choose to track their body temperature daily every morning before they get out of bed. This is known as your basal body temperature, which is the baseline temperature that your body is usually at.
During ovulation, it is believed that your body temperature will be raised higher than the basal body temperature. This is due to the body’s response to the hormonal changes that occur during ovulation.
Hence women who track their basal body temperature will be aware of their fertile periods when they notice a change or increase in their body temperatures.
Can my cervical mucus help to identify my fertile days?
When your body is preparing for ovulation or going through ovulation, it may produce a whitish sticky cervical mucus that you may observe on your underwear. If you notice this mucus around the timing of your mid-cycle, then you may be ovulating soon and this will be your “fertile period.”