I am 24 years old. My husband and I have been married almost four years and no baby yet. We're doing what your supposed to do to get pregnant but not what would be considering actually trying, if that makes sense.Well we would like to get pregnant but we're not going crazy trying to. Anyway, I know what ovulation is, but I'm not sure when it's supposed to be every month. I know this isn't the best way to keep up with it, but I have two apps on my ipod that help me keep track of my period. One says I'll be ovulating on Day 5 after my period has ended and the other says Day 7. How do I know which one is right? I didn't know who to talk to about this. I've never been able to talk to my mother about these things, so what little I know, I've learned own my own or researched. I was also wondering if your supposed to be "intimate" on the day of ovulation or before. And if it's before, how long before? I know I probably sound dumb, but like I said I'm still having to learn about these things. Thanks in advance for anyone's help!!!
Dear Anon: It sounds like you have been having unprotected sex for the past four years but have not yet conceived---hope I am tracking you correctly. For a woman of your age a year of trying will usually find most women pregnant. So I think your questions about ovulation, and the best time to have sex, are excellent queries.
Generally speaking, the time from ovulation to onset of flow is about 14 days. If a woman has a 28 day cycle, ovulation would be about cycle day 14 (ie 14 days counting from the first day of flow). If a woman has a regular 21 day cycle her ovulation will be much earlier (eg cycle day 7 or . If her cycle is 34 days ovulation will be day 20 or so. Your ipad doesn't know how long your usual cycle is, nor how long flow continues.
The interval of maximal fertility begins five (Wilcox, 1995) to six days (Bigelow, 2004) before ovulation and declines after ovulation occurs. Let's look at some popular do-it-yourself methods of determining ovulation: calendar, and the counter ovulation predictor kits.
Calendar: Charting one's cycles on a calendar, or using a string of colored beads ("Cycle Beads"), are low tech methods of attempting to predict one's "fertile time". These methods of ovulation prediction tend to work best in women with very regular cycles between 26-32 days in length. These methods are less exact at identifying the exact occurrence of an ovulation. An improvement in accuracy can be accomplished if the woman is taught to identify changes in cervical secretions However, recent intercourse or other sources of increased estrogen (e.g., PCOS) can mimic "fertile mucus".
Ovulation Predictor Kits: Perhaps the most reliable method to predict ovulation is to use an over the counter ovulation prediction kit (OPK). These kits measure the amount of LH in a woman's urine. When that level peaks one assumes that ovulation will follow within the next 24-36 hours. There have been numerous research studies suggesting that the over the counter OPKs are very reliable when used according to package direction. Here is an excellent summary of OPKs and timing of sex: http://www.fertilityplus.com/faq/opk.html
Anon, if you seem to be having regular ovulations it might be time to see a GYN. There are other things which can interfere with conceiving (eg male factors, tubal blockages). Hopefully, you will conceive when you wish to.
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