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Ask A Gynecologist: How Can I Tell If I'm Ovulating?

From natural vaginal discharge to basal body temperature, Dr. Shepherd keeps it real about what to know about your ovulation cycle.


Finally, we’re bringing you very public answers to some of your most private questions. When sexual and vaginal health concerns arise, OB/GYN and nationally known women’s health expert Dr. Jessica Shepherd wants to ensure you have the answers you need to feel at ease. As the founder of Her Viewpoint, an online women’s health forum, she uses this outlet to focus on addressing taboo topics in a comfortable setting. Prepare to take notes!

Q: How Can I Tell If I Am Ovulating?

A: During the ovulation cycle, the egg is only available for 24 hours to be fertilized. Now, the misconception is that people think that you can’t pregnant when you’re having your period or there are all these things that I hear about when you can and can’t get pregnant. Unless someone really knows when they’re actually ovulating and because the cycle varies so much, I would say that there are various points in one’s period that they may get pregnant because they may not know exactly when they’re ovulating.

There are other signs that the body gives that help with predicting ovulation. One of the things is that your vaginal discharge usually gets much thinner and clearer as far as in color and then the consistency is much. Your discharge becomes more runny or more fluid-like, as opposed to mucusy and more like snot.

When that happens, most likely that’s when they’re very, very close to ovulation or in their ovulatory cycle, because the body’s so smart, it changes its discharge because it actually is now making it thinner to accommodate the sperm so it’s easier to get through that vaginal discharge and mucus.

Then another way to do it if someone really wants to use some natural ways to figure out when they’re ovulating is what we call basal body temperature. It’s not a perfect measure, but it is something that you could use if you check your temperature right when you get up in the morning. If you’re like charting it and you figure that you have it go up about a degree in temperature, that’s usually another indicator that you might be ovulating at that time, so that’s a good indicator. Also, using ovulation predictor kits. Those are sold in the pharmacy and they actually are very good at figuring out when that actual ovulation is going to occur because what happens is it actually monitors the actual hormone that increases right before you ovulate, so it definitely is a very good indicator of when you might be ovulating.

Joseph Williams

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