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Adulting, Health, Life

Taking Charge of Your Fertility: Ovulation Prediction Kits (OPKs)

While I have been learning about how the female reproductive system works, I can’t help but be overcome with awe for God’s work. It is truly amazing what God has done. I am only aware of how a woman’s cycle can change throughout the month but can only imagine what else goes on in her body when a baby is growing. 

I learned that a woman’s bones around her hips expand to give room for the baby to pass through, and that is only one change that I have learned of. Can you imagine what else occurs in the woman’s body? Organs are relocated temporarily, the uterus is expanded, it’s quite miraculous when you think about it.

Now to lead this back to my previous post, during a menstrual cycle one of the many things that happens that can clue us into when we might be ovulating are hormonal changes. In specific the luteinizing hormone level rise. This happens as your ovaries are preparing to release the egg. The luteinizing hormone is also known as the “LH” rises as ovulation approaches. When ovulation is about to occur, the hormone level reaches a peak. Once you spot this peak, you can assume that the egg is to be released.

How can you detect this peak? You can purchase an Ovulation Prediction Kit, also known as “OPKs”. These tests detect the LH levels in your urine. Kind of like a pregnancy test but for LH levels instead. Based on the peak of the tests, some tests will tell you the egg will be released within the next 12-36 hours. It’s not exact math but I’d say that narrows it down quite a bit. But I wouldn’t solely rely on this method to keep track of ovulation.

It can happen that the test shows an LH peak but your body won’t release an egg making it inaccurate. The reason for this I am not sure, but it can happen. This is why you should take these tests in addition to taking your temperature and mentioned in my last post. Below you can find a few of the top-rated Ovulation Prediction Kits on Amazon.

*I am an Amazon affiliate so I may get a small fee for any purchase you may make but this will be of no effect on the price you pay.*

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

Adulting, Book Recommendations, Health

Taking Charge of Your Fertility: A Brief Look at Ovulation

As a disclaimer, this blog post if aimed at a mature audience.

You have sex and you get pregnant. Boom! Done and done. That is all it takes, or at least that is what they tell you in school. Technically, it’s only partly correct. You do need to have sex to get pregnant, but at the same time, a very specific event needs to be occurring in your body, and this is something I didn’t learn until I was in my mid-twenties. This event is called ovulation.

Just as a reminder, I am not a doctor, I am just a  girl who wanted to learn how the female reproductive system works so my descriptions won’t be super technical. 

Anyways, ovulation is when your ovaries release an egg to be fertilized. As I’m sure most of us know when the sperm meets the egg and the egg is fertilized, that is when life begins.

Ovulation typically occurs during the second week of a woman’s menstrual cycle but vary from woman to woman.

There are a few signs that we can look for to see if ovulation is occurring. The most common one is called the Fertility Awareness Method. This is when you keep track of your body’s temperature upon waking up and keep a chart of the changes. By doing this, you can see how the shifts in your body temperature reveal what part of your menstrual cycle you are in. By following this method you can identify when you are ovulating and when your period is due to return.

A menstrual cycle follows a particular trend. The month starts off and after a few days, when ovulation is occurring, the temperature dips. After the dip it will rise again confirming that ovulation occured. The temperatures look different for everyone but follow the same ovulation dip and after ovulation temperature rise pattern. When your period is coming back your temperature will drop significantly and it will be followed by Aunt Flo.

In order to monitor your temperature, you would need to monitor your Basal Body Temperature “BBT”. For this, you would need to buy a BBT thermometer and take your temperature every morning at around roughly the same time. Not only do you need to be consistent with the time you take your temperature but you must also take your temperature immediately after waking up before your body starts warming up. If you don’t do this, your temperatures will not be consistent and it is important that they be. For more specific information refer to the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler, MPH. In this book, you can find detailed charts explaining what the temperature shifts during the menstrual cycle are.

*I am an Amazon affiliate so I may get a small fee for any purchase you may make but this will be of no effect to the price you pay.*

Ovulation usually lasts 24 hours, which is the optimal time to get busy in order to have a baby. And if you are trying to avoid pregnancy this is when you avoid “doing the deed” or are extra careful. In a nutshell this is how it works. You can only get pregnant during your ovulation period. After the egg is gone, the chances of pregnancy are very slim to none. This is why I made that first statement :).

Another way to track ovulation is with Ovulation Prediction Kits also known as “OPKs”, they are not as accurate but can help. I’ll discuss this more in the next post.

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

Adulting, Health

Taking Charge of Your Fertility

Upon having a few conversations with friends, I have come to notice just how little women sometimes know about their bodies and how they work. I have discovered first hand how little we women are taught about our bodies. I, too, was once uninformed of so many things. The main reason I have come to gain knowledge of the female reproductive system is that prior to getting married, I decided that I did not want to take any sort of contraceptive. This left me no choice but to take to the interwebs and find a solution. What I came across were several posts talking about natural birth control. 

Curiously, I clicked and read many, but it was not enough. I finally found a post that mentioned the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler, MPH. I found it and purchased it immediately. When it arrived, I saw it was about the size of a textbook, which could be a bit intimidating, but I was convinced I had to learn all that I could. And that is exactly what I did.

In the next couple of posts, I will be sharing what I have learned from his book with you guys so stay tuned.

*I am an Amazon affiliate so I may get a small fee for any purchase you may make but this will be of no effect to the price you pay.*

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