The Fertile Window: it refers to the few days per cycle when a woman is fertile and can conceive. It usually spans 6 days, starting approximately 5 days prior to ovulation and ending on the day of ovulation itself and is affected by:
The lifespan of the egg, which is up to 24 hours after ovulation
The lifespan of sperm which is more variable but can last around 3-5 days depending on the environment such as the
These peak fertility days are the day prior to ovulation and the day on which ovulation takes place.
There is always a small amount of a hormone called the luteinizing hormone (LH) in urine but it increases dramatically once a month around the time you ovulate. This increase is referred to as the LH surge.
A surge in LH level occurs 24-36 hours prior to ovulation, and this can be used to predict when ovulation will occur. Ovulation test kits pinpoint ovulation by measuring when this happens.
And….just like everything with infertility…..here is the exception…Ovulation kits may not be all that they are hyped up to be, especially if you are a woman who has been diagnosed with PCOS.
The problem that PCOS poses for these types of tests – abnormal hormone levels. Many ovulation tests use a urine dipstick to measure luteinizing hormone (LH) or estrogen for the expected peaks around ovulation. If you have PCOS, many of these levels are consistently high, which can in turn lead to inconsistency in these tests.
Ovulation prediction methods that are a better indicator for those with PCOS is one that tracks basal body temperature and cervical mucus. Drop your questions below for more questions about Ovulation kits.
Baby Dust to all!
Dr C and Rhoda