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If you’re trying to have a baby and you have a regular cycle, it’s easier to know when to have sex. However, an irregular menstrual period may cause a bit of anxiety, being uncertain of when ovulation can take place.

On a regular menstrual cycle, ovulation occurs on the first day of your period, about half of your cycle. Since the egg only survives for about 12 to 24 hours after being released by the ovary, it gives you only a small window each month to conceive a baby. If you had sex a few days before your 24-hour ovulation window, your chances to conceive are still high since sperm can live inside your body for up to 5 days. Here are some methods that could help you plan for a baby.

The Digital Basal Thermometer

Every day is a day closer to conception when you have a digital basal thermometer with you! It aids you to determine your basal body temperature (BBT) for fertility charting. Consistency and accuracy are very important. Safety and ease of use need to be taken into consideration too. The digital basal thermometer should provide temperature readings to 1/100th of a degree Fahrenheit – suitable for fertility charting and tracking ovulation. Digital memory recall and a peak temperature indicator are helpful charting functions too.

What is an Ovulation Test?

You would want to discover your most fertile days with an ovulation test. This is a safe and easy way to help you track your fertile period (5-7 days) so you can get pregnant on the day of ovulation or the day before. There are a number of options to choose to track ovulation. One would be the test strip that can be dipped into urine or a cassette, where you are provided a dropper. With both test types, you will need to collect the urine in a cup. The strip can be dipped and the cassette can be used with the dropper.

The ovulation test measures the concentration of the LH hormone (lutein) as it increases at this time. Since the LH hormone is excreted in the urine, the test must be done first thing in the morning when urine is most concentrated. Do not go beyond 24 hours to do the next test, you could miss a positive result and lose the chance of becoming pregnant in this cycle.

When to Take the Ovulation Test?

Take note of your menstrual cycle so you can find out when to take an ovulation test. Not only will you want to know when to take the ovulation test but when is the best time to take an ovulation test and even how to read an ovulation test when its result is staring you in the face. The best time to take the ovulation test is a few days before your ovulation (mid-cycle). Having sex 5 days before you ovulate and 1 day after can lead to conception. If you have a regular cycle of 28 days, you can start testing on day 10 or 11. However, if your menstrual cycle is short, testing can be done within 4 to 6 days before midway of your cycle.

How to Read an Ovulation Test

There are two important elements in your body secretion that are utilized on how to read an ovulation test: urine and the LH hormone present in your urine. The Ovulation test strips measure the LH levels in your urine. When it rises, it signals the ovary to release an egg. When this happens, it is possible for ovulation to occur within 2 to 3 days.

After collecting urine, wait for a few minutes. If the test line is darker than the control line, this means you’re about to ovulate. A lighter line means you’re not ovulating yet. Make sure you don’t get confused, therefore, a test strip with a digital readout would be great. After you find out you are ovulating, your next concern is to check if you’re pregnant.

When to Take a Pregnancy Test

Check out these 4 signs that tell you when to take a pregnancy test:

  1. When you’ve missed your period. This is the first and most reliable sign when to take a pregnancy test.
  2. You have body cramps. The pain is due to the implantation of the egg in the uterus which is similar to menstrual cramps. You might think that your period is coming, but it never does.
  3. Your breasts hurt. They are more tender and bigger due to more blood flow. Your nipples hurt and the veins appear darker under the skin.
  4. You have a different (weird) feeling. There are other signs like nausea, exhaustion, frequent urination, and food aversions.

You have the option of using blood or urine pregnancy tests to check your hCG levels. The urine test or the saliva hormone testing is more common because you can take it in the privacy and convenience of your home. It is also quick and easy to use. Just be careful to follow the instructions as most tests work in a similar way. The hCG is produced after the fertilized egg sticks to the uterine wall and its levels double every 2 to 3 days about 6 days after fertilization.

Positive Pregnancy Test

After taking the urine pregnancy test and waiting for the recommended time, a positive pregnancy test will be revealed through: a change in color, a symbol i.e plus or minus, a line, or the words “pregnant” or “not pregnant”. If you get a negative result but you feel you’re pregnant, wait a few days and try again. If you get the same result, consult your gynecologist ASAP.

How Soon Will A Pregnancy Test Read Positive

The blood pregnancy test can be positive a few days earlier than the urine pregnancy test. A urine pregnancy test result is clearer on the first day of a missed period which is around 5-6 days after implantation.

The key to a more possible ovulation and pregnancy results is to pay attention to your menstrual cycle and take care of your body. Knowing your own body and your personal signs will go a long way when wondering if you are pregnant or even when you are ovulating.