From cervical fluid to sleep: How tracking your body's signs and symptoms can identify when you ovulate

The "let's just see what happens" style of trying to conceive can be fun, but if you want more control over your fertility, tracking is the way to go. There are physical and emotional signs that can tell you when you're most likely ovulating and fertile, and Ovia helps you track them so you can take better control of your fertility.

How can tracking data help identify the fertile window?

The different systems of your body operate a lot more closely than you might think! Just like how a fever can let you know when you're fighting a virus and a headache can tell you that you need water, and there are a few signs from your body that you can pick up on to gain greater insight into your fertility; tracking your health and fertility data will help you identify patterns and signs that can indicate when you're ovulating. 

What to track

There are individual signs and symptoms that can suggest that you're ovulating, but you'll get the most complete picture of your fertility health when you track them all together. By logging the following in Ovia Fertility, you can receive accurate predictions of your period and ovulation dates.  

  • Cervical fluid (CF): Produced naturally by your body, cervical fluid starts out dry or thick at the beginning of the cycle and trends towards thin and stretchy when ovulation rolls around. To measure cervical fluid consistency, insert a clean finger into your vagina and observe the fluid you pick up by rubbing it between your fingers. Following the progression of your CF within a cycle can help you better know when you’ll be ovulating.
  • Basal body temperature (BBT): Basal body temperature, your lowest body temperature in any given day, tends to dip slightly just prior to ovulation and spike sharply immediately afterwards. Logging the dip in temperature can help identify when ovulation is on the immediate horizon, and tracking the spike will help you zero in on your relative ovulation date from cycle to cycle. Basal body temperature is most accurately measured with an oral thermometer in the morning.
  • Physical symptoms: During ovulation, some people will feel a bit of lower abdominal cramps that signal the exact moment that the egg is released. It's known as mittelschmerz pain. You may notice through tracking that other physical symptoms correlate with ovulation for you. For instance, you might get headaches or feel hungrier in the days prior to ovulation. Logging your health symptoms from cycle to cycle can also help determine whether you conceived in any given one.
  • Ovulation tests: Ovulation tests search your urine for the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH), the hormone that is released to instruct your ovary to release an egg. Taking ovulation tests can help let you know when you’re ovulating, but because they cannot tell you more than a day or two in advance, relying on them effectively cuts your fertile window in half. However, tracking the relative date of ovulation from cycle to cycle can also be very valuable in identifying and predicting your fertile window.
  • General health indicators: Tracking general health indicators like nutrition, activity, sleep, and blood pressure can help you get a read on how your lifestyle may be affecting your fertility one way or another. In general, all the things you probably associate with a healthy lifestyle - like getting enough sleep, staying active, and eating a nutritious, balanced diet - work to boost your fertility.

Read more
  • Murcia-Lora, José María; Esparza-Encina, María Luisa. "The Fertile Window and Biomarkers: A Review and Analysis of Normal Ovulation Cycles." Persona y Bioética. Vol. 15 Issue 2, p133-148. 16p. Web. July-December 2011.
  • Bruno Scarpa, David B Dunson, Bernardo Colombo. "Cervical mucus secretions on the day of intercourse: An accurate marker of highly fertile days." European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. Volume 125, Issue 1, Pages 72-78. Web. 3/1/2006.
  • Sabita Sujan, John Danezis, Aquiles J. Sobrero. "Sperm migration and cervical mucus studies in individual cycles." Journal of Reproduction & Infertility. 6(1):87-97. Web. Sep-63.
  • Stephen R. Pallone, MD and George R. Bergus, MD. "Fertility Awareness-Based Methods: Another Option for Family Planning." Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. vol. 22 no. 2 147-157. Web. March-April 2009.
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