Ovulation, the other big O, is when women are at their most fertile. It’s the optimal time to be having sex if you want to conceive (and the worst if you want to avoid it). But do you actually know when you’re ovulating each month?
If you’ve made that decision to start a family, it can be one of excitement, as well as a little daunting. Now its necessary to schedule in sexy time, pee on ovulation sticks and get the timing just right. As much as you don’t want it to, the pressure of “making a baby” can be a little bit of a mind field.

After all, shouldn’t it be as easy as having sex and falling pregnant?

Apparently not. As many as one in six couples of reproductive age are affected by infertility. This is broken down into 40% of cases with males, 40% with females, 10% with both partners, and the further 10% of infertility is unknown.

Regardless if you are just beginning your fertility journey, or have been trying for a while, there are numerous natural ways to boost your chances of falling pregnant.

1. Know Your Body

One of the most empowering things you can do as a woman is to be in tune with your body. Whether you’re trying to have a baby or trying to prevent it, understanding and listening to what it’s trying to tell you can help. For many, this concept can seem foreign. Most of us spend our lives trying not to fall pregnant therefore shutting down our innate wisdom and losing our connection with our body. During each stage of your menstrual cycle, the body will give you signs and symptoms. These could be ovulation twinges or a wavering sex drive, you just need to know what to look for and have an understanding of what they mean.

2. Know your Menstrual Cycle

It’s important to realise that understanding your menstrual cycle is the first step to understanding your fertility. Traditionally, a normal menstrual cycle is considered 28 lunar calendar days. However only 15 percent of women actually have a 28 day cycle. Meaning its completely normal if your cycle is between 24 and 35 days. Rejoice! However, if your cycle is shorter than 24 days, or longer than 35 days, this could be a sign you might not be ovulating regularly. Regular ovulation is essential and just the start of understanding your cycle, period and your fertility journey.

3. Know Your Cervical Fluid

Do you have those times in the month when you go the bathroom and notice slippery cervical fluid when you wipe? Or white marks on your underwear? This is your cervical fluid and it changes depending where you are in your cycle. Hormonal changes over the course of a menstrual cycle affect the amount and the consistency of cervical fluid. Around ovulation, you will notice you have an increased sensation of wetness, your fertile cervical fluid will be clear, abundant, stretchy and resemble egg whites. The easiest way to start noticing changes in your cervical fluid is to keep a diary and track your cervical fluid. Start tracking your cervical fluid from the time your period finishes. Write down what you notice: colour, texture, wetness, stretchiness and consistency.

4. Know Your Fertile Window

Most women don’t know or understand when their fertile period is because ovulation can be difficult to pinpoint. Begin by tracking your menstrual cycle each month. Use either a diary, calendar or your phone and make a note from the first day of your period. It takes around 14 days for a follicle to mature then release. It’s when this follicle releases we are at our most fertile. From the time our follicle releases we have a small window of 24- 48 hours to conceive.

5. Ovulation predictor kits (OPK)

OPKs are a great fertility tool that can help us understand when we are ovulating. You can buy them at most supermarkets and chemists without a prescription. By simply peeing on a stick, OPKs detect the surge in LH, which is what triggers the egg to release. This tells us that ovulation is about to happen generally within 24 hours. You’ll see either a smiley face on your stick or it will read ‘high fertility’. Following the instructions on your brochure will guide you to the best times you should be testing.

6. Have Sex at The Right Times

Timing is everything. Remember this. As you are only fertile for a few days each cycle, it is important to understand your menstrual cycle and exactly when it is you’re ovulating. Focus your intercourse around your fertile window to increase your chances of conceiving. This is the time we need to get ‘busy”. Remember it’s important to be having regular sex without going over board. Fresh is best.

7. Orgasm

Did you know that having an orgasm will help stimulate healthy blood flow to your uterus and increase the chances of the sperm fertilising the egg? When our cervix is stimulated during an orgasm it scoops down and picks up more semen. How amazing is that?

Even though it can seem overwhelming at times, take each day as it comes. Remember to enjoy this time with your partner. Share with them what you’ve learnt so this journey doesn’t feel so daunting. Our digital book, Get Your Body Baby Ready is about to launch. We can’t wait to share with you tools that are easy to follow and implement into everyday life.