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I know it almost sounds like a late-night TV Infomercial, but did know that you can significantly increase your chances of getting pregnant by doing a few “simple tricks”?
That’s right. The #1 way of upping the odds of conceiving is by tracking your fertile window (the few days each cycle that you actually can get pregnant) in a way that goes way beyond just looking at a calendar to tell you when you’re ovulating!
What are Fertility Indicators?
The best thing you can do is track your fertile window is using so-called fertility awareness indicators. That’s the word researchers use for the different methods of tracking your cycle:
- Basal body temperature
- Cervical fluid
- Cervix position
- LH test strips (a.k.a. Ovulation Predictor Kits – OPK’s).
- And some others
A 2019 study included 5,688 women who were trying to get pregnant. They were asked to track their cycles using the awesome Fertility Friend app, with or without the use of fertility indicators. Then, the researchers tried to figure out which of these methods can help you get pregnant best.
And the answer may surprise you: they are ALL great at predicting your fertile window! Let’s go over each fertility indicator, what they entail, and how well they can help you get pregnant.
Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
Your basal body temperature fluctuates during your cycle, and it’s this fluctuation that can tell you a lot about when you ovulate. Your body temperature tends to be on the low side before ovulation and higher after ovulation.
Women who use BBT tracking were found to have 20% to 40% higher odds of conceiving in any given cycle compared to non-trackers.
This result is somewhat surprising since an increase in BBT can only be measured after ovulation has already happened (and at that time, it’s usually too late to get pregnant!).
In other words, it can confirm ovulation has occurred. I talk about this in much more detail in TTC School, because confirming ovulation is really important too.
But let’s just say that I’m not surprised that women who measure BBT are super in-tune with their bodies!
Now checking your cervical fluid is a really amazing way of predicting ovulation. Before you are in your fertile window -before there’s even a shot of becoming pregnant-, cervical mucus is dry.
As you get closer to ovulation, cervical fluid (also known as cervical mucus) becomes wetter, stickier, and milkier. This is a clear sign that ovulation is coming soon!
And that’s also what science tells us: there’s a 30% to 50% boost in chances of conceiving in any given cycle (compared to not checking)!
As you can tell, I’m a big fan of tracking cervical mucus, there’s just one problem: it’s more a lot more “hand-on” than other tracking methods and not all women show huge changes in cervical fluid.
In other words, it’s important to know exactly what to look for and how to check your cervical mucus. I go into great detail on how you can check your cervical mucus like a pro in my online course: TTC School.
Yet another amazing but hands-on way of checking if you’re in the fertile window is by literally feeling your cervix with your finger tips.
That’s because the cervix itself undergoes changes as you approach the fertile window. For example, the cervix is much harder to reach when you are fertile (it moves upwards). There are other changes too, like how the cervix feels. It’s harder (like your nose) when you’re not in the fertile window, but becomes much softer (like your lips) the more fertile you become.
And again, tracking cervical position can bump your odds of becoming pregnant 30% to 50%. Not bad!
LH Test Strips (aka OPK tests)
I simply love LH test strips. They are also called OPK’s (short for ovulation predictor kits), and this is perhaps the easiest and most reliable way of testing if you’re in your fertile window. Oh, and they are super cheap too!
These test strips work much like a pregnancy test. You dip them in urine, wait a few minutes, and check if there’s a line. The darker the line, the more LH hormone in your pee, which means: ovulation is near!
The scientists once again found a big boost in odds of conceiving (30% to 40%) when using OPK’s.
What’s not to like?
Well, not much! In fact, I love them so much that I have a course devoted to teaching exactly how to maximize your odds of conceiving using just LH test strips. I let you in on ALL the secrets: how to use them, common pitfalls, and what you can do to make sure you use them correctly.
I can say with confidence that the one thing most women need to get pregnant is a bit of training on how to effectively use OPK’s.
And that’s why I made OPK Secrets. OPK Secrets is my 8-step approach on how to identify your fertile window and get pregnant quickly using ovulation predictor kits (OPKs).
Effectively Using These Fertility Indicators
We all know that having sex on a random day is one way to get pregnant, but it’s pretty ineffective. VERY ineffective.
What you want to know is WHEN EXACTLY you are in your fertile window, the 2 or if you’re lucky 3 days you actually can become pregnant. That’s the only time having sex really matters.
Checking your cervical mucus or using LH test strips are great ways of finding your fertile window. These fertility indicators are powerful, and using them can really make your odds of getting pregnant go up a LOT. And the science backs this up!
But what’s even better than simply using LH test strips or checking your cervical fluid? becoming an absolute master at identifying your fertile window.
And that’s exactly what I set out to do in TTC School, my online course where I teach women how to become pregnant much faster -all backed by science-.
1. Stanford et al. (2019). Fecundability in relation to use of fertility awareness indicators in a North American preconception cohort study. Fertility & Sterility, 112(5), 892-899.