June 29, 2014

The thing with ovulation

As women, we have been designed to have a prime time of baby making. This is said to occur between ages 12-40. This is a time when the menstrual cycle is healthy and our womb (uterus) is considered fertile.

90 days before ovulation our eggs are most impressionable. Meaning that we have the chance to impact our egg health through what we eat and how we treat our bodies during this time. You might have heard of the 3 month preconception plan. This is where a woman gets her body ‘ready’ to create the strongest eggs she can before trying to conceive 90 days later. 

During our cycles there is usually one day in which an egg is available for fertilization. Sperm on the other hand can live for three days (and up to five in a super special body) so making for the bed within this five day window can seriously up the ante on your baby making skills. The big question, how do we know what the exact  day is? 

I feel like through the chain of ladies in your life, reading books or talking to health practitioners we all have heard about certain things you can do on your own to check for ovulation. When I first heard about this, I can honestly say I knew it was happening but I didn’t really get the why or the how. When I was explaining it all to my husband the other night, he turned to me and said he was genuinely in awe of the female body. And seeing as I am a big fan of the female body, I can 100% whole heartedly agree that if you can find a way to get comfortable with these few things, you’ll be doing yourself a serious service. Figuring out ovulation is an amazing tool for getting to know your own body. It allows you to get super up close and personal with all the natural signs our bodies are giving off. We’ve talked about taking our Basel Body Temperature here on Day 5 of our 21 day Holistic Eating and Living Journey, which is a totally incredible tool for figuring out when we are ovulating…if we have a regular cycle. 

If we have an irregular cycle, a sometimes more obvious method is by checking our cervical mucous. This mucous ( read stuff that comes out of us) is produced by the cervical canal and changes during the month. Immediately following menstruation things will be dry down there. They move to thick and sticky and then a little more liquid and ‘cloudy’. Things will then start to get a little more clear and slippery – this is a good sign! There are about a thousand pictures and descriptions of this, and to be honest, in my class my teacher handed around a little tub with an egg white in it. I found it sort of helpful but because we are all different it’s really hard to use this as a base. I think some how after a while you just get to know what it looks/feels like. This usually happens just before ovulation. The liquid helps to guide the sperm to your amazing eggs! If you do have a regular cycle, this usually happens around day 13-15 ( in a 28 day cycle). For those of us with irregular cycles, there isn’t necessarily a pattern so you really just have to get to know your own body. 

You usually can tell what’s going on by the classic look in your underwear method. Alternatively, you can get really up close and personal with yourself and get right up in there and see what’s going on. I think this is better for two reasons. One, it allows you to really figure things out for yourself. You can look it up all you want on the internet but the best way to figure it out is to really look every day. You’ll start to notice something and hopefully, if you keep doing it, you’ll start to notice a pattern! The second is because sometimes what’s really going on doesn’t really ‘show’ itself if you know what I mean. You really have to get in there to get a good sample of what you’re working with. 

Your cervix position also changes slightly through your cycle. This can be a more intimidating adventure for women who haven’t done it before but it can totally be done! Before ovulation the cervix will be more open and soft. You will notice the most difference in firmness between pre-ovulation and post ovulation. After ovulation the cervix closes up and becomes a little more firm ( think tip of the nose). If you can conquer these two adventures, then you have totally just mastered being a total babe who’s ready to make a baby!

If you’re journeying into this world and have been on the look out for a while and aren’t seeing anything as well as having an irregular cycle, there are definitely some things to do to help. It might be helpful to seek out a health practitioner that specializes in fertility and menstrual cycles. Herbs such as Vitex (Chaste Berry) can help to regulate your hormones. You could also try a hormone balancing diet ( the 21 day HE+LJ falls under this criteria) thinking about what you eat as well as how you are treating your body. I know first hand how frustrating this can all feel so if you’re really not seeing anything don’t despair! Think about what your limit is- what you will and won’t do before you take medication, because there is medication that your doctor can prescribe you to assist in ovulation ( most likely a medication called Clomid).

Know that your body is 100% amazing and that it wants to figure all of this out but that sometimes there is just that one thing out of whack. It can be really really hard to know what that one ( or three) thing is but if you stay patient and see the right practitioners hopefully you can get to a place where your cycle becomes more regular and your body starts to ovulate regularly on it’s own. 

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