A delicate balance of several hormones controls the menstrual cycle. You can use these hormone levels to start Tracking Ovulation.
The menstrual cycle starts on the first day of the menstrual period. During this time all hormone levels are low. This is the beginning of the Follicular Phase.
Around the end of the menstrual flow there is a rise in Estrogen. Estrogen helps to thicken the lining of the uterus. Shortly after this there is a rise in the Follicle Stimulating Hormone. This causes the egg to start to mature.
About 12 to 36 hours before ovulation there is a big increase in the level of the Lutenizing Hormone (LH). This is the hormone that the home ovulation test kits test for. LH tells the egg to get ready to leave the ovary.
Shortly after the egg leaves the ovary, in a process called Ovulation, there is an increase in the heat-inducing hormone Progesterone. This is the hormone that raises your Basal Body Temperature and lets you know that you have ovulated.
The Corpus Luteum is a yellow ball of cells that is formed after the egg is released from the ovary. The Corpus Luteum lives for approximately 14 days and this is what causes the progesterone to stay high so that you do not shed your uterine lining. This part of the cycle is called the Luteal Phase.
If implantation does not occur by the end of the Luteal Phase then the Corpus Luteum dies and the levels of Estrogen and Progesterone drop and the menstrual period starts and the cycle begins all over again.
If a fertilized egg implants into the uterus it will, shortly, create a rise in the hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG). This will cause the increased rise in progesterone and cause the uterine lining to remain intact. HCG is also what pregnancy tests test for.
This explains how the hormones work in a nutshell. It is very complicated and if there is a variance in the amount of hormones that are required then it can make it difficult to become pregnant. Using the above scenario of how the menstrual cycle works, I will be explaining some techniques to determine when ovulation will and has occurred. Up above is a picture of how the hormones work in the menstrual cycle.
There are many different methods that you can use to determine when ovulation will and has occurred. A few of these methods take some time and work to learn and master, others do not take much work but may cost money. You can determine what method is best for you after reading the following pages.