By guest blogger Fertility Within Reach (Helen Denise). Reproduced with permission.

My life has been filled with both good and really bad surprises.   Having an ectopic pregnancy completely changed my life and career. I will never forget the unbearable pain, sleepless nights and complications from surgery. It set me on a journey to help and educate other women on fertility and ovulation.

I know that millions of women wake up in the morning with questions such as: “Can I become pregnant today?” “Is today a safe day not to get pregnant?” “When can I get pregnant?” “Am I pregnant?”

 If you ask doctors how to get pregnant faster or the best time to conceive, their answer is simple: “you should know your ovulation cycle”. To be more specific, they will say, “You should know your OWN ovulation cycle.” Many of us still don’t understand why it’s so important for a woman to know this information. That is why I want to share with you five benefits of tracking your ovulation.

We are all a part of nature and there are so many ways to live naturally. For example, eating healthy foods and exercising. The same can be said for natural family planning. Ovulation is a natural process inside a woman’s body and can take 5 to 8 days. As women, our bodies contain the pregnancy hormones Estrogen and Progesterone. Our ovulation cycle directly depends on our health and the hormone balance in our body. Any problems with these pregnancy hormones can cause issues in our lives such as infertility and difficulty keeping a baby.

I believe that one day there will be a course in school to educate girls on how and why consistently monitoring their ovulation cycle is a good habit. In the meanwhile, I want to share with you the five benefits of ovulation tracking.

#1 Your general health:  You can discover any irregularities sooner. This is especially true for young women who are just entering sexual maturity. Early symptoms can be identified before they become a serious issue.

#2 Natural and healthy family planning: You can increase your chances of conceiving. A record of your ovulation cycle is very helpful information to identify when you are most fertile. Every woman’s ovulation cycle is unique to her and different from other women. Fluctuations can also occur monthly. Knowledge about your cycle will help you to plan your pregnancy and pinpoint the right time when you can conceive naturally.

#3 Avoid unplanned pregnancy: Many birth control methods are not 100% accurate and some actually have a very high failure rate. For example, the failure rate for some pills is 7% and condoms 16%. At these levels, you are taking a chance. That’s why checking your ovulation in addition should be a daily habit to help avoid an unwanted pregnancy.

#4 Schedule activities around your ovulation: Maybe you don’t know, but it’s been scientifically proven that women feel and behave differently when ovulating because of hormone changes. You will probably want to plan some important events like business meetings or vacations, according to your ovulation cycle. Tracking your ovulation will be very helpful.

#5 Understand and control your body: Last but not least, another benefit of tracking your ovulation is to better understand your body and how it functions.  Knowing your body can help you avoid unnecessary stress and medications that you don’t really need. 

Ovulation tracking can also assist in preventing an ectopic pregnancy. For example, if you are over 40 and regularly track your ovulation cycle, you will know when you conceive and contact your doctor. He or she will then start supervising your care at the earliest stage of pregnancy, identify any irregularities and move any eggs growing halfway in your fallopian tubes. According to a survey, 1% of women over 40 have experienced an ectopic pregnancy fertility issue.

If you find that you need more information on your body, how it functions and how it affects your fertility, contact Elliott at 617-834-4235 or elliott@insightbrookline.com.  Also be sure to visit www.fertilitywithinreach.org for valuable resources on living with infertility. 

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