So you’ve decided to have a baby. You start eating healthy, take vitamin supplements, stop taking those contraceptives, and generally brace yourself for the ‘good news’. In short, the general impression is that once all these boxes have been ticked, all you need to do is conceive and nine months later, the little one will be squalling in your arms. Then when it still hasn’t happened, someone tells you about fertility tests and ovulation test. And you think this is just a New Age fad that doctors want to thrust on their patients.

Pregnancy? You Can Make It Happen!

You’re right – but only about the first part. It is New Age, for the simple reason that these tests were not available earlier. But there is more to fertility tests than just diagnosis.

These tests can actually:

Help you conceive by planning your schedule

Diagnose any problem with the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus that may have gone undetected

Clarify why everyone else in your age group has had a kid or two and you are still waiting for that magical event to happen

At home fertility test There are some simple tests that you can do in the privacy of your home to ensure your fertility. Remember, the best time when the probability of conception is high is called the ‘Fertility window’. These 2-3 days are crucial with just the right conditions for conception. One can compute the fertility window by some simple observations:

  1. Keep a check on the consistency of the cervical mucus that is secreted. Notice that on some days (roughly a week to 10 days after your monthly period), the mucus becomes thin, less viscous, and stretchy. That’s the right time to conceive since it allows the sperm to reach the ovum effortlessly.
  2. The cervix becomes pliable and well lubricated.
  3. Check your body temperature over the menstrual cycle. The sudden rise in body temperature by 0.5°C to 1°C due to progesterone is common at the time of ovulation. Progesterone is a hormone that is also important for the release of the egg (ovulation), which will be available for fertilisation.
  4. Ovulation prediction tests tell you when the ovum is released from the ovary. Since the luteinizing hormone (LH) is responsible for ovum release, one can check for high levels of this hormone in the urine. Checking for oestradiol levels in the urine also are an indicator of ovulation. Both this tests are “strip” tests like the pregnancy test and can be easily done at home. A drop of urine needs to be placed at the “sample” end of the strip, and the appearance/non-appearance of a coloured band reveals the presence of the hormone in the urine. The intensity of the colour develops depending on the concentration of the hormone. Hence, only when the threshold concentration of the hormones required for ovulation are achieved will a positive reaction be seen.

These simple, doable tests can save you a lot of heartache. So even as you prepare yourself for the happy event, just make sure that you make it happen!