Tracking is the First Step to Getting Pregnant with PCOS:
If you have PCOS and are trying to get pregnant, then tracking your cycle is vital! Knowing if and when you are ovulating is the first step to know when it’s time to try to conceive.
Ovulation is the one time during your cycle that you have the chance to get pregnant. PCOS ovulation is often infrequent and without careful tracking is often missed.
When hormones are in balance cycles are usually 28 days long, with day one being the first day of your period. In this case ovulation generally occurs on day 14 of you cycle. Once you ovulate you if you do not conceive that month your period will start 14 days later. If you have irregular cycles or have tried several months without getting pregnant, then it’s time to start tracking.
It is important to note that ovulation occurs prior to a true period. This means that by the time you get a period you already missed your chance of conceiving until the next erratic time your body has a “real” cycle.
At this point many women turn to ovulation predictor kits (OPKs). OPKs test for LH (Luteinizing Hormone), looking for a sudden spike of this hormone to indicate ovulation. With PCOS, OPKs are usually a waste of money. LH is one of the common hormones that is out of balance. This leads to false positive or inconclusive tests. I find that opks ultimately lead to confusion, frustration and more stress when trying to conceive.
The Best Way to Track Your Cycle with PCOS
So what is the best way to track your cycle and maximize your chances of conceiving?
Tracking your basal body temperature, BBT, is the best way to get in touch with your cycle and your fertility.
You can learn more about how to track your BBT here.
I also recommend keeping tabs on your cervical mucus. This method is not as accurate as BBT. PCOS cervical mucus can appear fertile throughout the month. with no correlation to ovulation.
BBT will alert you to ovulation pretty much as it is occurring where as cervical mucus gives you a bit more warning.
Cervical mucus can be either, absent, wet, white or the consistency of egg whites. The egg white consistency mucus is what you are looking for to indicate ovulation is approaching or occurring.
BBT and becoming aware of your body’s other signs, such as cervical mucus, will provide the clearest picture possible without lab tests and ultrasounds on a monthly basis. This will allow you to know when you are in your fertile window and it’s time to try and conceive.
I have to caution you though. Before you run out and start tracking and analyzing your cycle every which way to Sunday. Consider your emotional health. Fixating on your fertility will not get you pregnant faster. Instead focus on health, and use these tracking tools as a measure of how much healthier you have become.
Emotional health is the reason I love OvuSense. Not only is it a clinically proven fertility and ovulation monitor designed to detect your 8-Day fertile window. But OvuSense tracks your core temperature while you sleep. No more waking up at the right time to record your BBT and add your temperature to an app. instead you can place the sensor each night and only check your data periodically. Being able to step away from the numbers, in and of itself, is therapeutic for repairing your fertility.
Track your basal body temperature each morning. (you can check out the exact steps to do that here)
Also, track your cervical mucus and your periods even if they are irregular
Combining this information will provide insight into what is happening with your fertility. Then we can adjust treatment as needed to improve your chances of pregnancy each month.
Ashlene Korcek PA-C
Hi there! I’m Ashlene Korcek, the PCOS Mama and founder of Nourished to Healthy
I help women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome balance their hormones naturally so that they can take back control of their bodies, boost their fertility, and ultimately live free from the symptoms of PCOS. Like you, I have PCOS, I was diagnosed while struggling with infertility and was told I likely would never have children. Even as a board-certified Physician Assistant I felt lost about what to do and very alone! Fast forward 5 years and I have 3 healthy children, but I never want another woman to feel lost and alone the way I did!
You can break free from the downward spiral of PCOS and feel amazing in your own skin again!