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    Ovulation Calculator: The Beginners Guide to Healthy Hormones and Fertility

    Posted by: Gillian Day BHSc. Comp Med, Adv Dip Nat, AFMCP Grad

    Ovulation Calculator: The Beginners Guide to Healthy Hormones and Fertility

    Whether you’re trying to get pregnant, trying to not get pregnant, or just wanting to make sure you have a healthy menstrual cycle; understanding if, and when you ovulate is critical for your hormonal health. That is where an ovulation calculator comes in handy.

    What is ovulation?

    Ovulation is the ‘big kahuna, the top dog, the big enchilada, the head honcho! You get what I’m trying to say. Ovulation is the ‘main event’ of your menstrual cycle and occurs when an egg is released from your ovary. Once an egg is released each month, the follicle the egg was contained in becomes what’s known as the ‘corpus luteum’ which produces progesterone in the 2nd half of your menstrual cycle. Progesterone helps to make you feel calm and at peace, therefore maintaining health ovulation is necessary to put you in pole position to make ALL of the hormones needed to be healthy. Progesterone stays quite high for a couple of reasons;

    1. if you’re in the first stages of pregnancy, progesterone will continue to be secreted until the placenta can take over this vital function around week 12 of pregnancy
    2. if/when the body realises it’s not pregnant, progesterone will drop just before your period; which can make you feel agitated; however the drop in progesterone will signal the body to kickstart oestrogen, egg development – and your next monthly cycle.

    Benefits of healthy ovulation

    Ovulation is vital for fertility; however scientific literature continues to show us that ovulation is critical in your golden years (post menopause) for preventing;

    • Osteoporosis
    • Stroke
    • Dementia
    • Heart Disease
    • Breast cancer

    In addition, ovulation is important in your fertile, or menstruating years to support;

    • Good mood
    • Energy
    • Libido
    • Metabolism
    • Proper function of the thyroid gland
    • Glowing skin and hair

    Ovulation Symptoms – How to detect ovulation in your body

    Having a regular period is yes, a good indicator of ovulation, however it is not the only sign that you have in fact, ovulated. You can easily have a period after having an anovulatory cycle. There are a couple of ways to track your ovulation. They include;

    Fertile Mucus

    Mucus is up there with the word ‘moist’ when it comes to cringe worthy words; however, your mucus is an incredible indicator towards healthy ovulation and fertility. There are essentially 4 types of mucus you need to be mindful of, however; the key ovulatory, or fertile mucus is clear, stretchy mucus and may resemble clear, raw egg white. This type of mucus provides the prime environment for sperm. This mucus is generally in abundance from days 10-14 of your cycle (note; this is based on a 28 day cycle)

    BBT – Basal Body Temperature

    Our menstrual cycle is governed by hormones. Based on a 28 day cycle…… The first 14 days are driven by oestrogen. The 2nd 14 days are driven by progesterone. This sharp rise in progesterone causes our temperature (basal body temperature; BBT) to rise. It’s quite common for women trying to conceive (TTC) to measure their temperature every morning.

    Mid-luteal phase blood test

    Based on the hormones oestrogen and progesterone that run the show (see above) I suggest my clients wanting to either track their ovulation or track their fertility to schedule a blood profile known as; day 2-5 and a day 21 hormone profile. This blood profile is taken twice in the menstrual cycle (on either day 2, 3, 4 or 5 (not on all 4) and then again on day 21) and will generally measure the following hormones; Oestradiol (e2), progesterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinising hormone (LH) and prolactin. Measuring these identical hormones again on day 21 should indicate a mid-cycle luteal phase rise in progesterone at this time. What to do if you don’t have a 28 day cycle?? You are not alone! More than 50% of my clients are in the same boat and either have shorter, longer or varied cycles. Here, further investigation by your health care practitioner is required to figure out the correct test or panel to complete. I’ll be writing more about irregular cycles next week, so stay tuned……

    Period tracker

    Tracking your menstrual cycle is easier than ever before with a number of quality apps on the market to give you immediate insight into your cycle, ovulation and general health and wellbeing. My personal favourite is Natural cycles; https://www.naturalcycles.com Please share your favourite below, I’d love to know about it!

    Main obstacles to healthy ovulation (no-one searching under this heading?)

    The Pill

    Ladies remember; a pill bleed is not the same as a regular bleed on your menstrual cycle! Hormonal birth control uses synthetic versions of progesterone and/or oestrogen that are actually very, very different to the way these natural hormones behave in our bodies. This is a complex subject so to read more (before I write more soon), our book; The Pill provides a wealth of information for you. Obviously, being on the pill is a very personal choice, but I’m a big believer in if you’re going to put medication in your body (and yes – the pill is a medicine!) then you want to educate yourself as best as possible so you can make your most informed choice; and of course know the risks.


    Polycystic ovarian syndrome is generally categorised by having irregular periods due to insulin resistance and secreting too many male/androgen hormones (e.g. testosterone). You can read more here.


    Having even a slightly underperforming thyroid gland can interfere with a woman’s cycle and is a common cause of irregular periods. It’s very important to get a comprehensive thyroid panel ordered and assessed by your healthcare practitioner.

    Ways to improve healthy, regular ovulation

    Your menstrual cycle demands a lot of energy on the body and many key nutrients are needed for it to function optimally. Here are my top pics!

    Vitamin B6

    It’s great to take the B vitamins as a family (i.e. B complex; Gill link!) however B6 in particular is a star performer as it has been shown in research to lengthen a short luteal phase. It may also lower prolactin. High prolactin levels can stop you ovulating.


    Iodine is a controversial subject when it comes to the thyroid. There are many ways it can be beneficial (e.g. ovarian cysts, PMS symptoms), however there are also ways it can be detrimental  so it’s important to not self prescribe here. Make sure a health care practitioner has had your iodine levels properly assessed to ensure you don’t have Hashimoto’s or thyroid autoimmunity. After this, I generally suggest 500mcg daily.


    What a marvel this mineral is and I could talk about the benefits of this mineral all day! However, specifically for the menstrual cycle, a lack of magnesium contributes to many PMS symptoms such as bloating, migraines, cramping and breast tenderness. I normally recommend 200mg taken once or twice daily. Should you have a PCOS diagnosis, Magnesium is a must have as it helps improve.


    1)      Zinc regulates cycles and promotes ovulation and regular ovulation is the key to a healthy, happy menstrual cycle. 2)      Zinc inhibits a particular enzyme that stops us producing male hormones or androgens. Too many androgens can stop us ovulating. 3)      Zinc is incredible at killing bacteria, including acne breading bacteria. 4)      Zinc works beautifully with selenium and iodine to promote healthy activation of thyroid hormones. 5)      Zinc, as a powerful anti-inflammatory, can be extremely beneficial for those who suffer with endometriosis and period pain.


    Selenium has a number of key roles when it comes to healthy ovulation. They include; 1)      It supports the corpus luteum (remember this produces progesterone in the 2nd half of our cycle…). 2)      As a powerful antioxidant, Selenium protects the thyroid gland from toxins, particularly heavy metals. 3)      Converts inactive thyroid hormone T4 to active thyroid hormone, T3. 4)      Lowers thyroid peroxidase antibodies which are linked to the autoimmune condition, Hasmitotos. 5)      Important in fertility as selenium helps healthy follicles and healthy eggs develop. Selenium is required in very small doses, which is very important as too much doesn’t equal more benefits and as selenium can be quite toxic in high doses so keep a supplemental dosage of Selenium to 150mcg per day.

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