- With Mayo Clinic obstetrician and medical editor-in-chief
Roger W. Harms, M.D.read biographyclose window
Roger W. Harms, M.D.Roger W. Harms, M.D.
"Nothing helps people stay healthy more than the power of real knowledge about health." — Dr. Roger Harms
As medical director of content, Dr. Roger Harms is excited about the potential for Mayo Clinic's health information site to help educate people about their health and provide them the tools and information to live healthier lives.
The Auburn, Neb., native has been with Mayo Clinic since 1981 and is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Harms is a practicing physician and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and his specialty areas include office gynecology, high-risk obstetrics and obstetrical ultrasound.
From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Harms was director for education at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dr. Harms was the 1988 Mayo Medical School Teacher of the Year and served as associate dean for student affairs and academic affairs. He is the co-author of the "Mayo Clinic Model of Education." In 2008, Dr. Harms was presented the Distinguished Educator Award, Mayo Clinic, Rochester.
Dr. Harms is vice chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and medical editor of the Pregnancy section on this website. In addition, Dr. Harms is editor-in-chief of the "Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy" book, a month-by-month guide to everything a woman needs to know about having a baby.
"My medical education experience has grown out of a love of teaching, and that is what this site is about," Dr. Harms says. "If any visitor to this site makes a more informed and thus more comfortable decision about his or her health because of the information we provide, we are successful."
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Ovulation signs: When is conception most likely?
Should I look for any particular ovulation signs if I'm hoping to conceive?
from Roger W. Harms, M.D.
Ovulation signs and symptoms are often subtle. Still, understanding when you're ovulating — and having sex regularly around the time of ovulation — can improve the odds of conceiving.
Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovary. Ovulation often happens around day 14 of the menstrual cycle, although the exact timing may vary among women or even from month to month.
Ovulation signs and symptoms may include:
- Abdominal cramps. For some women, ovulation triggers mild abdominal cramps.
- Change in vaginal secretions. Just before ovulation, you might notice an increase in clear, slippery vaginal secretions — if you look for it. These secretions typically resemble raw egg whites. After ovulation, when the odds of becoming pregnant are slim, the discharge will become cloudy and sticky or disappear entirely.
- Change in basal body temperature. Your basal body temperature, or your body's temperature at rest, increases slightly during ovulation. Using a digital thermometer or a thermometer specifically designed to measure basal body temperature, take your temperature every morning before you get out of bed. Plot the readings on graph paper or in a spreadsheet and look for a pattern to emerge. You'll be most fertile during the two to three days before your temperature rises.
In addition, you might want to try an over-the-counter ovulation kit. These kits test your urine for the surge in hormones that takes place before ovulation, which helps you identify when you're most likely to be ovulating.
To maximize your fertility, have sex once a day around the time of ovulation — particularly during the day or two leading up to ovulation.Next question
Sperm: How long do they live after ejaculation?
- Welt CK. Evaluation of the menstrual cycle and timing of ovulation. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 1, 2010.
- Welt CK. The normal menstrual cycle. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 1, 2010.
- Hornstein MD, et al. Optimizing natural fertility in couples planning pregnancy. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 1, 2010.
- Natural family planning. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp024.cfm. Accessed Oct. 1, 2010.