After five days on clomiphene, you’ll stop taking the drug. Cervical mucus should be relatively thin, watery, and stringy at this stage, but for some women on clomiphene the mucus may become whiter and thicker, according to Anita Sadaty, M.D., attending physician in obstetrics and gynecology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York. This is the most fertile time, since pregnancy is more likely to occur when the sperm is already present during ovulation.
Prolonged high estrogen levels cause a rise in LH, which disrupts the follicles and directs the dominant follicle to prepare to release an egg.
About 36 hours after the LH surge, the egg will be released into the fallopian tube—ovulation.
After releasing the egg, the follicle, which is now called the corpus luteum, starts to send progesterone into the bloodstream, causing the uterine lining to thicken and prepare for embryo implantation. FSH and LH levels drop. Elevated progesterone increases body temperature by about one-half to one degree above baseline, and it should stay that way for at least 7 to 10 days.
If the egg is fertilized the embryo will implant, and progesterone and estrogen levels will remain steady to prepare the uterus to nourish the fetus. Progesterone causes the cervical mucus to thicken, blocking the entry of sperm or bacteria into the uterus. Progesterone also keeps body temperature elevated. If the egg is not fertilized, the production of estrogen and progesterone slowly declines.
Estrogen level decreases and progesterone production rapidly drops. If you’re not pregnant, body temperature declines, and your period will start tomorrow.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Summer 2005 issue of Conceive Magazine.