Once of the first steps in knowing how to get pregnant is to understand your fertility cycle. This sounds like a simple thing but it is amazing how many women do not really understand their menstrual cycle. The reason for this of course is that most of us spend many years trying to avoid getting pregnant. So when we finally decide to try to conceive, we are often surprised to find that it is complex process that needs perfect timing!
Length of Fertility Cycle
Generally, a woman’s menstrual cycle lasts about 28-29 days. The cycle starts on the first day of their menstrual flow. In a textbook case, ovulation usually occurs on day 14 of the cycle. However, this can vary depending on how long your cycle is. Therefore if a woman has a 35 day cycle, she’ll generally be ovulating on day 21.
However, not all women work like a textbook so it is therefore a good idea to keep a record of your menstural cycle and record any bodily changes that may occur during your cycle.
Some things to make note of during your fertility cycle are:
- Changes in body temperature – rises in body temperature indicate that ovulation has occurred.
- Amount, texture, colour and consistency of cervical mucus. Mucus that has a raw egg white appearance that appears clear and slippery indicates that ovulation is imminent.
- Position of cervix at different times of your menstrual cycle – a low position tends to indicate fertility
- Changes in mood, libido, appetite or sleep patterns may also be a sign of ovulation
- Ovulation test results if you are using any ovulation test strips or microscopes
Generally, once you chart your cycle for a few months you will start to develop a good idea of when you ovulate. This pattern is generally consistent for each women, although from time to time ovulation may be delayed if you under undergoing stress.
Once you can identify when you are most likely to ovulate, you can then start timing intercourse to occur every two to three days before ovulation. Ideally, you want the sperm to be waiting to meet the egg. This is because an egg is believed to only live for about 12 hours while sperm can survive up to 5 days. Your chances of conception are higher if the sperm are waiting to meet the egg rather than have the egg waiting for the sperm – remember sperm often have to travel a long and difficult journey to get to the final destination. Therefore understanding your fertility cycle is critical. If you are having problems with your menstrual cycle and are finding it difficult to predict the best time for conception, there are some great tips to help you normalize your fertility cycle.