Observe your body: Calculate fertile days
If you desire a child, the most sure way to conceive is to know the days in your cycle which you are most fertile. The concept is simple yet so important: track you cycle and calculate your fertile days. Timing is everything! In fact, an ovum can only be fertilized between12 to 24 hours during a menstrual cycle. The reason that pregnancy is possible with seven days of ovulation is because sperm can live for about 5 to 6 days. To improve the chances of pregnancy, it is advised that a woman is most fertile during the three days prior to her ovulation day, when the egg is dropped into the fallopian tubes. This ensures that sperm are still alive and waiting to find an egg to fertilize but also doesn’t impose the risk of missing the window of opportunity if calculations are off by as little as 24 hours.
How do I know when I am most fertile?
To determine the fertile cycle phase, there are some useful tools such as a cycle calculator, cycle calendar or fertility calendar. These are available in the form of apps, templates or calendars. But even these are only useful if you give them the exact and necessary data needed to determine fertility. Even then, since the body is not a machine, they won’t always be 100% accurate.
For this reason, it is highly advisable to be aware of your body, fertility, and symptoms which can be used to calculate fertile days. The body is a fascinating organism that can clearly communicate when we are fertile and when we are not. Being able to interpret these signs and symptoms makes pregnancy become a little bit easier.
How does the body change during the cycle?
The fertility of a woman shows itself during the cycle by three very clear signs.
1. Change in the consistency of vaginal mucus
2. Change in basal body temperature (morning body temperature)
3. Change in position and condition of the cervix
As you may have noticed, the consistency and color of your outflow changes over the course of each cycle. This is the first indicator to determine your fertility.
The more fertile you become, the clearer, more transparent and jelly-like the vaginal discharge will be – that’s the cervical mucus. After ovulation, the mucus changes again — it becomes drier, thicker and more white.
At the same time your body temperature changes. In the first half of the cycle, the temperature is lower than in the second half. Around the middle of the cycle, a short temperature drop is followed by a significant increase in temperature (your ovulation!). The temperature remains higher until the onset of menstruation and then drops again with the onset of bleeding. The temperature rise is only about 0.5 degrees C and 1 degree F.
During the ovulation cycle, while both temperature rises and cervical mucus changes to a transparent and sticky fluid, the cervix position also changes.
The third indicator of your fertile phase is your cervix because it is changing over the course of your cycle. The cervix can be felt very easily by inserting your fingers into your vagina. You can lift one leg and use lube for a bit more ease. At the back of the vagina, your long finger should locate a small circle with a dimple. This is your cervix. At the beginning of the menstrual cycle, the cervix sits very lowand feels very firm like a cherry. The closer to ovulation you become, your hormones prompt the cervix to move higher up and the softer it becomes. During the fertile phase, this little cherry with a dimple will feel as soft as an earlobe.
All of these observations can help to determine your fertile days and help you navigate the best days for intimacy. These symptoms can easily be collected on a cycle sheet or in an app for an organized and more accurate way of tracking your fertility. Besides identifying fertile days, you become more in tuned with your hormones and natural body changes. It’s really exciting to see those changes!
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