Maybe you and your partner have made the big decision to have a child together, or at the least, you’ve decided you’re “not-not trying” anymore. Either way, it is important to understand your menstrual cycle and decipher when your chances are best for conception. We are here to give you a crash course on your fertility, by helping you figure out your fertile window.
Unfortunately, just because you want to have a child doesn’t mean it will be that easy. Most women can only conceive less than a week out of each month, particularly during the ovulation part of our cycles. Being able to recognize your monthly O (day of ovulation), will help improve your chances of conception. If you have not quite figured out when that day is each month, have no fear! Sperm can live inside a woman’s body for up to five days after intercourse, which means if you are intimate around five days or sooner before ovulation begins, you still have a chance of conception at prime time. Depending on your cycle, this can take place about two weeks before your next period, so plan accordingly!
Contrary to what your birth control pills may make it seem, your cycle actually starts on the day your period begins each month. The average cycle lasts 28 days and ends the day before your period starts again. Ovulation on this typical cycle would usually occur on the fourteenth day of your cycle, making you the most fertile on the twelfth through fourteenth day. However, some women can have cycles as short as 21 days and as long as 35. This means, ovulation could
occur on day seven or even day 21! Tracking your symptoms, especially your discharge, throughout the month will give you a better idea of when your fertile window occurs. Look for discharge that is clear and has an egg white consistency or try an ovulation predictor kit from the drugstore.
Since our menstrual cycles are easily thrown off by stress, weight loss or gain, and other factors, they won’t always function like clockwork. Track your cycle for several months and try to eliminate excess stress or vigorous workouts that might throw you off your trail. Lastly, make sure you are taking a prenatal vitamin because you and your partner could get lucky even before you’ve discovered your fertile window! Whether you are just starting to try, or have been
for years, it is important to prepare a healthy environment before conception to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible.
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