Are you planning for a baby and want to get pregnant at the earliest? The key to getting pregnant quickly is to know when you are most fertile, and when is the best time to have intercourse. How can one find out which these days are? Here is your guide to fertility calendar and getting pregnant.
1. After intercourse, the sperm stays alive in the woman's body for up to 5 days, and sometimes for a week!
2. After ovulation, the egg lives for 4-12 hours (24 hours maximum.) But the best chances of conceiving are between 4-6 hours after ovulation (release of the egg from the ovary.) When the egg is released, if the sperm is already there in the woman's body, she can still conceive even if she doesn't have intercourse after ovulation.
This means that it is not only the couple of days around ovulation that you are fertile. There is a pretty large window available to you in your cycle when you can have intercourse and hope to conceive.
For a period of three-four months, note the length of your menstrual cycle. Day 1 of the cycle is the day on which you get your period. Number the following days consecutively, (as Day 2, Day 3... Day 28, Day 29) until the day of the next period, which is again Day 1. The number you have got on the previous day gives you the length of your cycle. After a few months of charting, you will be able to determine the average length of your cycle.
If your menstrual cycle is fairly regular, you should be able to ascertain the day you generally ovulate – for most women with regular menstrual cycles, this is usually the midpoint of their cycle. So, for example, if your cycle is 30 days long, you are likely to ovulate around Day 14-Day 16. Your fertility window would start around 5 days before your Ovulation Date, and you are likely to remain fertile up to 2-3 days after you ovulate. So for a 30-day cycle, your fertility window is between approximately Day 9 to Day 19.
Here are free ovulation calculators available on the internet, which will do your calculation for you.
But for some women, the cycle is not regular. It can vary quite a bit, and in such cases, it is not that easy to draw up a fertility window. But don't fret! There are many other ways to do this.
Many women can tell just by noticing small signs that they are ovulating. A dull pain on one side of the lower abdomen, mild cramping, breast tenderness, mood swings, and an increased sex drive – all these are indicators of ovulation.
Just before ovulation, the average temperature of the body dips a little, and then increases after ovulation, and stays a little high for the rest of the cycle. By measuring your body's temperature over a long period, you can observe those days where the temperatures change, and confirm that you are ovulating. But because this temperature variation is very slight, you need to use a sensitive digital thermometer, measure your temperature before you get out of bed in the morning, and also chart it over a long period, if you want accurate results.
One of the sure-fire indicators that you are ovulating is the consistency of your cervical fluid. You can use a tissue or a clean finger to swab your vagina and test the fluid.
a. A few days after the period – there is some fluid, but it is sticky, cloudy and rubbery.
b. After a few days, the fluid becomes wet and white – This is the start of your fertile period.
c. Finally, when the fluid becomes slippery, clear, and stretchy, somewhat like an egg-white, you will know that you are ovulating, and this is your most fertile period. This fluid increases during this time to aid the movement of the sperm into the cervix.
This method of keeping track of your cervical fluid is very useful because it indicates even the days before ovulation where you are fertile.
These kits are now commonly available in the market, but they tend to be expensive! They test the luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. Just before ovulation, there is a surge in the amount of LH. Once this test is positive, you will know that you are going to ovulate shortly. So, have intercourse the day you get a positive result, and the day after that, for the best chance of conceiving. This kit doesn't indicate the days preceding ovulation, though.
Choose the method that suits you best, or a combination of these methods, and identify your fertile period. And then, go for it
Explore the entire collection of articles: Planning a Baby
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