We all know or must have at least heard that you need to be in your fertile window to be able to conceive and, for this, you need to know your ovulation period. Complicating it even further is the fact that the lifespan of your ovum is just 24 hours and even a day’s delay would negate your chances of conceiving that month. While this may sound pretty tricky, it is not all that complex to understand.
If you are reading this, you are probably trying to conceive and looking for answers here. While we won’t delve too much into the biological part, we would first give you a basic understanding of what ovulation and the fertile window is.
Ovulation is basically the period when your ovaries release a matured egg. This would normally happen between day 11 and day 21 of your menstrual cycle. However, while this range itself is wide, we are more concerned with the three-four preceding days leading to ovulation. This is when you would be the most fertile and have a greater chance of conceiving.
As we have already said, your ovum has a lifespan of 24hrs whereas the sperm has a lifespan of around five days. To increase your chances of getting pregnant, you must ensure that you have a sperm inside of you two to three days before the fertile period.
But how would you know if you are ovulating? This is a bit tricky as there is no-one single answer to this question. Every woman would have her own ovulation cycle. Here are a few pointers that would help you understand your reproductive cycle better:
Before ovulating, you would be able to observe the following:
• An increase in the thickness of your cervical mucus or vaginal discharge which looks similar to a thread egg white. This indicates you are in your fertile window.
• Softening and dilation of the cervix.
• Light to heavy cramping.
• You would also have an increased libido.
On the other hand, during and after ovulation, your libido would decrease with a rise in your basal temperature and decrease in vaginal discharge.
The best time to conceive would, hence, be during your fertile window or a few days before the middle of your menstrual cycle. You need to ensure that you have intercourse every 2 days during this period to increase the chances of the fertilization of your ovum.
Before you try to get pregnant, visit your medical practitioner to get your BMI checked and understand your chances at conceiving based on your health, age, and lifestyle.
Normally, if you have a 28 days menstrual cycle, you would be ovulating by the middle of your cycle. Your fertile window would vary based on how long or short your period was.
Irregular period, which is more than 36-days apart, needs immediate medical intervention. Other than that, irregular periods need not correspond to a difficulty to conceive.
Use an ovulation kit to know your fertile window. These kits work almost similar to the pregnancy kit and test for an increase in luteinizing hormone which indicates ovulation.
If you are unsure about your fertile window, try to have intercourse every 2-3 days before your ovulation period. This not only increases your chances of pregnancy but also increases the quality of the sperm. It helps if you visit your gynecologist when you plan to start your family and get all your queries and concerns pertaining to your ovulation period answered at the beginning itself.