Learning to identify your most fertile days of the month has many benefits, not only can it help you get in touch with your body’s natural rhythms, but it can also help you to increase your chances of falling pregnant if you intend to. Your most fertile days are called your ‘fertile window’, and timing sexual intercourse during these days drastically boosts your chances of conceiving.
To identify your most fertile days you need to be aware of your own menstrual cycle and how it affects your bodies fertility. Here’s some information to help you find your ‘fertile window’.
The Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle is made up of different stages, each which determines your fertility. It is actually a myth that women can conceive throughout her entire menstrual cycle, in fact, women can only conceive during her most fertile days. But first let’s take a look at the cycle:
• Menstruation/Follicular phase – This is the beginning of the cycle and marks the point where the body releases the lining of the uterus. It generally lasts between three to seven days. Menstruation is also a period when the growth of follicles is stimulated.
• Ovulation – This phase occurs when luteinising hormone rises, stimulating the release of an egg. This is the shortest period of the cycle taking between 16 to 32 hours and ends with the release of the egg.
• Luteal phase – This period begins after ovulation and continues until menstruation. During this period the uterus prepares in case of an egg becoming fertilised, by thickening the uterus wall and the forming of corpus luteum, which releases hormones to maintain the thickened uteral lining. This phase generally starts on day 14 and lasts for around 14 days.
Ovulation is the point when an egg is released from the ovaries to the fallopian tubes. If sperm is present during this time, then there is a probable chance that the egg will be fertilised. But there are some factors that change the chances of conception:
• Sperm can live for around three to five days.
• Eggs only have a 12- 24-hour window to be fertilised outside of the ovary.
The fertility window is the days in which you are most fertile, or most likely to conceive during your menstrual cycle. This window starts in the days leading up to ovulation before the egg has been released from the ovaries.
Sperm keeps its ability to fertilise for an average of three days in the fallopian tubes, however, an egg survives for no longer than 24 hours. This means that if you want to conceive, to better your chances its recommend that couples have intercourse every two days throughout the fertile window.
For most women, this window lasts about six days, and although having sex during this period does not guarantee a conception, it does significantly improve the chances. Having sex the five days before ovulation and 24 hours after usually has a 20% to 37% chance of success.
The cycle of women’s periods may shift depending on numerous factors, including stress, weight loss, physical activity and other medical issues. These same factors could lead to continually irregular periods.
The best way to check that your cycle is regular is to mark ‘day one’ for every month and check your period’s length for four continuous months. An average menstrual cycle is 28 days, however, they can range from 21 to 35 days.
If you cannot track your period, you may need to talk to a doctor to rule out a more serious condition, however, irregular periods do not necessarily indicate a problem.
If you have any questions about your fertile window or would like to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.