Calculating your fertile window can be a tricky thing to do. It is important to understand what is going on in your body to fully maximize your fertility window.
So let’s take a few minutes to go through what’s going on in your body throughout your menstrual cycle. On average, a woman has a 28-30 day cycle. For sake of numbers, we will use the twenty eight day cycle for this explanation. What goes on within your uterus and ovaries varies during different parts of your cycle.
The first day you get your period is considered day 1 of your cycle. An average period lasts 5 days. So your period should be cycle day 1-5. This is when your uterus is shedding then lining called the endometrium, that built up during the end of your last cycle.
The next part of the cycle is called the follicular phase. This is still prior to when ovulation happens and technically starts on day one of your cycle as well. It goes from day one to day thirteen of your cycle. The follicular phase is when the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, thickens preparing for implantation. The ovaries are deciding which one will produce the egg this month.
Mid cycle, cycle day 14 is when ovulation is to occur and an egg is released. This is the FERTILE window! Some doctors say you should have intercourse the day before and the day after this day, day thirteen and fifteen of your cycle in order to make sure the egg meets with sperm and can begin the process to fertilize and work its way down the Fallopian tubes and into a nice thick endometrium for implantation.
After ovulation occurs, you enter the luteal phase. This is cycle day 15-28. Here is when the endometrium continues to thicken and hopefully become the new home to a fertilized egg.
Now that you are a little more educated about how your cycle is made up of different components, you need to figure out exactly how long the different phases are for your personal cycle. Some women have shorter cycles or longer cycles, changing the days that you would expect ovulation. If I’m not on medication to regulate mine, I can have a cycle that comes once a month to once every three or four months. Hello, trying to conceive hell! Writing down and tracking the length of your cycles can help you figure yours out and will be something that your doctor needs to know as well if you are having trouble conceiving. You can also chart your basal body temperature to pinpoint which cycle day you tend to ovulate each month. More on how to do that HERE. Another thing you should also be tracking each cycle to determine fertility and point of ovulation is your type and amount of cervical mucous. If you need more information on how to do that and what it means, check out THIS page.