When trying to conceive, you need to determine the days you are the most fertile for successful conception. The first step is to know the length of your cycles. Twenty eight days is thought to be standard, but this can vary among women. Keep track of your cycles to determine the average length. Your cycle is counted from the first day of one cycle to the start of the next.
Many people believe a woman ovulates two weeks after the start of her period. In reality, it’s fourteen days before the start of the next cycle. In a 28 day cycle, this would also be fourteen days after the last period started, but this is only the case if you have a 28 day cycle. You need to subtract fourteen days from the number of days in your cycle. For example, if you have a 26 day cycle, you will ovulate on day 12. If you have a 32 day cycle, you will ovulate on day 18.
This information is very important for timing intercourse around your most fertile days. If you think you will ovulate on day 14, but in reality have a 26 day cycle, you could miss your window of opportunity.
Determining your fertile days is more difficult if your cycle is irregular, but it can be done. You will need to track your cycle for several months to get an idea of the range of your cycle. Then you will have a range of possible fertile days. For example, if your cycle ranges from 26 to 32 days, your fertile days will be anywhere from day 12 until day 18. Try to have intercourse a minimum of every 48 hours over these days to increase the odds of conceiving.
There are other methods of determining ovulation. One is ovulation predictor kits that can be purchased in the drug store. These are easier, but can be expensive. You test your urine every morning to determine ovulation.
Another method of tracking ovulation uses your basal body temperature. For this method, you will need a basal body temperature thermometer and a chart. Some come with charts. With this method, you take your temperature first thing every morning. Your temperature will rise a few days around your fertile time. Your most fertile days occur just before this rise in temperature. You will need to track this for several months to get a pattern.
Checking your cervical mucus is another way to determine when ovulation is approaching. Hormonal changes near the time of ovulation produce changes in your cervical mucus. Your body will make more to help the sperm along and the mucus will be thinner and more stretchy. This generally happens about three to five days prior to ovulation.
The most effective way to determine your fertile days is to use a combination of methods. Tracking your cycle on the calendar may be a good way to determine ovulation, but combining this with other methods will be much more reliable. Using the calendar, basal body temperature and checking your cervical mucus will give you more information. A variety of methods can give you a better indication of your most fertile time and increase the odds of successful conception.