What is my fertile period?
Fertile period is the time during a woman’s menstrual cycle when sexual intercourse during this period increase the chance of a pregnancy. Your fertile days are about 5 days before ovulation (as the sperm could survive for 5 days in the women’s body) and the last 2 days after ovulation. The ‘peak fertility’ period is the day before and the day of ovulation.
How do I track my fertile period
Tracking your ovulation may require you monitoring your menstrual cycle for several months and noticing changes that occur in your body. There are 4 methods to track your ovulation:
- Body basal Temperature: This will require you to monitor your temperature every morning. At ovulation, your body releases the hormone called progesterone which increases your body temperature between 0.4 to 0.8 Degrees Fahrenheit. The reason for this increased in body temperature is to create a warmer, fertile environment for the fertilized egg.
- Cervical Mucus: This will require you to monitor the changes that occur to your cervical secretions. Prior to ovulation your cervical mucus will increase and become clear and slippery.
- Ovulation Predictor test: This will require you to monitor the surge of the hormone LH. Usually the test detects the LH hormone in your urine.
- Calendar method: This will require you to monitor your menstrual cycle to predict ovulation.
How do I monitor my basal body temperature (BBT)?
a) Get a chart to record your temperature either from books or on the internet which is easier.
b) Start taking you BBT from Day 1 of your menses. You must remember several rules:
- Take your BBT at the same time every day (plus minus half an hour)
- The instant you wake up you need to place the thermometer into your mouth. You should not get up, sit up, walk around or go to the toilet.
- You need to have had at least 3 hours of sleep prior to taking your BBT for it to be accurate.
- Illness or stress may affect the accuracy of your BBT.
c) Note as well on your chart: Days you had sexual intercourse, cervical mucus changes or illness or stress that may have occurred.
d) After completing the BBT, you may identify your ovulation based on the pattern seen on the BBT. You may n otice after ovulation, there is a raised in body temperature. In some women, they may notice an obvious dip in temperature on the day of ovulation. If this dip is present, you could have sexual intercourse on that day to increase your chances of getting pregnant. If not, you could have sex two to three days prior to the day your temperature normally rises.
e) By doing several cycles of monitoring your BBT, you will be able to predict your fertile days. You do not necessary need to have sex on the day of ovulation to get pregnant. You could plan to have sex every other day the week before you expect ovulation.
How do I monitor the changes of my cervical mucus (secretions)?
You could check the cervical mucus changes by either using your fingers or toilet paper. During your infertile days the mucus tends to be light or sticky which later changes to more profuse clear and slippery watery discharge during ovulation. Some women describe this mucus changes as raw white eggs.
How do I use the calendar to time my fertile period?
Count back 12 to 16 days from the expected first day of your next menses. This will give you a range of possible days that you are ovulating. In order to know this, you need to have regular menstrual cycle and monitor your menstrual cycle several months.
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