Calculate your most fertile ways to get Pregnant

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Dr. Manu Lakshmi

4 Mar 2020

A woman is fertile only during certain days of the monthly cycle, that is just before and during ovulation. Ovulation is the process wherein ovarian follicles rupture and release one or more mature egg from the ovaries. By learning when ovulation occurs, a woman who has regular periods can calculate when she is likely to be fertile. Though regularity of menstrual periods vary from one woman to another, regular periods generally means having menstrual bleed every 21 to 35 days. A menstrual cycle tracker guides with approximate ovulation dates and fertile times to get pregnant for women who have regular periods. This is otherwise called the fertility calculator that predicts ovulation time to mostly increase chances of getting pregnant.

Tracking Menstrual Cycle Frequency:

The menstrual cycle begins on the first day of menstrual bleeding. Normally, bleeding lasts for three to five days differing from one woman to another. First day of menstrual bleed is to be noted as the first day of a menstrual cycle, second day of bleeding as second day of menstrual cycle and so on. The number of days of bleeding regularly is the menstrual period and the number of days from first day of the last period (LMP) to a day before your next period starts is the menstrual cycle. The average length of the menstrual cycle is 28 days but varies from person to person.

It is significant to note that spotting is not to be considered as a day of menstrual bleeding while tracking menstrual cycles specially when a woman is planning to conceive. Tracking should start with the day the continuous menstrual flow begins.  A woman planning to have a baby can record the first days of her monthly periods to know if they tend to come the same number of days apart every month, which is considered regular. The primary goal of tracking monthly periods is to estimate the length of the menstrual cycle and forecast the possible time of ovulation so as to plan an intercourse around the ovulation time.

Fertile Window

It has been derived from general data that days 10-18 on an average are the most fertile days of the menstrual cycle. As fertilization of the egg can naturally occur through intercourse only during 12-24 hours after the release of the egg, it is important to know the tentative fertile period in other words, the fertile window. The fertilization of the egg has to take place during part of the luteal phase, when a released mature egg travels through the Fallopian tubes towards the uterus. Male sperms, once ejaculated inside a woman’s vagina, can survive up to five days in the female reproductive tract. Hence, it is encouraged that regular sex from five days before and on the day of ovulation will improve the likelihood of conception.If the sperm successfully fertilizes the egg, the fertilized egg will implant in the uterus 6-12 days later. Otherwise, menstrual bleeding occurs and tissues from the inner lining of the uterus gets expelled as a subsequent period.

Monitor Ovulation

Women with regular cycles ovulate about two weeks before the arrival of their periods, meaning ovulation happens normally about 14 days before a period starts. If the average menstrual cycle of a woman is 28 days, ovulation takes place around day 14, and most fertile days would be days 12, 13 and 14. In a woman with average menstrual cycle of 35 days, ovulation happens around day 21 and most fertile days are days 19,20 and 21. There are several methods women can adopt to help determine their monthly fertile days. 

  • Ovulation-prediction kits available at pharmaceutical stores test urine for a substance called luteinising hormone that peaks each month during ovulation and triggers the ovaries to release an egg. Three days from the time of a positive test result are the best days for couples to have sex to increase their chances of becoming pregnant.
  • Cervical mucus tracking is another method to calculate the time of ovulation. The woman requires to regularly check the amount and appearance of vaginal mucus. Certain changes in the vaginal mucus during the course of the menstrual cycle indicates the time of ovulation and fertility phase. The most fertile time of the cycle is generally marked by increased amount of mucus that is thinner, clearer and more slippery. This is understood to help the sperm reach its way to the egg. Women who understand the changes and check their vaginal mucus to consequently have intercourse around the favourable time are more likely to get pregnant faster and easier.
  • Tracking Basal Body Temperatures (BBT) can be done at home using a special thermometer. BBT is the temperature when one first wakes up in the morning. Lowest readings of BBT are generally right before ovulation occurs. Readings rise by approximately half a degree a day during ovulation. Tracking and recording BBT over a few months can help to determine when ovulation occurs and most favourable to conceive. Under circumstances, other factors involved that can affect BBT are having a cold or any infection. Relying on BBT measurements in such cases would likely not be a good indicator of ovulation.
  • New technology tools that allow ovulation tracking and period calculator will share menstrual date for a year, fertility calendar, ovulation phase, fertile phase and estimated due date. These fertility apps and websites may be helpful for working women to keep a tab on the more likely time to conceive every month. Simple steps can process and calculate expected dates of monthly periods, menstrual cycles and download customised menstrual calendar for a year but studies reveal that they are not always accurate. These user friendly tools are better suggested for educational purposes and cannot replace or substitute professional health advisory. Always consult a gynecologist for fertility related queries.

Other tips for women who are trying to conceive naturally are:

  • To have regular sexual intercourse during the fertile window
  • To maintain a healthy body weight
  • Take prenatal vitamins
  • Healthy diet
  • To avoid strenuous workouts
  • Awareness on irregular/abnormal menstrual periods and fertility issues

If a woman is having irregular periods or is having difficulty in conceiving, it is best suggested to consult a gynaecologist for a complete medical evaluation and follow necessary management without further delay in order to avoid complications and infertility.

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Disclaimer: The content of this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem, and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a healthcare professional. If you have questions or concerns or you feel that you have symptoms regarding a health or medical condition, you are recommended to contact your physician or get in touch with for proper treatment.

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