How to Know When You Are Most Fertileby Katlyn Joy | August 14, 2012 2:32 PM
When a couple makes the decision to start a family, often the excitement and anticipation turns to confusion. How do you know when the time is right for conception? How much planning is required in order to maximize your chances for a positive pregnancy test?
While a variety of testing methods and products do exist today to help you pinpoint your best days for fertilization, most methods are quite basic and simple and require little to no special equipment. Most merely need a commitment to charting and a consistent daily time for fertility planning.
Knowing Your Body
All methods require paying a great deal of attention to what is happening in your body. The first is a general awareness of possible clues to ovulation, such as a pain mid-cycle on one side of your lower abdomen, breast tenderness, increase in sex drive, and some women may see some slight bleeding. Being aware of what happens at each stage of your cycle each month will help you get an individual fertility picture. Every woman is unique but patterns should emerge with careful attention.
Just knowing the dates of when you started your last period, and how long you go on average between periods can provide some helpful conception info. For instance, while we think of periods as coming every 28 days, in reality women have a range of normal and you need to find out what your normal is.
For a woman with a 28 day cycle, her ovulation day would be generally right around day 14. If you have a 25 day cycle, subtract 14 days from it to arrive at a target fertility peak at day 11. For a 32 day cycle, you'd expect ovulation on about day 18. This is a general guideline, not a precise science.
Basal Body Temperature
Tracking your basal body temperature is a big help in pinpointing your most fertile days, and while it's not too complicated it does require a daily consistency in recording information.
You will need a chart to record your temperature, and perhaps other fertility info, and a basal body thermometer. This thermometer is made to record precise temperatures, or you may use a digital thermometer. You need to get specific since you will be looking for differences in temp in the range of a tenth of a degree.
You will take your temperature each day before getting out of bed and before you drink or eat anything. Consistency in timing will provide the most reliable record. When you approach ovulation your temperature will rise, and will stay elevated if you are successful at getting pregnant. If the temperature drops, it will signal the end of your cycle and the start of your period.
Cervical Mucus Method
In addition to temp charting, check your cervical mucus each day and note the consistency and quantity. Usually you will go from a few dry days immediately after your period, then a wetter time period. Around ovulation you will have a wet creamy cervical mucus that peaks with an egg white, slippery consistency at your most most fertile time.
To check, when going to the bathroom insert a finger into your vagina and then look at what you find. You must check at least daily or perhaps as often as every time you visit the toilet.Write that info down on your chart that you use for your temperature. You may code it such as D for dry, S for slippery, W for wet and so on.
Remember some things interfere with cervical mucus such as lubricants or douching. Also you will notice some changes in the day following sexual intercourse. Learning what is normal for you is the important thing.
Also note whether your cervix, which is at the top of your vagina feels dry and hard which is not fertile, or wet, soft and closer which indicates fertility.
By keeping careful records of what is happening in your body, you can pinpoint your best conception days. These records will also prove helpful if you have trouble conceiving, to give your doctor clues what might be the problem.
Keep detailed notes and make sure you account for any possible factors in unexpected changes such as illness, strenuous activity or medications.
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