Understanding the menstrual cycle
Healthy couples have an 85% chance of conceiving after one year. That’s mainly because the timing has to be correct. Each menstrual cycle begins on the first day of the period. This cycle varies with each woman, lasting an average of 28 days, with bleeding in the first 5 days. About 14 days after the first day of menstruation, the ovulation period starts. Ovulation is the release of the egg from the ovaries, which can happen within the next 14 days.
The two phases of ovulation
Ovulation happens in 2 phases. Starting from the first day of menstruation, women go through the 14-day pre-ovulatory phase. Here, the body releases hormones, like FSH, LH, and estrogen. These hormones help create the egg and prepare the ovaries for the egg’s release. The next stage is the ovulatory phase. When the ovaries release the egg, the egg moves to the fallopian tube to be fertilized by awaiting sperm. This gives a short window of about 12-24 hours for fertilization. If the egg is not fertilized, the uterus lining prepares for menstruation again.
Timing is Everything
An egg can last for about 24 hours while sperm lasts about 3-5 days after leaving the body. Based on the life cycle of the sperm, this period is 2-3 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. In some cases, pregnancy can happen 2 days after ovulation. In other words, the most fertile period should be from days 12-16. The timeframe is moved in a longer 32-day cycle.
Get to know your body
With this information in mind, there are a few tips hopeful couples can use to make conceiving easier. The first step is to understand individual menstrual cycles. The general timeframe between periods should help here. Remember, cycles differ from the average 28 days to 21-35 days. Track ovulation using a diary, calendar, or even an app by placing the relevant dates.
Take a test
There are ovulation kits that can track luteinizing hormone (LH) in a woman’s urine. Tracking LH levels is a good sign of when ovulation will happen. These kits can be purchased over the counter and offer a more accurate prediction of LH. Use the LH test 1-2 days before sex for the best results.
Health is wealth
A healthy lifestyle is highly recommended to encourage a successful conception and eventual pregnancy. Exercise, a nutritious diet, and reducing alcohol consumption can help. Also, having a healthy BMI is linked to conception rates and can increase ovulation by 10%. Finally, reducing stress is essential for ovulation. These steps, along with the right timing, can increase the chances of conceiving.
Take the guesswork out of conceiving
Knowing the body and understanding ovulation can help with pregnancy. Ovulation usually happens about 14 days after the start of the period. At that point, there is a window of just a few days within the month to conceive. The best way to know the window is to track ovulation. If that has not brought results after a year, visiting a specialist or doctor can help.