Starting a family can be a momentous decision – both for you and your partner. Keeping a few important fundamentals in mind can get you going smoothly.
A woman can only get pregnant during the ‘fertile window’ in the menstrual cycle. Your chance of getting pregnant is dramatically increased if you have sex on the day of ovulation, or two days before that. There are about 6 days during each menstrual cycle when you are most fertile with maximum chance of getting pregnant. This is called your fertile window.
What is ovulation?
Ovulation is the release of eggs from the ovaries. It occurs about midway through the menstrual cycle. The days in which you will be most fertile can be calculated based on the date of your last menstrual period and the length of a typical menstrual cycle. The few days surrounding ovulation constitute your most fertile phase. The time from the beginning of your last menstrual period (LMP) until ovulation is, on average, 14 days. Ovulation happens about 14 days before your period starts. If your average menstrual cycle is 28 days, you ovulate around day 14, and your most fertile days are days 12, 13 and 14.
There is even more chance of a woman becoming pregnant if she has sex during the two days leading up to or on the day of ovulation. Women who have a period every 28 days will ovulate around day 14 and their best chance of conceiving is between days 11 and 14.
What is the ovulation calendar?
The ovulation calendar can be a helpful personal organizer to keep track of what’s happening to your ovulation cycle. As menstrual periods are different from woman to woman and month to month, it is recommended that you start an ovulation calendar. The calendar method helps you predict your fertile days by tracking the length of your menstrual cycles over several months to create a fertility calendar. It will help you track your ovulation and pinpoint the six-day window of each cycle when you are most likely to conceive.
Ovulation usually happens 14 days before your next period begins, but it can vary from month to month — even in women with regular cycles. The calendar method is most effective when you combine it with other fertility awareness methods, like the temperature and cervical mucus methods.