Understanding your fertility

What is fertility?:

Fertility is the ability to reproduce. Men who are fertile are able to father children, and fertile women are able to get pregnant and carry their baby to full term, with a live birth nine months after conception. This all happens naturally as a result of sexual intercourse.

When is a woman most fertile?

The days during each cycle when you are most fertile, and therefore most likely to get pregnant from unprotected sex, are the day of ovulation and the day before – these are the two days of peak fertility. There are also a few days before this when you experience high fertility and also have an opportunity to get pregnant. Outside this ‘fertility window’ of about six days, the chances of getting pregnant are low

What Is Ovulation?

Ovulation is the name of the process that happens usually once in every menstrual cycle, when hormone changes trigger an ovary to release an egg. In this article, we look more closely at this process and explain how you use this knowledge to help you to become pregnant.

When is ovulation?

Menstrual cycle length varies from woman to woman and from cycle to cycle but is typically between 23 and 35 days. Ovulation usually happens 12-16 days before the next period. Many women think that they ovulate on day 14 but this is just an average

Signs & symptoms of Ovulation:

  • Many women experience no ovulation symptoms. Women who experience symptoms find these can vary from cycle to cycle.
  • Some of the signs only occur after ovulation has happened which makes them of little help in predicting a woman’s fertile days in that cycle
  • The LH surge (detected by ovulation tests) happens 24 – 36 hours before ovulation

How long does ovulation last?

As ovulation is the release of an egg from an ovary it’s almost instantaneous – the follicle bursts and the egg is propelled very quickly into the Fallopian tube

How to identify your most fertile days?

There are only a few days (typically six) each cycle when you can get pregnant, the days leading up to and the day of ovulation. So, knowing when these days are in your cycle is key if you are trying for a baby. There are various signs and symptoms of ovulation and most methods of detecting ovulation rely on these to help you identify your fertile days. In this article, we look at these signs and symptoms and show how they can be used to help you:

Signs & Symptoms of ovulation?

  • LH Surge
  • Temperature rise
  • Ovulation pain (Mittelschmerz)
  • Changes in saliva
  • Changes in cervical mucus

Using these signs and symptoms to detect your most fertile days?

Ovulation tests

  • The calendar method Basal Body Temperature recording
  • Ovulation pain (Mittelschmerz)
  • Saliva observation
  • Cervical mucus observations

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