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When it comes to conception, timing is of the essence. As a woman, understanding your cycle and being intentional about when you have sex can help you immensely in getting pregnant.
Did you know that there is only a short number of days – or a “fertile window” – when a woman can get pregnant? Ovulation happens when the egg is released by the ovaries in each cycle. Generally, the fertile window is five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. Having sex during the fertile window leads to your best chances of getting pregnant.
Why is there such a short fertile window? It’s because an egg only lives one day after it’s released, and the sperm can only live five days inside a woman’s body. That’s why having sex in the five days before (and including) ovulation is the recommended action if you want to get pregnant. The sperm must fertilize the egg when the egg and sperm are still viable. There is nearly zero chance of getting pregnant outside this fertile window. Surprising, but true.
There are various ways to keep track of your ovulation times, some assisted by technology and others more natural:
1) Ovulation predictor kit – This works like a pregnancy test and you can pick one up at a grocery store or pharmacy. A positive result means you will be ovulating in the next 1-2 days.
2) Ovulation monitor – A more high-tech version of the ovulation predictor kit.
3) Basal body temperature – Since your body’s complete resting (basal) temperature will change because of ovulation, you can chart your body’s temperature in order to figure out when you’re ovulating.
4) Vaginal discharge – Your vaginal discharge changes from the usual clumpier texture to clear and slippery like an egg white a few days before ovulation. You can look for this sign of ovulation.
5) Cervical opening – When you’re approaching ovulation, your cervix will be high, soft, and open because it’s preparing your body for sex and conception.
6) Cycle length – You can make an estimate of your fertile window by calculating your ovulation day based on your period. It’s not an exact science, but it works well enough for some.
Get in touch with a fertility specialist at the Alabama Center for Reproductive Medicine – Alabama to better understand ovulation and to explore fertility treatments. Schedule a consultation at 205-315-6951.