When you are trying to conceive, timing is everything. You want to make sure that you are doing everything possible to increase your chances of getting pregnant. One key factor in increasing your chances is knowing when your fertile window is.
This blog post will teach you everything you need to know about the fertile window and how to calculate it naturally!
What is it?
Your fertile window is a specific time during your monthly cycle when you are most likely to get pregnant. Your monthly cycle is defined as the start of one menstrual cycle to the start of another menstrual cycle.
The amount of time for your monthly cycle can vary from 21 – 35 days for a normal range and short or longer for more irregular periods. Irregular periods, specifically those longer in length are often difficult to pinpoint a specific fertile window but it is still possible.
Why do you have a fertile window?
Your body goes through changes every single day and during your fertile window, these changes are more drastic. These changes affect the production of eggs and cervical mucus which can impact fertility.
During your fertile window, your body is producing eggs to mature for ovulation. This is called the follicular phase of your cycle. The eggs mature in follicles and are released during ovulation.
Your cervical mucus also changes during your fertile window. This is due to an increase in estrogen which makes the mucus more plentiful, clear, and slippery. This type of cervical mucus is ideal for sperm to travel through and fertilize an egg.
When is it?
The fertile window also known as the follicular phase occurs after the menstrual phase of your cycle.
How long does it last?
The fertile window lasts for up to five to six days. This is the time when you are most fertile and have the highest chance of conceiving.
What happens beforehand?
Before your fertile window, you have your period, followed by dry days in your cycle where no cervical mucus is present. This is followed by days of increased mucus which indicate the fertile window has begun.
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Calculating Your Fertile Window Naturally
There are a few different ways to calculate your fertile window. The most common way is by tracking your basal body temperature (BBT) or cervical mucus changes.
You can also use an ovulation predictor kit (OPK). These kits measure the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. LH is what triggers ovulation and causes the release of an egg from the follicle.
You can begin using an OPK about four days before you think you will ovulate. You will continue to use the kit until you get a positive result, meaning that LH has been detected in your urine.
Once you have a positive result, you will ovulate within 12-36 hours.
If you are not using an OPK, you can track your cervical mucus changes or BBT to calculate your fertile window.
Fertile Window Symptoms
Cervical Mucus: You have probably heard of cervical mucus before but you may not know exactly what it is or why it’s important. Cervical mucus is a fluid that is produced by the cervix. It changes throughout your cycle, becoming more plentiful and slippery around ovulation. This is due to an increase in estrogen levels.
You can track your cervical mucus changes by checking your underwear or using toilet paper to wipe after you urinate. Check for wetness, stretchiness, and color.
You should see an increase in cervical mucus a few days before ovulation. This is the time when you are most fertile.
Check out this post: Quick Guide: How To Increase Cervical Mucus Naturally
Basal Body Temperature: Your basal body temperature is your lowest body temperature in a 24-hour period. It is usually measured first thing in the morning after you wake up and before you get out of bed.
You can track your basal body temperature by using a special thermometer that is more sensitive than a regular thermometer. You can also use a fertility tracker app on your phone.
Your basal body temperature will increase after the time of ovulation, so it’s more of a way to confirm ovulation and signify the end of your fertile window than to determine when ovulation is approaching.
Fertile Days After Period
The best way to calculate your fertile days after your period is by checking your cervical mucus. Once you transition from dry days to having cervical fluid then your are in the fertile window.
Fertile Window Calculator
Online and app-based fertile window calculators just give you an estimate of your fertile window. Unfortunately, apps don’t take into account that every woman’s body is different and cycles vary month to month.
The only way to get an accurate calculation of your fertile window is by tracking your cervical mucus or basal body temperature.
Best Timing for Conception
If you are trying to conceive, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances.
First, you should obviously baby dance during your fertile window. This is the time when you are most likely to get pregnant.
Second, you should baby dance at least every other day leading up to ovulation. This will ensure that there is sperm waiting and being nurtured by your cervical mucus once your egg is released.
How many days does ovulation last?
Ovulation lasts for 12 to 36 hours. Waiting until ovulation to baby dance is a common mistake women make when trying to conceive so knowing your fertile window will help that much more.
When the Fertile Window Closes
Once your egg is released, it can only be fertilized for 12 to 24 hours. After that, the egg begins to degenerate and is no longer viable.
What happens after the fertile window?
After ovulation has happened your body signals everything else to close up shop. Mucus dries up, your cervical position changes and your hormones start to produce progesterone for the two-week wait.
If you have not conceived during your fertile window, do not despair. You can try again next month. If you have been trying to conceive for a year or more with no success, you should consult a fertility specialist.
They will be able to help you figure out what is going on and increase your chances of getting pregnant.
This blog post was all about the fertile window.
If you have any questions about your fertile window or how to calculate it, please leave a comment below. I would be happy to help you out!
Blessings and baby dust!
Octavia Steen is an NBDA certified fertility doula, health coach, certified fitness nutrition specialist, aspiring missionary with the COGIC, and owner of Mother Mindset. She helps future and current mamas become more consistent in faith + fitness and grow closer to God so they can create a healthier lifestyle from the inside out!