Your Follicular Phase Is Considered Plastic Compared To Your Luteal Phase
That means it can commonly change in length, from cycle-to-cycle. If you know the length of your typical luteal phase you can count backwards to get an idea of when you ovulated. Changes in the length of your cycle are usually pinpointed in the follicular phaseâthe time it takes a follicle to reach the point of ovulation.
Itâs common not to ovulate on a regular basis when you first start menstruating. Itâs also common to have irregular ovulation just after pregnancy and breastfeeding, and during the years approaching menopause.
Difficulty Pinpointing Your Fertile Days
Timing your ovulation can become tricky since it may not happen on the same day or same time every month. The length of your cycle may change from month to month as well.
To start with, you will need to do some careful record keeping over a period of at least 3 to 6 months to have a more accurate idea of when you ovulate.
Even if you have charted your cycles for a few months and are fairly confident in the job of being your ovulation predictor, your ovulation may come earlier or later than predicted. This is because ovulation can be thrown off if you:
- Are sick.
- Have an imbalance in your hormones or irregular cycles.
- Are taking certain medications .
- Are having a disruption in your normal routines.
- Are drinking alcohol or smoking.
- Are have experienced a 10-15% increase or decrease from a normal level of body fat.
While Youre On Your Period
As any woman with a calendar and a bunch of best friends will tell you, the amount of days each woman spends menstruating can vary a lot.
Your menstrual flow may start to diminish and lighten in color, or turn brown towards the end of your cycle. It feels and looks like youre still menstruating, but your body is already gearing up for your next fertile time.
If you have sex towards the end of your period, you may actually be getting close to your fertile window, especially if you have a short cycle. Lets take a look at the math.
Say you ovulate early, about six days after your period starts. You have sex on the third day of your period. The sperm have no egg to fertilize, but theyre also in no hurry to die so they hang out, doin what sperm do.
A few days later, while theyre still swimming around, you ovulate and theyre drawn to that egg like a fish to water. One gets through, and there you have it fertilization has occurred as a result of period sex.
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What To Expect At Your Appointment
During your first visit with a fertility specialist, your doctor will ask a lot of questions about your history, to try to understand factors that may be making it harder to become pregnant. They may order some blood tests to try to understand any irregularities that might be keeping you from getting pregnant, and to make sure you are in the best possible health to become pregnant. Theyll also order a semen analysis on your partner though this wont be performed on the day of your initial appointment. Depending on your medical history, you might also plan an ultrasound and additional imaging to further explore. If you arent ovulating, your doctor may prescribe medications, including ones that can help induce ovulation. The best choice is very personal and your doctor will help you understand all of your options.
Wherever you are on your fertility journey, remember that approximately 85% of healthy women will get pregnant within a year of trying. For those who struggle to conceive, you can increase your chances by mixing love with science and seeing a doctor who specializes in fertility.
We want our patients to feel as comfortable as possible during this emotional and sometimes stressful time. Our team is committed to providing the most caring, compassionate, and leading-edge fertility care available.
When Do I Take An Ovulation Test
You can test any time of the day, but itâs best to do it at the same time each day.
Ovulation test kits recommend picking a time when you havenât urinated for 4 hours before testing, or had excessive fluid intake. LH typically rises in the morning, between 4â8am . If you test before it first rises, you may get a negative result that day, but you should still get a positive result the next day. If youâre trying to detect the earliest rise of LH, or if you’re having trouble getting a positive result, try testing at different times throughout the day and see what works best for your body.
Let’s support one another.
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Which Method Works Best
Its hard to say which method truly works better than another.
Charting your BBT may be impacted by a number of factors that influence your body temperature, like illness or alcohol use. In one study, charting only accurately confirmed ovulation in 17 of 77 cases . Keep in mind that in a year of typical use, 12 to 24 out of 100 people will get pregnant while using fertility awareness methods, like charting, to prevent pregnancy.
Fertility monitors, on the other hand, boast the potential to increase your chances of pregnancy with just one month of use. Still, these tools might not work well for everyone.
Talk with a doctor about your options if you:
- are approaching menopause
Is There A Certain Time Of Month To Have Intercourse For The Best Chance At Getting Pregnant
Absolutely. “Because sperm lives for three to five days, conception is more likely to occur when intercourse happens a few days before ovulation,” says Dr. Hakakha. Most women ovulate at midpoint in their cycle. So, if you have a typical 28-day cycle, you’ll ovulate 14 days after your last period began. If your cycle is longer, say 34 days, you’ll ovulate around the 20-day mark. Every woman is unique, so it’s helpful to track the length of your cycles to better anticipate ovulation. To take the guesswork out of predicting your fertile window, some doctors recommend having intercourse every other day. “If this seems difficult for you, and believe me it is for a lot of women, you can always purchase an ovulation predictor kit and have intercourse only when indicated on the test,” says Dr. Hakakha.
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Determining The Best Time To Have Sex To Conceive
So, your fertile window may last up to 10 days, but clearly, if you want to get pregnant, you want to have sex as close to ovulation as possible.
How can you time sex for your most fertile days during your fertile window?
There are many methods of tracking and predicting ovulation. Your best options include ovulation test kits , body basal temperature charting, and checking for fertile cervical mucus. An ovulation day calculator may also help provide an estimate, but isn’t always most accurate of methods.
That said, research has also found that timing sex for pregnancy can cause excessive stress in some couples. Timing sex for conception may be good for getting pregnant but not great for your relationship. That’s important to consider.
According to the research, having sex when you have fertile raw-egg-white-like cervical mucus is the best way to time sex for pregnancy.
Another option is to have frequent sex and not worry so much about the exact ovulation day. But again, this can put more strain on a relationship than may be warranted and isn’t a reassuring option for those who have been trying for some time or know there may be an underlying fertility problem.
Unless you are in the midst of fertility treatments, and your doctor has asked you to have sex on a particular day or set of days, you may want to consider dropping ovulation detection.
Can You Ovulate More Than Once During A Cycle
A woman should not ovulate more than once during each cycle. This is due to a careful balance of hormones and their levels it takes just the right timing and release of hormones to bring on the release of a mature egg. Therefore, she cannot get pregnant more than once during a cycle. Remember, if you are not using a tracking method such as OPKs, basal body temperature, or cervical mucus, there is no guaranteed way to pin down the day you are ovulating. Many period tracking apps will give you your day of ovulation, but this is only an estimation of when it might happen. Thus, two days after the predicted ovulation day may not be a safe day to have sex to avoid pregnancy, since its possible that you have not actually ovulated yet.
Multiple ovulation is another phenomenon that can occur and is when two or more eggs are released in a single cycle. The eggs are released during one 24 hour period and are responsible for the birth of fraternal twins. It is believed that this may occur in as many as 5-10% of all cycles but does not result in that many twins due to a type of miscarriage referred to as the vanishing twin phenomenon.
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How Does Fertility Differ On The Pill
Birth control pills aim to prevent unintended pregnancy. The pill prevents pregnancy by releasing synthetic hormones that stop ovulation from occurring and the uterus lining from thickening.
So, even if the ovaries do release an egg, a fertilized egg would be unable to implant in the wall of the uterus. The pill also thickens cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to reach an egg.
According to the CDC , the pill is more than 99 percent effective with perfect use but only 91 percent effective with typical use. This means that, with typical use, around 9 out of 100 women would become pregnant in a year of taking the pill.
Dont You Ovulate On The 14th Day After Your Period
This is a myth that many, including healthcare professionals, still believe. The 14th-day thinking appears to come from either taking the average of when all women ovulate or from just dividing the 28-day cycle in half. This is not an accurate way to calculate ovulation because many women do NOT ovulate on the 14th day of their cycle.The day of ovulation differs from woman to woman and can even be different from month to month for an individual woman. For a woman with a 28-day cycle, the window of ovulation is day 11 through day 21 of your cycle. Ovulation could occur on any one day during this window.
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What Does Ovulation Spotting Look Like
To draw a line between ovulation spotting and menstruation, one has to look at the color and amount of discharge. With ovulation spotting, the color ranges from light pink to brown. It does not contain red blood clots and, if they are there, they will be very few.
On the other hand, menstruation will be a deep red color and very heavy such that it requires a sanitary towel or tampon to keep clean.
If you see such a color and according to your menstrual cycle it is around ovulation time, then all is well. However, if you feel any vaginal itchiness or a dark brown discharge that has a foul smell to it, then a visit to the doctor is warranted.
Right After Your Period Ends
Many women look forward to having contraception-free sex right after their period ends. Its true that its unlikely youll get pregnant a day or two after menstruation stops, but given the lifespan of sperm and the challenges around predicting ovulation exactly its not at all impossible.
This is especially true if you ovulate earlier than you usually do, or if you have a naturally short menstrual cycle of around 21 days.
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I’m Dying To Know If I’m Pregnant How Soon Can I Use A Pregnancy Test
When you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s tough to resist testing early but there’s no point in forking over cash for expensive pregnancy tests until you’re sure you’ll get an accurate reading. Over-the-counter tests are very sensitive and can detect the pregnancy hormone in urine by the day of your missed period –and sometimes a day or two before your expected period, says Dr. Hakakha. If you test any sooner than that, you’ll probably get a negative result even if you are pregnant. If you get a negative result on the day of your expected period but your cycle hasn’t started, try repeating the test in 48 hours. Most urine tests are accurate a week after your expected period. For the best chances of getting an accurate result, test using your first morning urine, as it contains the highest level of hCG.
How Ovulation Works: The Basics
Tiny eggs develop in sacs called follicles in your ovaries. Follicles develop for several months before they are ready to release their egg, . At any given time, there are follicles at several stages of development in your ovaries .
Early scientists once mistook the follicle for the egg itself.
Follicles undergo incredible changes leading up to ovulation, developing many parts and layers, each with their own functions. Most follicles, though, will never reach ovulation, dying off at different phases of development or pre-development.
At the beginning of each menstrual cycle, a few developing follicles are considered candidates for that cycleâs ovulation . By about midway through the follicular phase, one follicle becomes dominant.
Just like a superstar athlete being selected from the pack, all resources then go to preparing that single follicle, and the other potentials die off.
When the follicle is ready, it releases its egg. The egg travels out of the ovary and is taken up by the fallopian tube . After its release, the egg has about 12â24 hours to be fertilized by sperm in the fallopian tube. If the egg isnât fertilized within this short window, it begins to degrade. If it is fertilized, it travels to the uterus over the following 6â12 days, to possibly implant for pregnancy .
The details we don’t learn in school are pretty fascinating.
This first part of the cycle is called the follicular phase .
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How Many Days After Your Period Do You Ovulate
According to Ob/Gyn Dr. Tami Prince, MD, “Ovulation, which is the release of an egg from the ovary, usually occurs approximately 14 days prior to the next period.” Count the number of days from the first day of your period to the day before you next period to determine the length of your cycle. Then subtract that number by 14 to determine what day after your period you will ovulate. If your average menstrual cycle is 30 days, you will ovulate 16 days after your period starts .
Predicting ovulation is not foolproof, meaning there can be a margin of error in pinpointing the exact time of ovulation. Prediction can be off by at least 2 days.
An egg moves from the ovaries, through the fallopian tubes, and implants itself on the uterine wall.