How To Track Your Period
In just 3 months, you can get a picture of whatâs normal for you by tracking your periods. Keep a record of:
- When your period starts and when it stops
- How light or heavy your flow is
- Whether or not you passed any blood clots
- How frequently you change pads or tampons
- How severe your cramps are
- Changes in mood
What This Study Adds
The timing of the fertile window is highly variable, even among women who regard their menstrual cycles as regular
More than 70% of women are in their fertile window before day 10 or after day 17 of their menstrual cycle
There are few days of the menstrual cycle during which some women are not potentially fertile
Regarding the second assumption, the evidence for fertile days after ovulation comes from studies using crude measures of ovulation . With more precise measures, the fertile window does not seem to extend beyond the day of ovulation.1,2 It follows that women reach their fertile days earlier in the cycle than suggested by current guidelines. For example, women with regular 28 day cycles are most likely to be potentially fertile on days 8-15 of their menstrual cycle .
When Is The Best Time To Have Baby
The best time to have sex to conceive can be hard to pinpoint exactly. So, your best bet is to have sex on the days around and during what you believe is your fertile window, as there’s no completely accurate method to to use at home to detect precisely just before you are about to ovulate. It’s possible for an ovulation predictor kit, body temperature charts, and cervical mucus patterns to all indicate a slightly different ovulation day.
In a study of people with regular, 28-day cycles, ovulation occurred most commonly on day 15 after the start of the last menstrual period , followed by day 16 LMP and day 14 LMP . Researchers found a 10-day spread of observed ovulation days even among a group of people with “clockwork” cycles, and a similar variation for people whose cycles were a little longer or shorter.
Another group of researchers set out to pinpoint the most commonly fertile day in the menstrual cycle across the general populationincluding those with irregular cyclesusing menstrual period surveys and ultrasound measurements rather than ovulation signs. They found a sharp rise in the probability a person will conceive beginning at day 7 LMP, reaching a maximum probability of conception of 13% at day 15 LMP. By day 25 LMP, the statistical probability of conception is zero, according to the data.
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Using Ovulation Calculators And Kits
Ovulation calendars and kits can also help you predict ovulation.
Ovulation calendars are available on websites such as www.yourfertility.org.au, and use the date of your last period and the length of your cycle to predict when you are likely to be most fertile.
Home ovulation predictor kits are available from pharmacies. You use the kit a few days before your predicted ovulation day, to test for a rise in the level of a hormone called luteinising hormone in your urine. A positive result indicates you will ovulate within the next 24 to 36 hours.
A blood test, which your doctor can order, can also detect ovulation by measuring levels of the hormone progesterone.
If you are trying to get pregnant, there are also a number of other things you should consider, such as taking folate, maintaining a healthy diet and making sure your vaccinations are up to date.
For more information and support, call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436.
Tips For Getting Pregnant
- Find out when you’ll ovulate using our calculator or an ovulation predictor kit, or by tracking your symptoms.
- Have sex every other day around the time of ovulation.
- Start taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid at least one month before you start trying .
- See your healthcare provider and make sure they’re managing any pre-existing health conditions you may have. Staying up-to-date with vaccinations and regular check-ups and testing can lower the risk of complications during pregnancy.
- Take good care of yourself. You’ll want to kick unhealthy habits like smoking and start incorporating regular exercise into your routine if you aren’t exercising already. Eating a healthy, nutrient-dense diet can help, too.
BabyCenter’s editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you’re seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.
ACOG. 2019. Fertility awareness-based methods of family planning. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Fertility-Awareness-Based-Methods-of-Family-Planning
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How Does The Menstrual Cycle Work
- Your cycle starts on the first day of your period and continues up to the first day of your next period.
- At the same time, eggs begin to mature in the ovary.
- The lining of the womb thickens ready for fertilisation.
- During ovulation your cervical mucus becomes thinner and clearer to help the sperm reach the released egg.
- About 10 to 16 days before the start of your next period, an egg is released from one of the ovaries .
- If sperm is present at the moment of ovulation, or some time during the next 24 hours, the egg may be fertilised.
- If the egg has not been fertilised, the egg is re-absorbed by the body, the hormone levels drop, and the womb lining is shed. This is the beginning of your next period.
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Got It So When Can You Have Unprotected Sex
Just kidding . In general, your period is the part of your cycle when youre least likely to make a baby. But regardless of timing, its impossible to be 100 percent sure that unprotected sex wont result in pregnancy.
If you have a 28-day cycle that runs like clockwork, your fertile window lasts for about 6 days mid-cycle . Your safest bet for unprotected sex is a week or so after ovulation just before, during, or just after your period.
But and were sounding like a broken record you could still get pregnant if you have an unpredictable cycle, if you have short cycles, or if you have sex within 5 days of your fertile window .
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What Is The Basal Body Temperature Method Of Determining Fertility
Basal body temperature is your temperature at rest as soon as you awake in the morning. A woman’s basal body temperature rises slightly with ovulation. So by recording this temperature daily for several months, you’ll be able to predict your most fertile days.
Basal body temperature differs slightly from woman to woman. Anywhere from 96 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit orally is average before ovulation. After ovulation most women have an oral temperature between 97 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit. The rise in temperature can be a sudden jump or a gradual climb over a few days.
Usually a woman’s basal body temperature rises by only 0.4 to 0.8 degrees Fahrenheit. To detect this tiny change, women must use a basal body thermometer. These thermometers are very sensitive. Most pharmacies sell them for about $10.
The rise in temperature doesn’t show exactly when the egg is released. But almost all women have ovulated within three days after their temperatures spike. Body temperature stays at the higher level until your period starts.
You are most fertile and most likely to get pregnant:
Two to three days before your temperature hits the highest point 12 to 24 hours after ovulation
A man’s sperm can live for up to three days in a woman’s body. The sperm can fertilize an egg at any point during that time. So if you have unprotected sex a few days before ovulation, you could get pregnant.
What Is The Normal Period Cycle Length
Period cycle is the number of days between periods. Because it may vary from woman to woman, its important to calculate whats normal for you.
Lets say you normally have period every 30 days. This means that your period cycle length is 30 days.
The truth is, most women do have periods every 28 days. So, understanding whats normal for you is important to predict when after period you will ovulate.
To calculate period cycle length, you have to monitor or chart the first day period starts for about six months.
To check if your cycle is regular, count the number of days between periods. Though its possible your period cycle will be either longer or shorter in some months, you can tell if its regular or not.
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What Is Already Known On This Topic
According to clinical guidelines, the average woman is potentially fertile between days 10 and 17 of her menstrual cycle
This assumes that ovulation occurs exactly 14 days before the onset of the next menses, and that the fertile window extends before and after ovulation however, these assumptions are based on outdated information
Buy An Ovulation Predictor Kit
Donât want to mess around with mucus? You donât have to. Many women use ovulation predictor kits, which identify the date of ovulation 12 to 24 hours in advance by looking at levels of luteinizing hormone, or LH, the last of the hormones to hit its peak before ovulation. All you have to do is pee on a stick and wait for the indicator to tell you whether youâre about to ovulate. These approaches are more accurate than the use of apps which predict when you should be ovulating, but not necessarily when you are ovulating.
A less precise and rarely used approach is a saliva test, which measures estrogen levels in your saliva as ovulation nears. When youâre ovulating, a look at your saliva under the testâs eyepiece will reveal a microscopic pattern that resembles the leaves of a fern plant or frost on a window pane. Not all women get a good âfern,â but this test, which is reusable, can be cheaper than the kits.
There are also devices that detect the numerous salts in a womanâs sweat, which change during different times of the month. Called the chloride ion surge, this shift happens even before the estrogen and the LH surge, so these tests give a woman a four-day warning of when she may be ovulating, versus the 12-to-24-hour notice that standard ovulation predictors provide. The saliva and chloride ion surge tests have not been well studied and tend to be used much less frequently.
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What About Just After Your Period Ends
Youre dealing with the same scenario here. Its super rare to get pregnant a day or two after your flow, but you cant discount lurking sperm.
If you have a naturally short cycle 21 days or fewer unprotected sex just after your flow is risky. If you have longer cycles, theres still a chance youll ovulate sooner than usual.
Best Time To Have Sex To Get Pregnant
To boost your chances of conceiving, aim to have regular sex throughout your cycle so you know that there should hopefully be good-quality sperm waiting when the egg is released. An active sex life is all most people need to conceive.
If you know when you ovulate each month you can give yourself the best chance of getting pregnant by having sex in the days leading up to ovulation. Continue having sex during ovulation. After this your fertile time will be over for that cycle.
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Bonus: Is There A Way To Increase My Odds For A Girl Or Boy
While controversial in some circles, there is some science behind timing intercourse to sway a boy or girl baby. Under a microscope, male sperm tend to swim faster but also die sooner female sperm do the opposite . Having sex two to four days before you ovulate could slightly increase your odds for having a baby girl. On the other hand, having sex the day before or the day of ovulation may slightly increase your odds for having a baby boy. You can read more about how we swayed to have a girl.
As a side note: I had sex on the day of ovulation when I got pregnant with my son and three days before ovulation when I got pregnant with my daughter, so it did work for me. With my third child, I didnt think too much about it, but did end up having a girl. When I think back to when we had sex, sure enough, it was a few days before I typically ovulate.
How Many Days After Your Period Do You Ovulate
On average, a woman will ovulate about 14 days after her period begins. This is based on a 28-day cycle length and a 14-day luteal phase.
If your cycle is different than the average, youre better off counting backward 14 days from the next projected period. For example, if your cycle is 30 days long, you would ovulate 16 days after your period begins. Likewise, if you have an average 28-day cycle but your luteal phase is 16 days, you would ovulate 12 days after your past period began. This can all get a bit confusing, which is why an ovulation calculator and ovulation tracker is such a great tool. Just plug in your information and let the ovulation calculator determine your most fertile days, which are unique to your body.
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When You Are Most Fertile
The 5 days before ovulation, together with the day you ovulate, are the days when you are most likely to conceive. Sperm can live up to 5 days inside your body, so if you have sex up to 5 days before your egg is released, you can get pregnant. After ovulation, though, your egg can only live for 12 to 24 hours. After this time is up, your time for getting pregnant has gone for now till the following month.
Your chances of getting pregnant are at their highest in the 3 days leading up to and including ovulation.
Estimate Your Fertility Window With Our Easy
If youre trying to fall pregnant, the timing of when you and your partner have intercourse is critical.
IVFAustralia’s Ovulation Calculator will help you understand your fertile window or your window of opportunity to fall pregnant during an average menstrual cycle. You should be having sex every couple of days during your fertile window to maximise your chance of getting pregnant.
For our Ovulation Calculator to be the most accurate and useful, youll need to keep track of the dates of your recent menstrual periods.
Your cycle length is the number of days between the first day of bleeding of one period, and the first day of bleeding of the next. A woman’s menstrual cycle can vary from 23 to 35 days, with the average cycle length being about 28 days. If you have irregular menstrual cycles, calculating your ovulation date can be more difficult, but we suggest going by your shortest period date to ensure you dont miss your ovulation date. Ovulation urine tests can give you some idea of your fertility window, or you might find further advice from your GP or fertility specialist useful.
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How To Predict When Menstruation Will Occur Next
Now, you can calculate your period cycle length and know if its regular or not. If your period cycle is 28 days and regular, count forward 28 days from the first day of last period to get your expected next period.
Lets say your period is regular and comes every 28 days. If today is 1st of March and your period started now, you can predict your next period to start on the 29th of March. Easy, right?
How To Use This Ovulation Calendar Tool
- Pick a date on the calendar that matches the day you started your last period
- The calendar will display your estimated ovulation date, marking it in red.
- The days leading up to your ovulation date will appear marked in purple those are the days you are likely the most fertile.
- If you have records of how long your own menstrual cycle lasts, change the default number of 28 days in the dropdown menu in the results box for a more accurate calculation.
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What If I Have Irregular Periods
If you have irregular periods, meaning that your periods are outside of the 2135-day window or if your cycle intervals vary by more than seven days each month , you should speak with your Gyn/OB or a fertility specialist. This irregularity may be due to a hormone imbalance and could make it more challenging to get pregnant using natural family planning methods.
I Have Irregular Periods When Will I Ovulate
No matter the length of her period, every woman ovulates about 14 days before her next period. So, if you have a 28-day cycle, you’ll ovulate on day 14, and if you have a 32-day cycle, you’ll ovulate on day 18.
Mr Faris advises that the ovulation date in this case could vary, so “it would be useful to try regularly after the period and not to rely on the ovulation kits.” This is because, as Dr Matthew Prior says, “Having regular periods is the best sign of ovulation. In fact, fertility specialists may not even advise bloods to check if ovulation has happened because regular cycles are a sure sign of ovulation.”
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