When is a women fertile?
Are you planning for pregnancy and looking to get your timing right? Then you need to figure out your fertile window--the period where a woman has the highest chance of conceiving. Your fertile window will be different from others and it is important that you identify your own fertile window.
Your window of fertility depends on the maximum combined lifespan of both sperm and egg, which is typically a window of 6 days. These days are the 5 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. This is because the sperm can survive in the female reproductive system for up to 5 days after sexual intercourse and the egg can survive for around 24 hours after ovulation. Even though the egg can only survive just for one day, intercourse that took place within the 5 days before ovulation occurs or on the day of ovulation, can result in fertilization of the egg. It is these 6 days where you are the most fertile.
Here is a rough way to track your ovulation and fertile window.
The first day of your period is day one of your menstrual cycle and the day before the start of your next period is the last day of your menstrual cycle. This is how you determine how long your menstrual cycle is. The average length of a menstrual cycle is 28 days. However, some women can have cycles as long as 35 days or cycles as short as 21 days. This really varies from person to person.
Ovulation occurs about 2 weeks before the next period. Let’s say your average menstrual cycle is 28 days long. This means that you are likely to ovulate around the 14th day of your menstrual cycle.
There are more accurate ways to figure when you will be ovulating exactly. These include:
- Change in the vaginal discharge – When you are close to ovulation, you will notice a change in the nature of the mucus discharge from your vagina. The mucus will be clear and slippery just like the consistency of egg white. This is the most promising sign of ovulation.
- Basal body temperature – Recording your basal body temperature on a chart every day will help you to find out when you are ovulating. During ovulation, your body temperature rises by about 0.5 C. When you see this rise in temperature, your fertile window has already passed, but you have a better idea of the exact day of your menstrual cycle that you are likely to ovulate.
- Use an ovulation predictor kit (OPK).
Once you know when you ovulate, calculating the fertile window is simple. For example, if you ovulate on day 14, then your fertile window will be day 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 (remember, the fertile window is the 5 days before the ovulation plus the day of ovulation). However, you will be most fertile around 2 days before ovulation and on the day of ovulation itself. So you will be most fertile on the days 12, 13 and 14.
Your fertile window will vary depending on the length of your menstrual cycle