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Predicting Your Fertility
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The best way to ensure you get pregnant is to be aware of the fertile time of your menstrual cycle, and have sex during this time, every month. Some women use a combination of body temperature monitoring, mucus examination and the calendar to predict it.

A woman is fertile from 4 to 5 days before ovulation until 24 hours after ovulation. However, the most fertile time is the day before and the day of ovulation. A sperm can survive after ejaculation for 72 hours and an egg can only be fertilized for up to 24 hours after ovulation. Ovulation often occurs at the midpoint of the menstrual cycle (days 13-15 of a 28-day cycle), but this is not the case with women who have irregular cycles. The best bet is to think that between the 10th and 17th day is when you will be ovulating. Some subtle signs of ovulation include:

  • A rise in basal body temperature (your temperature when your body is resting)
  • A change in vaginal mucus from thick and paste-like (non-fertile) to clear and slippery like raw egg white (fertile)
  • Mittelschmerz, a dull or sometimes sharp pain in the lower abdomen or side

If you have irregular periods or a difficult time pinpointing your ovulation, monitoring your basal temperature may help. You can purchase a special BBT (basal body temperature) thermometer and take your temperature every morning when you wake up to note any changes. Usually, your BBT will be at its low point one day before ovulation, and you’ll notice a rise within 24 hours after ovulation. It’s best to take your BBT early in the morning, when you’re still in bed because moving around will increase your heart rate and your body temperature. Most women keep the BBT thermometer on their nightstand for easy access.

Many women opt for the easier and more effective method of fertility prediction found in the array of home ovulation predictor kits available at pharmacies. These kits will help you keep track of the changes in your menstrual cycle and guide you through conception. Ovulation kits detect the luteinizing hormone present at the onset of ovulation—an effective method for knowing when your ovulation is about to start.

Click below to read about related topics.

Introduction
Tips for Healthy Pre-Conception
Pre-pregnancy Nutrition
Predicting Your Fertility
Genetic Counseling
Problems with Conception