You want to get pregnant and increase your chance of pregnancy? Then it makes sense to deal with the cycle and the fertile days. We show you what you should know about the fertile days and how to recognize them.
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The Female Cycle
A woman’s cycle is on average 28 days long. However, it varies between 21 and 35 days and many women have an irregular cycle. The more regular the cycle is, the easier and safer it is to determine the fertile days.
The first day of the female cycle is the beginning of the period. Accordingly, the cycle begins with the shedding of the endometrium from the previous cycle. Also, the maturation of an egg begins in one of the two ovaries.
It is surrounded by a sheath, the follicle. In the middle of the cycle – about 14 days before the next menstrual period – the egg has finished maturing and ovulation occurs. The follicle bursts, releasing an egg that is ready for fertilization.
It travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus. From this point, there are 12-24 hours to fertilize the egg. The remaining egg membrane becomes the corpus luteum, which releases progesterone, stimulating the uterine lining to grow. It is prepared for implantation of the egg.
If fertilization does not take place, the level of progesterone drops again. The egg cell and the formed endometrium are rejected with menstrual bleeding and thus a new cycle begins. If the egg is fertilized, it divides and nests in the uterine lining on approximately the 6th day after fertilization.
Fertile days are the days in the female cycle when you can get pregnant. They refer to a period of a maximum of 6 days. Although the egg can be fertilized only 12-24 hours after ovulation, this does not mean that sex can lead to pregnancy only during this period.
About 3-5 days before ovulation, the fertile days begin and continue until 12-24 hours after ovulation, which is also called ovulation. Right on the day of ovulation, the probability of pregnancy is highest.
Fertile days are longer than the possible period for fertilization of the egg, because sperm can survive in the female body for 3-5 days. So it is possible to get pregnant if you had sex five days before ovulation. Outside the fertile days, sperm survive only about 2-3 days in the woman’s body.
Together with the day of ovulation, this results in 6 days on which a woman can get pregnant per cycle. In fact, the chance of getting pregnant is about 20-30% per cycle.
Increase The Chance Of Pregnancy
If you and your partner want to have a baby, you can increase the chance of pregnancy if you know your cycle well. Then you can work on your desire to have a child specifically on your fertile days.
By the way, the best time to have sex is just before ovulation. This is when the probability of pregnancy is highest. This is due to the short time window in which the egg can be fertilized.
For example, if ovulation is early in the morning and you have sex with your partner in the evening, then this is actually on the day of ovulation. However, depending on how many hours have passed since ovulation, the egg may no longer be fertilized.
However, if sperm already enter the body 1-2 days before ovulation, they can connect directly with the egg as soon as it has finished maturing. Then, at the time of ovulation, sperm is already in the body.
Did you know that you can actually influence the sex of your baby in some way? The sex of the baby is determined by the sex chromosomes. Each female egg cell contains an X chromosome. The male sperm cell contains either an X or a Y chromosome.
The combination of chromosomes determines the sex. If two X chromosomes are combined, a girl is produced. When one X and one Y chromosome are combined, a boy is produced. The fact is that sperm with X chromosomes are bigger and stronger and those with Y chromosomes are smaller, faster, and shorter-lived.
This means that if you have sex 3-4 days before the expected date of ovulation, the long-lived X chromosomes have a higher chance of fertilizing the egg. If you have sex right before ovulation, the fast Y chromosomes have a greater chance of fertilizing the egg.
There are different methods to recognize the fertile days. The most reliable way to determine the fertile days is to combine the methods. The results of the respective observations can be recorded in a fertility calendar. There are many templates for this online.
The method of temperature measurement is based on the fact that a woman’s body temperature rises by about 0.5 degrees after ovulation. It does not drop again until menstruation. The reason for this is the formation of the hormone progesterone, which enters the body through the empty egg membrane.
This allows ovulation to be determined if it has already taken place. However, if you take your temperature regularly, you can get a very precise overview of your cycle in the long run. Thus, the fertile days can be predicted in advance.
To use this method, it is important to measure the basal body temperature. This is the body temperature immediately after awakening. This is then regularly recorded in the fertility calendar.
However, this method alone does not have any reliable information. After all, the temperature fluctuates by only 0.5 degrees. In addition, measurement errors can easily occur. The basal temperature should always be measured at the same place with the same thermometer to at least minimize measurement errors.
Measurements under the arm are too inaccurate and not suitable for this purpose. In addition, body temperature can vary due to external influences such as illness, consumption of alcohol or lack of sleep.
Another method of determining fertile days is to look at the cervical mucus, or cervical mucus. On infertile days, it is cloudy, whitish and tough. As a result, it closes the cervix and prevents sperm from entering.
On fertile days, however, its consistency changes. This can be clearly observed in the discharge. It becomes clear and liquid. In this state, the man’s sperm can enter the uterus. The cervical mucus then even protects them from the acidic vaginal environment and prolongs their life. After the fertile window, the mucus changes back to its viscous and impenetrable consistency.
There are women who can even feel ovulation. In the middle of the cycle, they feel a pulling pain, also called mid-cycle pain or intermenstrual pain. Although the pain is not pleasant, it marks the time of ovulation. Accordingly, this can also be entered in the fertility calendar and ensures that the fertile days can be determined even more accurately.
It is also possible to determine the fertile days with the help of an ovulation test. It is used in a similar way to a pregnancy test and provides information about fertility.
It makes sense to take a closer look at your own cycle and to be familiar with it. Then you will know exactly what is going on in your body. Knowing your fertile days can also increase your chances of getting pregnant. The more precisely you can determine the time of your fertile days, the greater the chance of getting pregnant.
On the other hand, it is also possible to use contraception in this way. If you know exactly when your fertile days are, then you also know when you should not have sex if you do not want to get pregnant. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using this type of contraception, so if you are interested, you should read up on the subject very carefully.
FAQ On The Subject Of Fertile ays
Frank-Herrmann, Petra; et al. (2008). Natural family planning today: modern cycle knowledge for counseling and application. Springer, Heidelberg.
Croon, M. (2005). Getting pregnant: Finding the right time. How to increase your fertility. Unwanted childless? All the medical help you need. Trias, Stuttgart.