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Understanding your body’s reproductive cycle

Understanding your body’s reproductive cycle will help you in your ovulation calculation and working out the best time of the month to try to get pregnant.

Elevit Pronatal

Knowing your reproductive cycle is one of the first key steps in planning to start a family. Tracking your menstrual cycle days allows you to determine the best time to try to get pregnant, increasing your chance of conceiving. It’s all about timing!

How your body prepares for pregnancy

Your cycle begins on the first day of your menstrual flow. By the seventh day, your egg is preparing to unite with a sperm or to get fertilised.As this happens, your uterus is also getting the body ready for fertilisation. Your cervical mucus thins to allow sperm to go through more easily. As hormones act on the body, the egg is released. This is the time when you have ovulated. 8-12

“ An egg can be fertilised up to 24 hours after ovulation ”

The egg can be fertilised up to 24 hours after ovulation, as the egg travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus. If the egg has been penetrated by a sperm, it will implant into your uterine lining and develop into a baby.

Understanding your fertile window

Your most fertile time consists of the few days leading up to and including ovulation. This period is considered the best time to try to get pregnant in order to increase your chances of conceiving.

What’s Your diet like

“ Trying to get pregnant during your most fertile phase may help increase your chances of conception. “

How to determine when you ovulate

Signs to determine your fertile window include:

Changes in cervical mucus

The cervix is the lower, narrow part of your uterus, which opens into the vagina. Mucus produced by the cervix changes during your menstrual cycle due to hormones and can help predict your fertility.

Before ovulation (just after your period): You’ll produce very little mucus just after your period, if at all. It will be sticky and white or opaque in color and your vagina will feel quite dry. As sperm require mucus to help meet the egg, there is little chance of getting pregnant at this stage.

Approaching ovulation: Mucus production will increase and become creamy white or cream in color and your vagina will feel moist. You have a better chance of getting pregnant at this time.

As your ovulation dates: Your mucus will be thin, clear and very stretchy (like raw egg white) and your vagina will feel quite wet. You have the highest chance of getting pregnant at this time.

After ovulation: Your mucus will become thick and your vagina will start to feel quite dry.

Higher basal body temperature

Your basal body temperature is your resting body temperature. Recording this temperature over a few months can help you more accurately predict when you ovulate. Ovulation usually happens at the beginning of a temperature rise that’s sustained for at least 3 days. Factors like heating, travel, time of day, diet, work hours and amount of sleep can affect your temperature.

To help record your accurate temperature, it’s best to take your temperature at the same time every morning, before getting out of bed, with a fertility or digital thermometer.

Abdominal bloating

Try and pay attention to any pain you might feel in your belly, as this could be a sign of ovulation.

Premenstrual symptoms

You may also get typical symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, like sore breasts, bloating, slight cramping and heightened sense of smell, taste.

Enjoy this special time together

Keep your baby making fun!

Deciding to have a baby is an exciting and loving time. A study has shown that frequently attempting to conceive prepares the woman’s body for pregnancy.However, you shouldn’t be anxious over the idea and instead relax and enjoy your intimate moments together.

Common conception questions

Does age affect fertility?

Yes, the quality of your eggs and ovulation patterns is affected by your age. Women are most fertile from their 20s to their early 30s. Age can also affect the quality and quantity of a man’s sperm.

How long will it take me to conceive?

About 84% of couples trying to make a family will conceive within a year provided that they try doing so regularly without using contraceptives. However, it’s impossible to pinpoint the waiting time leading to conception because women vary and several factors influence the chances of getting pregnant. The best thing is to relax and take it easy as stress is not beneficial for couples trying for pregnancy.

What can I do if it’s not happening for us?

If you’re doing all the right things, but you’re still not pregnant after 6 months of trying, ask your doctor for advice.

More tips on planning for a baby

Diet plays a crucial role in your chances of getting pregnant.  Your body weight significantly affects conception. Underweight increases your risk of preterm birth, whereas obesity increases the risk for gestational diabetes. Taking micronutrients can potentially lower the risk of pre-eclampsia and decrease the incidence of congenital defects.  Take a look at our pre pregnancy nutrition and pregnancy tips and advice pages. They contain lots of useful information about preparing for a healthy pregnancy before you start trying for a baby.