Every month, a woman’s ability to conceive exists for a fairly short period of time. It is called the fertility window, and it is important to know about it not only for those who want to become a mother in the near future, but also for those who are not planning a pregnancy yet. Experts assert that a woman is able to get pregnant only six days out of the entire menstrual period. The fertility window “opens” in a woman’s body on the day of ovulation or five days immediately before – this is the time when a woman can get pregnant.

Predicting the date of the fertile window and ovulation can be difficult if the cycle is irregular, but the regular signals sent by a woman’s body can help determine the period in which she is able to get pregnant. There are only 6 days that each woman can end up pregnant when she has intercourse, regardless of the length of her cycle.

Fertility window1

Fertility – What it is

To explain what this fertility window is, it is first worthwhile to understand what the term “fertility” itself means. It is of Latin origin. It is translated

“fertilis,” as “fertile, fecund.” This is why it is used to define the body’s ability to reproduce. In the case of a woman, her ability to conceive, bear and give birth to a child.

A woman’s body contains several million eggs at the time of birth, which are formed during the period of intrauterine development. Their number decreases to 400,000 by adolescence without the possibility of renewal, unlike spermatozoa in men. After the beginning of puberty and the onset of menstruation

oocytes mature and ovulate once a month. Female fertility is directly related to ovulation, which occurs with the establishment of a regular menstrual cycle and ends at menopause.

Fertility window2

Fertility and its characteristics

Fertility in women has a different duration, because the beginning and end of menstruation in different women has a fairly wide time frame. Therefore, there are also different numbers of fertility windows during this period. For there to be such windows, a woman must be at fertile age, which is defined by the presence of menstruation in a particular woman.

However, these are not the only criteria that determine whether or not a woman is fertile. Among other criteria, the ability to conceive is determined by the ability to:

  • ovulation, the maturation of the egg, without which fertilization is impossible;
  • Carrying a pregnancy – depends on the hormonal background of the female body;
  • The independent birth of a child.

Fertility windows exist in the early and intermediate as well as late and fading stages, each with a different ability for a woman to handle all three tasks without problems.

Levels of fertility

It is common knowledge that fertility is composed of three components – the ability to conceive, carry a child, and give birth. On this basis, the level of a woman’s fertility is divided into three levels – high, normal and low. A high level is considered if there is the ability to conceive and bear a child several times in a row with a minimum of interruption. Pregnancy can occur, for example, during menstruation or while breastfeeding.

Normal fertility is indicated when a woman’s calendar is stable, a woman becomes pregnant without medical help, carries a fetus without hormonal stimulation and gives birth on her own. It is considered low when a woman is able to accomplish only two of the three components of the process. For example, she is able to conceive, but she is not able to bring a baby into the world on her own.

Fertility window and ovulation – what are the differences

As it has already become clear, fertility is a woman’s ability to become pregnant and give birth to a baby, a sign of the health of her hormonal and reproductive systems. Their proper functioning is the key to pregnancy, otherwise there is a risk of infertility or miscarriage. The basis of good fertility is the onset of ovulation. Since it is the moment when an egg ready for fertilization comes out, without ovulation the fertility window does not open and there are no prerequisites for conceiving a baby.

However, it is also impossible to ovulate if there is no balance of sex hormones and a woman’s overall health is not good. In this case, even if ovulation has occurred, it does not mean that the fertility window has opened and the woman will become pregnant. This is why you should not equate fertility and ovulation. Its presence does not guarantee conception by 100%, because the entire reproductive system of a woman should work correctly for this.

Fertility window3

When conception is possible

The period in which conception is possible is determined by the release of the egg from the ovary. This occurs usually 2 weeks before the start of menstruation. The lifespan of an egg that one of the ovaries releases into the fallopian tube is 24 hours and that of a sperm is an average of 5 days after the onset of ejaculation.

Therefore, in the fertility window, a woman retains the ability to become pregnant not only on the day of ovulation, but for 5 days after intercourse, as surviving sperm are able to fertilize during this time. If the couple plans to have a baby, in order to get pregnant as soon as possible, it is necessary to take advantage of the fertile window in the women’s calendar, as the ovulatory days dramatically increase the ability to conceive.

When is the fertile window possible

The approximate time of the onset of ovulation is considered the middle of the menstrual cycle. And this means that if there is an exact period between the onset of periods, it will not be difficult to calculate this time. However, even for the same woman, the opening time of the fertility window can vary significantly, depending on the change in the time interval between the onset of critical days.

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Ideally, if a woman’s menstrual period is always 28 days, ovulation should occur on the 14th day from the start of her previous period. However, in reality the influence of any external factors, such as malnutrition or stress, can significantly affect the timing of ovulation. Therefore, when determining its onset, it is worth paying attention to the fertility window symptoms as well.

Fertility window4

Signs of ovulation onset

The exit of the egg from the ovary and the further opening of the fertility window is usually accompanied by characteristic manifestations:

  • Increased sweating from the armpit;
  • cramping or pulling pain on one side of the abdomen;
  • an increase in sexual desire;
  • a decrease and then a sharp increase in the basal temperature;
  • good spirits and a burst of energy;
  • Swelling of the mammary glands, increasing their sensitivity.

A change in the nature of mucus in the vagina is also a clear sign of ovulation and the opening of the fertility window.

The discharge becomes externally similar to egg white, transparent, viscous, but more rare. Sometimes there may be a small bloody discharge. If you have a lot of such a discharge, you should immediately consult a doctor – such a symptom may indicate the presence of diseases.

How to determine the fertile phase – methods

Women who have regular cycles, in which there are no problems in determining their fertile window, are very few. For most, making an accurate prediction of ovulation is much more difficult. Specialists offer different methods for this.

Among the most popular and effective:

  • Measuring the basal temperature – the moment the ovule leaves the ovary, the basal temperature rises by 0.5 °C, it is possible to notice such a slight fluctuation by measuring the temperature rectally every day immediately after waking up, without leaving the bed;
  • Calendar – it is necessary to keep a women’s calendar to establish the average duration of the menstrual period and calculate the luteal phase, which usually lasts 2 weeks. A woman’s body is most capable of conceiving on the 13th to 18th day before her period begins. Thus, with a 29-day period, the fertility window opens from day 11 to day 17.

Cervical two-day and sympttermal methods

The cervical method is based on the secretion of mucus by the female organs and changes in its consistency throughout the cycle. Their nature is a precursor to the coming ovulation. A few days after your period ends, the cervical mucus becomes cloudy and thick. And before the onset of ovulation – elastic, liquid and transparent, it is secreted more. Those who use this method to determine the window of fertility should abandon the use of sprays and creams for intimate hygiene, as well as sprinkling.

The complex or sympttermal method combines several ways to determine the fertile window – calendar, measurement of basal temperature, assessment of cervical mucus. Therefore, the data it provides is the most reliable and valid.

When the basal temperature rises and the mucus becomes elastic, watery and transparent, these are sure symptoms of ovulation and fertility window.

Factors that affect fertility

Good fertility depends on many factors. A complex mechanism called the reproductive system can fail under various circumstances, making it difficult to conceive a baby.

Factors that determine the quality of fertility and make the opening of the fertility window possible include:

  • Healthy reproductive organs – absence of cysts, inflammatory processes, tumors;
  • The patency of the fallopian tubes, without which fertilization is impossible;
  • Balance of hormones and a regular menstrual cycle, indicating the readiness of the female body to conceive a baby;
  • A healthy uterus in which the fetus will develop.

General health is also important, since any disease may interfere with fertility. The most critical in this case, metabolic disorders, anovulation, thyroid disorders, hyper- and hypoplasia of the endometrium, endometriosis.

How to conceive in the fertile period

In addition to all the methods described, ovulation test and ultrasound can help in establishing the fertility window. Once the most suitable for conception is determined, you can proceed with the plan.

But to get the desired result, in addition to regular sexual activity and increase its intensity during the fertility window, it is necessary to adhere to certain rules:

  • reduce physical activity, if they were excessive;
  • Give up bad habits – quit smoking, drinking alcohol;
  • Limit the amount of coffee you drink;
  • remove the “dominant anxiety” and turn on the “dominant motherhood”;
  • change your diet;
  • eat a full and regular diet.

Couples who have decided to become parents will find it invaluable to use a comprehensive approach to correctly determining the fertility window and following the rules of female behavior during this period.

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