The most important factor in determining your “golden window” of conception is your menstrual cycle. Is it regular? Irregular? When you do have it, how long does it last? With a basic understanding of their individual menstrual cycle, most women can determine when they ovulate. This is the key to conception – if a woman knows when her egg is released, she can do everything possible to make sure there are sperm hanging around to fertilize it!
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a number of methods for determining when you are ovulating:
Keep a calendar
Using a day planner or simple calendar, mark the day your period begins each month and track the number of days each period lasts. Ovulation is most likely to occur at the midpoint of your cycle. If you have a consistent 28-day cycle, for example, ovulation is likely to begin about 14 days after the day your last period began. If you have a longer cycle, such as 34 days, ovulation is likely to begin about 17 days after your last period began.
Have sex often, especially before ovulation
Dr. Roger W. Harms, Mayo Clinic Obstetrician and editor-in-chief explains, “Sperm…can live in a woman’s reproductive tract for up to five days or perhaps even longer. Fertilization is possible as long as the sperm remain alive.” When you are trying to conceive, it’s important to have sex regularly and often, especially in the days leading up to ovulation.
Watch for changes
Just before ovulation, you might notice an increase in clear, slippery vaginal secretions, resembling raw egg whites. After ovulation, when the odds of becoming pregnant are reduced, the discharge will become cloudy and sticky or disappear entirely.
Try an ovulation predictor
Ovulation predictors are over-the-counter kits that test your urine for the surge in hormones that happens just before ovulation. If you follow the instructions closely, these inexpensive kits can help you identify the most likely time of ovulation, ideally signaling you before ovulation actually happens.
Read the full Mayo Clinic report here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/how-to-get-pregnant/PR00103