When you’re trying to conceive, timing matters and details count. That’s particularly true when it comes to ovulation, since the window for fertilization is narrow. An ovulation calendar is one of the basic tools for tracking your personal cycles, and something we recommend at New York Reproductive Wellness.
All About Ovulation
Once a month, your body releases a mature egg from the ovary. The egg travels down the fallopian tube and into the uterus. When you ovulate, the cervical fluid changes to a substance that looks like egg whites, and a slight increase in your body temperature also occurs. If it is not fertilized, the egg washes out with your menstrual blood, and the cycle begins again. The egg lives no more than 24 hours after leaving the ovary; most women only release one egg at each ovulation. Sperm can live in the reproductive tract for about five days.
The Menstrual Cycle
Your menstrual cycle is measured from the first day of your period to the first day of the next period. Most women have a menstrual cycle between 28 and 32 days. However, some women’s cycles may be longer, shorter or irregular. Stress, illness or disruptions in your normal routine can affect when you ovulate, and may also affect the length of your menstrual cycle. Ovulation doesn’t always occur each month or may occur on different days from month to month. In women who have regular menstrual cycles, ovulation typically occurs between day 11 and day 21 of the cycle (counting from the last day of the menstrual period).
What’s an Ovulation Calendar?
An ovulation calendar is one of several tools that can help pinpoint your most likely fertile period. In addition to tracking the menstrual cycle, you can track your body temperature and look for changes in cervical mucous. The combination of these tracking tools gives you the best chance to determine when ovulation occurs. An ovulation calendar is just what it sounds like. You enter the first and last day of each period, as well as other symptoms. Many women simply use a paper calendar to track ovulation, and graph paper to chart their body temperature, but online tools and apps are also available from various sources.
Depending on the length of a woman’s cycle, it’s easy to see that the number of opportunities to become pregnant are limited. Tracking the menstrual cycle is one of the best ways to identify the period when you ovulate. To maximize your chances of pregnancy, you and your partner should time intercourse close to the time of ovulation and make love several times over the course of about three days.
At New York Reproductive Wellness, we do our best to help you conceive a healthy baby. In addition to teaching you how to use basic tools like an ovulation calendar, we offer services like artificial insemination and in-vitro fertilization. Contact us today for answers to your questions or to schedule appointment.