How to work out your most fertile time of the month
Ovulation is the time when a mature egg is released from your ovary into the fallopian tube, ready for fertilisation. The fertile period usually starts about four days before ovulation and ends about 24-48 hours after. This is because sperm survive in your body for about four days and the egg will only live for up to one day after it is released from your ovary. Use this ovulation calendar to record some factors which change during your menstrual cycle and affect your chance of becoming pregnant.
Work out the average length of your menstrual cycle by counting the number of days from the first day of your period to the day before your next one. Do this for a few months and mark your average cycle length in the Ovulation and fertility section.
Cervical fluid (mucous) and vaginal lubrication
The cervix is the lower, narrow part of your uterus which opens into the vagina. Mucous produced by the cervix changes during your menstrual cycle due to hormonal fluctuations and can help predict your fertility.
Before ovulation, just after your period no chance of getting pregnant: there is little, if any, mucous and it's thick, sticky and white or opaque in colour. Your vagina can feel dry.
Approaching ovulation slight chance of getting pregnant: mucous is moist or creamy and white or cream in colour. Vagina feels moist.
Around ovulation high chance of getting pregnant: mucous is like eggwhite (thin and clear and very stretchy). Vagina feels wet.
After ovulation low chance of getting pregnant: mucous is again thick and sticky. Vagina feels dry.
Cervical position and hardness
After your period has finished, you should monitor the position and hardness of your cervix, checking it at the same time each day. The best way to do it is by squatting, sitting on the floor or on the toilet. Use one hand to hold your vaginal lips apart and insert the middle finger of your other hand into your vagina. The cervix feels like a rounded, cylindrical object. The position and hardness of your cervix indicates your fertility. Your cervix will change from being hard, just after your period ends, to soft, when you're closer to ovulation and more likely to be fertile.
Low position low chance of pregnancy: cervix is easily reached by your fingertip. Usually just after your period ends.
Middle position slightly fertile: as you get closer to ovulation, the cervix begins to rise. You'll still be able to reach it but not as easily.
High position most fertile: the cervix rises to its highest point just before ovulation. It may be almost impossible to reach.
Ovulation predictor kit
You can buy an ovulation predictor kit from your local pharmacy it's another tool to help predict when you're most fertile. It works by indicating the surge in luteinising hormone (LH) which occurs at the moment of ovulation. Optimum fertility occurs one to three days after the LH surge, peaking at 36 hours.
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