For some women, getting pregnant is as simple as having sex and having a baby nine months later. Some women even get pregnant the first time they have sex at all. For others, there’s a real science to having a baby. You can try and try but still get nowhere, and there is one reason I wanted to explore with you, why you might not be setting yourself up for success.
There’s an old wives’ tale that you get pregnant when you have sex on your period, but that isn’t necessarily true. What you really need to concern yourself with is when you start ovulating. I know you probably know that already, but it needs repeating, and deepening the topic.
Ovulation and How You Crack its Code
Ovulation is the day in which your egg is released from one of your ovaries and it occurs approximately two weeks after the first day of your last period (based on a 28 day cycle). For women with irregular periods, ovulation can be a bit tricky to pin down.
In fact, ovulation can be difficult to figure out no matter what your cycle is like, but there are a few ways to figure it out, both simple and not so simple. I would actually recommend looking at all these instead of just one in particular. The more you understand your bodily changes when you ovulate, and the more you will be able to pinpoint when you do!
- Do the math based on the above ovulation cycle formula.
- Look for signs of increased vaginal mucus: mucus at ovulation looks like raw egg white, and is sticky.
- Chart your basal body temperature: using your temperature when you wake up first thing in the morning, and charting it daily. Following ovulation, your temperature can increase up to 0.2 degrees Celsius.
- Check your cervix position: as ovulation approaches, your cervix softens, and opens to let the sperm up to the egg that was released. You will probably need to get your partner on board for this check, as it’s not very easy for you to see this change.
- A “mittelschmerz” cramp that occurs on one side of your lower back during your period cycle.
- A short period of regular increased libido during the month.
- If you want to take out the guesswork, use ovulation prediction kits (OPKs).
Some women know when they’re ovulating because of these simple signs and can tell during any period cycle. Other women find the signs more elusive and require OPKs and a doctor’s help to figure out when they’re truly ovulating.
Getting Pregnant While Ovulating
Having sex while you’re ovulating is the best way to ensure pregnancy, but remember there are no guarantees. Having sex during your ovulation window is simply the best way to increase your chances of pregnancy.
If you don’t know when you’re truly ovulating or can’t figure out due to irregular periods, the best course of action is to have sex every two days to ensure there’s always viable sperm in your fallopian tubes, but this kind of commitment can be off-putting, difficult and hard to manage. If you want to reduce this number, figuring out your ovulation cycle is vital.
Women typically have a five day window when it comes to having sex while ovulating. Women are most fertile for a period before ovulation and then on the day that the egg is actually released. When you discover the day you ovulate, having sex twice or more during this window ups your chances of conception.
If you happen to have an irregular cycle, the timing isn’t so exact. When you notice your vaginal mucus building up may be the best time to have sex to ensure pregnancy, but many women find success having regular sex every two to three days during their period cycle.
In any case, to up your changes of conceiving, you should learn to track when you’re ovulating!
Do you need more support in your fertility journey?
Part of my Health & Wellness mission is to help you tune into your body's wisdom and optimise your chances of getting pregnant. My own fertility journey lead me from a diagnosis of infertility to giving birth to healthy twin boys. I want that for you too! (Maybe not the twins part! 😉 ). Your body's symptoms are cues that need to be looked at. They are guiding us to the root cause of your infertility and to shifting what's been a struggling and frustrating journey into one made of love, compassion and fun. 🙂 If you’d like help on your journey, I’d love to support you. 🙂 Let's connect and discuss your needs and how I might be able to help you. Schedule your complimentary 30-minute discovery call with me and let's see what magic we are able to create together.