When Are You Most Fertile?
by Heather Slee
Some couples, when they decide they’d like to become parents, discontinue the use of their birth control methods and just say, “When it happens, it happens.” While that’s certainly a valid and low-maintenance choice, other couples like to take charge. And that means tracking your cycle and targeting your most fertile time.
If you want to increase your chances of becoming pregnant, follow the advice of Mayo Clinic obstetrician Roger W. Harms. He gives the following advice:
- Ovulation occurs approximately 14 days after the first day of your period. Mark it on your calendar.
- Look for signs of ovulation. You may notice clear vaginal secretions during ovulation. Also, you may experience mild cramping during ovulation.
- Take your basal body temperature every morning and track the results. You should see a pattern develop. Soon you’ll be able to predict your fertile time– it’s two or three days before your temperature rises.
- Have sex once a day during this time.
The American Pregnancy Association also gives advice for trying to conceive:
- Based on a 28-day cycle, which is the average length, you are most fertile between days 11 through 21. (Day one is the first day of your period.)
- For a more precise look at your cycle, note your cycle days on a calendar for a few months and try to determine the length of your cycle. Then subtract 18 from the number of days in your cycle. The number you get should determine the first day of your most fertile time.
Another way to track fertility is by using an ovulation kit. The kit will detect the amount of luteinizing hormone. This hormone is always in your urine, but the amount increases one or two days before ovulation. The American Pregnancy Association recommends having sex three days after a positive result from your ovulation kit. While this method is fairly accurate, it can also become costly. So if you’re on a budget, your best bet is to just be in tune with your body and chart the signs of ovulation you observe.
What do you think? When Are You Most Fertile?