This is a collaborative post
There are all sorts of reasons why you might want to get pregnant on a particular schedule. Health concerns might make it important for you to try to have a baby before a particular procedure or age. Your career might not, if you dictate when you want to get pregnant, at least suggest good or bad times of year, based on the rhythms of your industry. There are also life events that can provide a spur: house moves, job changes, marriages and even deaths can alter your priorities and make it important for you to get pregnant at a particular time.
This raises all sorts of questions: when are you fertile? Can you get pregnant before your period? Can you improve your fertility?
Today, we’re taking a look at some of these questions and getting you the answers you need to take informed decisions about your fertility.
When Can You Get Pregnant?
Your body is capable of getting pregnant for a surprisingly short time in each menstrual cycle. Especially considering the effort we all go to avoid pregnancy when we don’t feel ready for it! Each cycle (on average they last for 28 days, but anything from 21 to 35 days is considered normal in adults, and even as long as 45 days in teenagers). At the same time as your period starts, your body begins to prepare immature eggs for ovulation in small sacs called follicles.
This gives this part of the cycle its name: the follicular phase. It’s the first major part of your cycle. But it’s as simple as saying it’s the first half of your menstrual cycle. The follicular phase can vary based on your cycle length, age and state of health. As one egg becomes dominant (bigger and healthier) the others are reabsorbed by the body and your ovaries are cued to release that dominant egg by a surge of LH: Luteinising Hormone.
How Long Are You Fertile For?
The egg that’s ovulated is viable for a maximum of 24 hours, but you’re fertile for longer than that. Sperm can survive as long as five days in a woman’s body, so you can get pregnant for six days in each cycle.
The key to get pregnant when you want to is to track when you ovulate using BBT tracking or OPKs, so you know which day of your menstrual cycle you ovulate on, and can plan to focus your attempts to get pregnant on the five days before that, and take advantage of your natural peak in fertility.
What do you think of getting pregnant on schedule?