Fertility period is the sequence of days in which there is an increased chances of conceiving a baby. Generally this a period of six days for a normal women. Having sexual intercourse within this period is the key for conceiving a baby. This period of fertile days during which a women can conceive is known as fertile window. This window will wary depending on different individuals.
Biologically speaking, during copulation semen is released by the penis into the vagina (insemination). The motile sperms swim rapidly, pass through the cervix, enter into the uterus and finally reach the junction of the isthmus and ampulla of the fallopian tube. The ovum released by the ovary is also transported to the ampullary-isthmic junction where fertilisation takes place. Thus the formation of new life begins. The point to be noted here is that the life span of an ovum is 12-24 hours or less and that of a healthy sperm is 5-7 days. As a result if the fertilisation does not take place within this 12- 24 hours, the ovum begins to degenerate and is no longer capable of fertilisation. So a women’s fertile window is the day of ovulation and five days preceding it.
Determination of fertile period
The determination of fertile period involves keeping track of the menstrual cycle for a period of 8 months or more.
- Select your shortest cycle, (say 28 days) and subtract 18 from it. It gives the first potentially fertile day. In this case it is 10th day
- Subtract 11 from your longest cycle (say 30 days). This gives you last potentially fertile day. In this case it is 19th day
- If this cycle is measured over a long time you will find that you are most fertile somewhere between 9th and the 19th
- Basal body temperature
Basal body temperature (BBT) is your morning body temperature before you get out of bed. Charting the variations of BBT can help determine the probable time of ovulation. The method is found to be inexpensive. A woman’s normal non-ovulating temperature is between 96 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the individual. Following the release of the egg, BBT increases by about half a degree in almost all women. The hormone progesterone, secreted by the ovary after ovulation, heats things up; it also prepares the uterine lining for a possible pregnancy. Body temperature will remain roughly half a degree higher until right before menstruation, when it will return to normal. (If you get pregnant, your temperature will stay higher through the first trimester). If your temperature remains constant over the course of your cycle, you might not be ovulating at all.
- Take your temperature when you first wake up in the morning (before you eat or drink)
- Record it on a BBT chart.
Try to take a reading at about the same time each morning. If you don't take your temperature immediately after waking up, your BBT chart will not be accurate
The most inexpensive way of predicting ovulation is that of observing your own body changes. Cervical mucus is one of that type. Cervical mucus is vaginal discharge produced by the cervix. Over the course of your menstrual cycle, the amount, colour, and texture of your cervical mucus changes, due to fluctuating hormone levels. Checking your cervical mucus and keeping track of these changes can help you tell when you're most fertile. Track the changes on a chart. Thus you can predict your ovulation.