If you’re trying to get pregnant in 2019, then you can only help yourself by trying to understand the processes governing your fertility. Even if you have no diagnosable challenges to getting pregnant, you can give yourself a better chance to succeed according to the plans you’ve made for yourself if you understand when you’re at your most fertile and why. You can even take steps to predict the best ways to try and get pregnant in any given month – using a fertility monitor, test kits, or observing the changes in your
When are you Fertile?
When you’re trying to conceive you have less time each month than you might have thought – if you know it’s not the right time to have children then every risk causes a panic, but when the situation is reversed and you’re trying to get pregnant then you might begin to wonder what the fuss was about! Realistically speaking, there are only 4-5 days in each menstrual cycle when intercourse can result in pregnancy, and that’s what you want to happen, you need to focus your efforts on identifying that key ‘fertile window’.
For the first two weeks of your cycle (roughly) your body is in the ‘follicular phase’, cultivating between 15 and 20 eggs in the ovaries, which grow in small, fluid filled sacs called follicles. Eventually one of these eggs will outpace the others and this one will be selected to for release. The others are reabsorbed by the body while the mature egg is ejected from the ovaries in an event called ovulation.
This mature egg is fertile for up to 24 hours, and if it encounters fertile sperm in this time, then you could conceive! If it doesn’t it’ll be ejected from the body as part of your period.
As sperm can themselves survive as long as four days in the body after ejaculation, this give you a window of up to five days per cycle when active sperm can encounter an egg and potentially fertilise it. The longevity of both sperm and egg can be affected by your diet and lifestyle, as well as health conditions, so making an appointment for a pre-pregnancy check with your doctor can identify any factors that might affect your chances.
Even if you have significant challenges to your fertility, like PCOS, identifying the days you’re fertile can help, as well as adding more green vegetables to your diet and taking supplements like folic acid can give you the edge you need.