If you are trying to conceive, understanding your fertile window may improve your chances of pregnancy.
About Your Fertile Window
Your fertile window refers to the days during your menstrual cycle which you are most fertile, giving you the highest chance of conceiving. They are the days that are the best time to have sex during your cycle if you are planning for pregnancy.
It is easier to calculate your fertile window if you have a regular menstrual cycle, as you will be able to get the best estimate of when you will be ovulating. You will tend to be most fertile in the 6 days leading up to and including ovulation.
How To Calculate Your Fertile Window
As an approximate rule of thumb, some women will count 10 days from the start of their menstrual period as the start of a fertile time.
If we call ‘Day 1’ as the fist day of your menstrual period, then your approximate fertile window will be approximately Day 10-16. This will be the timing of when you and your partner having sex will be most critical.
Other Signs of Ovulation
Your body will also give you natural signs of your most fertile days.
Several days before ovulation, your oestrogen levels will begin to surge causing a change in your cervical mucus. This ‘fertile-quality’ cervical mucus has a clear and stretchy appearance and a consistency similar to that of egg whites.
Tools for Women With an Irregular Period
If you have an inconsistent period, then it might be helpful to use a tool that helps you better estimate when you might be ovulating. You might want to consider:
Period Tracker App
Saliva Ovulation Tester
As ovulation approaches, the rise in your oestrogen levels will increase the salinity (level of salt) of your saliva.
Saliva ovulation testers such as Maybe Baby Easy Ovulation Tester use a mini-microscope that will help you see when the salt levels in your saliva are on the rise, which will indicate that ovulation is approaching.
LH Surge via a Urine Tester
To prepare your body for ovulation, the pituitary gland releases two hormones – FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone). Detecting the surge in your LH levels can help you identify when ovulation is approaching, and hence your most fertile days.
Tests such as The Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test with Dual Hormone Indicator will track the luteinising hormone (your LH Surge), as well as oestrogen to help you identify your wider fertility window. It has a digital screen showing the results and is easy to use.