Menstrual cycle – how the body prepares for pregnancy
Ideally, the menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, but don’t worry if yours doesn’t. It starts with the first day of your period. During the menstrual cycle one of the ovaries will produce a mature egg, ready to be fertilized. At the same time the uterus prepares to accept the fertilized egg by thickening of the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus). If the egg doesn’t get fertilized, during your next period the excess endometrium will peel off.
An egg can be fertilized up to 24 hours after ovulation, while moving through the fallopian tube toward the uterus. If fertilized, it implants in the uterus lining and starts to develop into a baby.
The sperm, on the other hand, can survive several days in your body, waiting for the egg to be released.
Therefore, the best time to have sex in order to increase your chances of getting pregnant are the few days prior to ovulation and ovulation.
There are also certain clues to look for when detecting your fertile time:
Change in the cervical mucus
Mucus is very important, because it helps sperm reach the egg to be fertilized. Before ovulation, just after your period, your cervix produces little mucus which is thick and sticky, colored white or opaque. As you approach ovulation, mucus production will increase and become creamy white or white in color. Around ovulation even more mucus is produced, which is thinner, transparent and very stretchy, like raw egg white. This is your most fertile time and you have the best chance of getting pregnant. After ovulation, your mucus will again be thick and sticky.
Basal body temperature
Basal body temperature is the temperature your body has at rest. Ovulation is supposed to happen at the beginning of your basal body temperature rise, which lasts for about 3 days. You should measure your basal body temperature every day at the same time, and it is best to do it every morning before getting out of bed, since during the day various factors influence it. Recording your basal body temperature over a few months can help you more accurately predict when you ovulate.
There are also other signs which can be useful in predicting ovulation, like feeling abdominal pain, or having PMS-like symptoms, as bloating, sore breasts or mood changes.
Finally, trying for a baby is a beautiful and loving period for you and your partner. It is best not to stress too much over scheduled sex, instead try to relax and enjoy your intimate moments together as much as possible.