A whole lot of factors come into play during conception and eventual p, but the most crucial of them all is a woman’s menstrual cycle. A healthy, regular menstrual cycle is one of the key indicators of fertility. It’s how your body tells you you’re fertile and ready to get pregnant. But it can also tell you a lot more than that. Your menstrual cycle is deeply linked to conception, and can give insight into a lot of finer details that’ll help you time sex just right and improve your chances of pregnancy.
Basically, the first day of your period is the first day of your menstrual cycle. From the first day itself, your body is preparing for ovulation. Your reproductive hormones are constantly preparing the womb for implantation, fertilisation and eventually, a .
To understand the entire process, ovulation and your fertile window, let’s take an average 28-day menstrual cycle into consideration.
During the first week of your cycle, if you are not pregnant, this tissue falls off and is what you call your period.
The second week of your cycle, your reproductive system begins the process all over again. A hormone called Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) is released, which in turn facilitates the release of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH).
These two hormones cause the eggs to grow. When the eggs grow, there’s an increase in the hormone oestrogen and a drop in the hormone progesterone, which in turn results in a dry cervical mucous – this is why you don’t notice any mucous discharge during this time of your cycle.
On the tenth day, the uterus becomes thicker due to an increase in blood supply and building of new blood vessels, in order to be able to implant and nourish the egg. By now your FSH and LH levels have dropped. You may notice cloudy and sticky mucous discharge around this time.
By the twelth day, your mucous has developed a clear, slippery consistency – kind of like egg whites. This is a sign that you’re nearing ovulation. Your chances of getting pregnant are highest during this time, as it takes sperms anywhere between two to five days to reach the egg, just in time for ovulation which is still a couple of days away.
By day 13, oestrogen levels have spiked, which in turn boosts LH production, which in turn leads to a rise in progesterone and FSH levels.
Day 14 is the day of your ovulation. Oestrogen levels drop, while LH levels rise. Rise in LH levels lead to the release of an egg from the ovaries. The egg stays on for around 12 to 24 hours. Your body temperature has also increased, indicating your fertile period.
On day 15, the empty ovarian follicle once again causes a spike in oestrogen and progesterone levels to prepare for pregnancy.
On the seventeenth day, your body temperature continues to be high. If pregnancy hasn’t happened, your body temperature will continue to remain spiked until your next period. A drop in the body temperature could indicate successful conception.
On the eighteenth and nineteenth day, your cervical mucous develops a cloudy consistency.
Between days 21 and 22, your progesterone levels begin to rise.
On the 25th day, the ovarian follicle breaks. If the egg has gone unfertilised, progesterone levels drop. But if it’s fertilised, the progesterone levels continue to remain high.
By the time day 27 comes around, there is little to no cervical mucous.
On the 28th day of your cycle, the oestrogen and progesterone levels begin to fall. The mucous, once more, develops a thick consistency. If you are not pregnant, your periods will begin the very next day.
There are plenty of useful fertile window calculators and ovulation calculators available today. But if you still want to master the trick of finding out your fertile window by yourself, you will need to keep a track of your menstrual cycle. If your cycle is on time, you already have a clear idea of this. All you have to do is select your shortest cycle, for instance 24 days. Subtract 18 from it. The difference i.e. 6, marks your first day of the fertile window. Now take your longest cycle, say for instance, 28 days. Subtract 11 from this; you get 17. This is the last day of your fertile window. However, this is a very wide window – the egg and sperms don’t last that long. If you monitor your basal body temperature and cervical mucous diligently, the window is likely to shorten to about 6 days.
An egg stays alive only for one day. But a sperm has the viability of about 5 days. This is why, it’s advised to have sex about five days before ovulation. Use our to track your days.
We hope this gives you a much better clarity on how your menstrual cycle is connected to your ovulation, fertile window and conception. If you have any doubts or confusion, feel free to ask us in the comments.