We want to have a baby, and I want to know what are the fertile days to get pregnant. It is not always easy to achieve pregnancy, and it is that of a woman’s cycle, only a few days her body is ready to conceive.
Fertility is the ability to have offspring, and it results from the interaction of numerous factors, mainly biological. The fertile days of a woman are those in which her body has everything necessary for her to become pregnant when her mature ovum comes into contact with the man’s sperm.
To know the fertile days of the woman we can base ourselves on her menstrual cycle or calendar, and on physical signs such as basal temperature or the characteristics of vaginal discharge, factors that are related, since they determine the woman’s cycle.
The menstrual cycle and fertile days
To know the fertile days of the woman we can resort to our menstrual calendar, that is, the cycle that usually follows ovulation and period in our lives. This or it is always simple, since many women do not have a regular cycle, but we will try to define what a normal cycle would be to determine where the fertile days are most likely to get pregnant.
The cycles of women, between one rule and another, usually span 28 or 30 days, so the central days of the cycle will be the most conducive to becoming pregnant: 14 or 15 days after the first day of menstruation. Let’s look at the phases of the menstrual cycle.
- Follicular phase : the first phase is called follicular, it begins on the first day of menstruation and ends at the time of ovulation, when the ovum is released. During the follicular phase, changes occur in the uterine cavity, in the endometrial mucosa, to prepare for the possible implantation of a pregnancy.
- Ovulation phase : ovulation is the process of emission of the ovum after the formation of an ovarian follicle. The ovum is the female gamete, a cell produced by the ovary, carrier of genetic material and capable of being fertilized by a sperm.
- Luteal phase : after ovulation begins the luteal phase or the corpus luteum (a gland that appears in the ovary after ovulation) that lasts until the possible pregnancy is implanted or until menstruation occurs and the next cycle begins. If fertilization does not occur during the period of time in which the ovum is ready, the woman’s body prepares to eliminate the ovum with the next rule.
As we can see, the fertile days begin in the middle of the cycle, those in which the woman is ovulating, that is, when the ovary releases a mature ovum that descends through the fallopian tubes. As we say, this usually happens about 13 or 15 days before the rule.
During ovulation, which can last two or three days, the egg waits to be fertilized by a sperm. As sperm can last alive inside the woman’s body between 48 and 72 hours, it is possible that fertilization occurs even before that day 13, before the mature egg has come down.
There are ovulation tests that are capable of detecting this period through the increase of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in the woman’s urine, although there are also other ways to know the days of greatest female fertility.
We will now discuss the physical signs that announce the fertile days to become pregnant, that is, what is the ovulation period, based on vaginal discharge and basal temperature.
Basal temperature and female fertility
Basal temperature is the body temperature when we wake up. It is related to the menstrual cycle of women, so certain changes in temperature will indicate that ovulation is going to occur. The symptothermal method of fertility is based on these temperature changes in the woman.
To detect them, it is necessary to take the basal temperature correctly, and by means of a few simple annotations and constancy for several months we will be able to know which are the best days to achieve pregnancy in regular cycles.
The method does not predict ovulation but indicates that ovulation has already occurred, so only if we establish a regular pattern of several months will we be able to predict ovulation with more confidence. Let’s see what the average temperatures are (which will vary depending on the usual temperature of each woman).
It is convenient to start taking your temperature on the first day of menstruation and write it down each day in a table like this one.
- Before ovulation, the basal temperature usually oscillates between 36.5ºC and 36.7ºC.
- As a consequence of hormonal changes that produce an increase in progesterone levels, the temperature usually increases between 0.3ºC and 0.5ºC in the two or three days after ovulation.
- This increase is maintained until the end of the cycle, when the next menstrual period begins.
If the measurements of our daily temperature are similar in those months, we know that by having sexual intercourse from the days before the temperature change, we will be more likely to get pregnant, since we are supposed to have ovulated.
That is, if we follow this method, we must start intercourse a few days before the increase in temperature, since the ovum may already be ready for fertilization, although the change in temperature does not indicate it. Interpreting the basal temperature table is not complicated.
Vaginal discharge and fertile days to get pregnant
There are other physical signs to recognize the fertile days to achieve pregnancy. The hormonal changes that govern the cycle produce variation in the texture of the vaginal discharge.
- On days when the woman is not fertile, the cervical mucus is whitish or yellowish, not very abundant and rather sticky in texture. The vulva is not naturally lubricated.
- Towards the middle of our cycle there are changes in the texture of the flow due to the action of estrogens. In the two or three days before ovulation, the flow increases in quantity, becomes transparent and takes on a stringy texture, similar to that of egg white. The most fertile period begins on the last day we detect this type of cervical mucus, abundant and sticky (similar to egg white). This change occurs to help the sperm reach the egg. Little by little the discharge becomes stickier and drier as ovulation ends.
Hormonal medication, such as the one contained in the birth control pill and fertility control implants, regulates hormone levels and interferes with the function of the cervix, distorting these natural fertility symptoms. Therefore, it may take some time, after the use of this type of medication, for the natural symptoms of fertility to recover.
In short, whatever the method we use, if we have frequent sexual intercourse from day 13 of our cycle (for regular cycles of 28-30 days), for about five days, we encourage fertilization to occur, although this not only depends on that the ovum is mature and ready.
As we know, there are other factors that can influence pregnancy, and not all women’s cycles are so regular (as in polycystic ovary syndrome ) and they determine the days when the ovum is mature. For longer cycles, ovulation would start later than day 14, and for shorter cycles we would have to advance that date.
Knowing our body well, knowing what are the fertile days to get pregnant, can help us achieve conception. Keeping track of menstrual cycles is essential to locate the fertile period, and from there, good luck!