Having unprotected sex as close as possible to to the time of ovulation increases the chances of conception
For couples trying to conceive, being aware of the four phases of the menstrual cycle can help time intercourse in order to improve their chances of getting pregnant. But first, what are the phases of the menstrual cycle?
THE MENSTRUAL PHASE
It is the time when women have their periods. It lasts for 4 to 7 days. The first day of your period helps your doctor calculate when you are likely to ovulate next.
THE FOLLICULAR PHASE
In this phase the brain releases Follicle Stimulating Hormone that encourages the follicles in the ovaries to mature the eggs. This phase begins on the first day of your periods and continues for 10 to 17 days. By the end of this phase one mature egg is released for ovulation. The other follicles are destroyed by the nature process in the body.
THE OVULATION PHASE
The mature egg is now ready for fertilization. Ovulation can occur on any day between the 10th and 17th day of the Follicular Phase. Once the egg is released, for 24 hours it is available for fertilization by the sperm. On the other hand, the sperms released into the vagina can survive for up to 3 days. This means the few days leading up to ovulation are when women are most fertile.
THE LUTEAL PHASE
This phase lasts for 14 days and forms the second half of the menstrual cycle. Hormone levels are balanced out to ensure the safe implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus.
For some women their cycle occurs like clockwork – never once missing a beat. For those with irregular periods or problems that make it hard to pinpoint the ovulation phase, there are certain symptoms that can help. Signs that you might be ovulating include:
However, it is possible to miss these changes and lose track of your cycle, which can stick a fork in your plans to get pregnant. Like pregnancy tests, there are ways to check if you are ovulating. An ovulation test often suggests two days when the woman is most likely to be most fertile by measuring levels of the luteinizing hormone.
OVULATION TRACKER & TIMED INTERCOURSE FOR PREGNANCY
Having unprotected sex as close as possible to the time of ovulation increases the chances of conception. However, having sex six days before ovulation will not lead to pregnancy. But having sex 4 days before ovulation increases her chances of getting pregnant as does having sex on the day of ovulation. Given that the ovulation phase is the shortest, correct timing is of essence.
CONSULTANT – FERTILITY SPECIALIST
MS(OG),Fellowship in Andrology & Reproductive Medicine