When using Fertility Awareness does the exact day you ovulate matters?
No. The exact day of ovulation can vary between cycles but will usually be within a range. For example it might always be between day 11 and 15. The important thing therefore is for you to know your fertility window and use it to plan accordingly. You must not have sex on the day of ovulation itself in order for you to get pregnant since the sperm can survive for up to 6 days in the female reproductive tract. But the closer you have sex towards the day of ovulation, the higher your chances of getting pregnant. One method might not be enough for you to detect your fertility window since other factors like stress, depression, sickness or medication can affect one method more than the other. Therefore, a combination of 2 or more methods is usually recommended.
How do you know if you are about to ovulate?
- Prior to ovulation, your vaginal mucus or discharge becomes more watery, slippery and clear like raw egg white. This is to assist the sperm to move smoothly through the vagina into the uterus and finally the fallopian tube where it can fertilize the egg. So you can check your cervical mucus
- Luteinizing hormone (LH) is a hormone released by your brain which triggers ovulation (release of an egg by the ovary). LH levels begin to rise during your fertile window and peak 24 to 36 h before ovulation. Thus the levels of LH can be monitored using test kits from the pharmacy.
- Some women experience minor cramps on one side of the pelvis
- During this period, a woman usually experiences an increase in sexual desire. A strategy by nature to ensure a woman gets pregnant. So the times of your cycle whereby you experience more sexual desire than the others is likely your fertility window.
Can I predict when exactly I will start menstruating?
Yes you can. Women with very regular period can predict the date and time their period will start, others with regular period can do only within few days before it starts and those with irregular period might not be able to pin point the exact date.
How can I tell if I am pregnant?
- Check the date when you lastly had sex. Was it on your fertile window and if so how close to ovulation. The closer you had sex around the day of ovulation, the higher you probability of getting pregnant.
- Use you BBT chart to get a hint but not a confirmation. If you observed a triphasic pattern on your BBT chart which occurs about 1 week after ovulation.
- Your luteal phase (10-16 days) that is the time between ovulation and the next menstrual cycle is longer than usual.
- If not sure then all the above mentioned can be confirmed using a pregnancy test kit especially if your menstrual cycle has gone past one week from its normal length.
How can I tell something is wrong during my menstrual cycle?
It can be any of the following reasons:
- You failed to menstruate more than 3 years after your breast develop
- If you have past age 15 and have not started mentruating
- You are failing to have quality EWCM
- If you cycle is too short (less than 21 days) or too longer (greater than 38 days)
- Menstrual cycle length normally varies from month to month by some few days. If the variation is too much between cycles, then something is wrong
- You have bleeding between periods
- Your period last more than a week
- If your PMS symptoms are so severe that it interferes with your day to day activity
- Your menstrual cramps are so severe that anti-inflammatories such as naproxen and ibuprofen don’t make it better
- You have heavy bleeding. That is one that goes through your pad or tampon in less than 2 hours.
- If your period is still very irregular after about 2 years after your started menstruating
What are the signs that you are having ovulation problems or not ovulating at all?
If you are not ovulating it means you cannot get pregnant. If you are ovulating only occasionally, then you may have difficulties to conceive. So what are the reasons why you may not be ovulating?
- Your menstrual cycle is too irregular spanning several days
- Your cycle is shorter than 20 days or longer than 38 days
- If you failed to menstruate for a month or few months in a year especially if you are in your 20s or early 30s
- Your BBT fails to rise throughout your cycle. Note however that some women may not experience BBT rise but can still ovulate.
- Ovulation test kits fail to give positive results
- Multiple positive results with ovulation test kit can also mean you have ovulation problem.
If you suspect you are not ovulating, then see a doctor. If your concern is about getting pregnant, also check your partner’s fertility before undergoing any further treatment assuming your test results come out positive.
How will cervical changes be like for a typical 28 days cycle?
- Days 1-5: You will menstruate
- Day 6-9: Vagina appears dry with little or no mucus at all
- Day 10-12: Thick and sticky mucus appears, gradually changing from creamy to a watery, clear, and slippery mucus
- Day 13-15: Mucus is very wet and watery, clear, slippery and stretchy like raw egg white. This is your most fertile period.
- Day 16-21: Mucus is thick, white and sticky again
- Day 22-28: Vagina is dry with little to no mucus
While the above is true for most women with a 28 days cycle, there might be exceptions. So be careful to practice caution and double check yourself.