Babies, often called as “a bundle of joy”, are adorable angels. A lot of women at some point in their lives yearn to have one of their own. Pregnancy after all is a new phase in womanhood and also a prelude to parenthood. However, it is easier to desire something than make it happen. Women often ask when the best day to conceive is. Getting pregnant is not at all an effortless thing to do and it requires both of the couple’s efforts. Not all women are lucky to conceive as soon as they want to. In fact, a lot of couples try all sorts of methods and seek medical help just to have a baby of their own.
Once a healthy couple is emotionally and financially ready to have a baby, the next step would be to know how and when the best day to conceive is. The period of ovulation is said to be the time when the chances to get pregnant are the highest since it is the time when a woman is most fertile. It is important to know the ovulation period because this is the time when sexual intercourse must happen. Hence, in knowing the best day to get pregnant is for the woman to be aware and to monitor her menstrual cycle. 28 to 32 days is the average normal menstrual cycle, but cycles differ in that some women have longer and others have shorter cycles. In counting the menstrual cycle, include the first day of the menstrual period until the first day of the next period. After counting the menstrual period, ovulation period can now be determined.
Ovulation happens when a mature egg or ovum is released from the ovarian follicle. This takes place when a fully developed follicle will then secrete estrogen in increasing levels. After which, at the peak of estrogen production, a surge of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) happens prompting the follicle to release the mature egg. Ovulation often occurs either 14 days after the start of the menstrual cycle and ends 14 days (may vary from 12-16 in some) thereafter. For instance, if a woman starts to have her period on February 1, the period of ovulation starts on February 14 and ends 14 days thereafter or on February 28. However, this is not true in all cases since ovulation can be affected by sickness, stress, and other factors.
There are three methods of tracking the ovulation through fertility pattern charting, thus knowing when the best day to conceive is. The first and most common method is the calendar method. This method requires a woman to record her menstrual cycle for eight (8) to twelve (12) months on a calendar, marking the first day of her period as day one.
Menstrual cycle varies every month so the days of each monthly cycle should be noted. In finding out the first day that a woman is most fertile is to subtract 18 from the total number of days in her shortest cycle. The result in this subtraction is used to count ahead that number of days from the first day of her next period and correspondingly marked in the calendar. The last day when a woman is most fertile is found out from subtracting 11 from the total number of days in her longest cycle. The result of this subtraction is used to count ahead that number of days from the first day of her next period and correspondingly marked therein. The period of time between the two markings is the most fertile window, during which sexual intercourse is advised since it is the best day to conceive. However, this method is not an accurate one since women’s cycles sometimes have different lengths making it difficult to predict when the precise time of ovulation is.
The second method is the cervical mucus method wherein a woman notes the changed in her cervical mucus the whole month. “Dry days” are those days wherein there is no presence of mucus; usually this happens a few days after having a period. Mucus increases in the vagina as the egg starts to mature and is seen in the vaginal opening; the greatest amount is found right before ovulation. The mucus is yellowish or whitish in color and is sticky; this period is called as “wet days,” and is the time where the woman is most fertile. A few days after, the mucus changes and becomes “sticky” and cloudy. The most fertile time is at the first day of the “wet days” after the woman’s period or 1-2 days before “wet days” begin.
The third method is the basal body temperature (bbt) method. The basal body temperature is taken first thing in the morning upon waking up because the bbt is the temperature of the body at rest. Bbt rises slightly, as in between .04 and 1 degree Fahrenheit when a woman ovulates. A bbt thermometer is used to record temperature everyday for several months in a calendar or chart to monitor the rising and falling of the bbt. Before ovulation, the bbt is consistent, as ovulation nears, there will be a slight decline and then followed by a sharp increase after ovulation. The sudden increase in temperature signifies the start of ovulation. The most fertile time is 2-3 days before ovulation and 12-24 hours after ovulation, hence this is the period where a woman has a high chance of conceiving.
Statistics show three methods when used consistently and properly have effective rates that may reach 90%. Nowadays, there are ovulation prediction kits and fertility monitors available in the market to help guide a woman to know when the best day to conceive is. It is likewise suggested that a woman should not rely on calendar method alone, and to have a more accurate prediction is to use simultaneously other methods and tools. Since factors such as smoking, stress, drinking alcohol, and getting sick may affect a woman’s ovulation as well as the accuracy of using the 3 methods, she should stay fit and healthy while trying to conceive. Keeping a healthy lifestyle and being committed in tracking the fertility pattern will give the woman a high success rate in conceiving.