Ovulation Period Length

Mary asks…

Having my period this week when should i start conceiving ?

Started my period November 4th and i will end in 4-5 days so when should i start conceiving ?

Pregnancy Advisor’s answers:

Ovulation occurs between 12 & 16 days *before* your next period, immaterial of cycle length or period length (medical fact).

Sex 18 days before your period, everyday for 5-6 days (if possible) gives a minimum of 20-25% chance of pregnancy per cycle.

Very best of luck.

Sharon asks…

How many days after your period can you expect an elevation in temperature?

My friend is trying to conceive and is wanting to know how many days after your period can you expect a raise in your body temperature. Can anyone share some personal experiences and a little bit of info on the subject?

Pregnancy Advisor’s answers:

BBT increase happens immediately following ovulation, and a lot of women observe a temperature “dip” the day they ovulate, though not always. How many days it takes your friend to see a temp rise depends entirely on her cycle length and when in her cycle she ovulates. It’s different for everyone.

One thing she should keep an eye out for is if her follicular (pre-ovulation) phase is 20 days or more, or if her luteal (post-ovulation) phase is 12 days or less. If so, she may have a hormone imbalance at some point in her cycle and should get some bloodwork done with her doctor.

Sandra asks…

How does ovulation work with a 21 day cycle?

I can’t seem to get the hang of the ovulation calender with my cycle.

Pregnancy Advisor’s answers:

Calenders can only guess. With your cycle length you may not actually ovulate at all. You would have to ovulate anywhere from cycle days 5-11 to have a healthy luteal phase which would lead to a pregnancy. Luteal phase is the number of days from ovulation to the start of your period. It has to be at least 10 days to get pregnant. I would get ovulation predictor kits and start testing around cycle day 4. Blood will not effect the accuracy of the test.

Donna asks…

How many days after your period starts should you be ovulating?

My husband and I are trying to have a baby, but we aren’t sure the exact days that I would be ovulating. From when your period starts or finishes, how many days til you are ovulating or how does it work? Please help, and thanks in advance!

Pregnancy Advisor’s answers:

Most women are aware of the presence of cervical mucus from their teen years or perhaps later, when they may question what all this mucus is about?! Yet as we approach our reproductive years, mucus is most definitely worth becoming more aquainted with and more appreciated.

Observing your cervical mucus can be more useful than you may think. If you want to aid or avoid conception, cervical mucus observations are said to be around 98.5% accurate as to the fertile and infertile times in your monthly cycle.

The word ‘mucus’ might make you cringe, but knowing the different states of your mucus and what it means can be a strong indicator for ovulation, infertile times and fertile times.

Firstly, it’s important to note that there are some situations in which your mucus may be effected by external factors, including:

Medications or drugs (inc. Clomid)
If you may be pre-menopausal
Dieting, weight change or fasting
So, How Do You Observe Cervical Mucus?
There are three ways you can do this, depending on what you are most comfortable with.

Toilet Paper – By observing mucus found after wiping
Externally – With your fingers, feeling for mucus around the opening of your vagina
Internally – Checking mucus from the cervix by inserting two fingers (index and third finger) into your vagina and gently sweeping the cervix
Once you have some mucus on your fingers, between your thumb and index finger, press them together and stretch the mucus – take note of what the mucus does. Does it stretch? Does it stay in shape and is tacky? Is it slippery? Is it clear, yellow or cloudy?

Types of mucus
Just as every woman’s cycle is different, so too is her mucus pattern. This may be due to varying cycle lengths and stages or other factors effecting it’s production as above mentioned. Below is a fairly common cycle of mucus production, starting with the end of your period.

After your period, you may find that you have a few days with no mucus (dry). Any mucus that is seen at this time is infertile. If you do find mucus, it will likely be sticky and may come out as a blob.

Words women use to describe their infertile mucus at this time include:

Infertile mucus feels more dry to touch than fertile mucus. It may be yellow, white or opaque. Upon observation by touch between your thumb and index finger, you will find that it does not stretch or move – it is quite thick.

Possibly Infertile or Slightly Fertile
Following infertile mucus, you may then experience possibly infertile or slightly fertile mucus. Mucus in this state responds to increasing levels of oestrogen and is usually sticky and may feel damp. There is only a slight chance of conception – sperm will find this form of mucus particularly hard to swim through.

Words women use to describe their infertile mucus at this time include:

Possibly Infertile or Slightly Fertile mucus still feels more dry to touch than fertile mucus. It may be yellow, white or opaque. Upon observation by touch between your thumb and index finger, you will find that it does not stretch or move much but it may be damper or in more quantity.

Fertile mucus usually signals the impending arrival of ovulation and if you are hoping to avoid conception, you must avoid unprotected intercourse at this time. Your mucus may change to a more watery state and feel more slippery. You may find this mucus is more abundant than the previous forms of mucus.

Words women use to describe their fertile mucus include:

Fertile mucus feels wet and slippery compared to infertile mucus. It’s likely to be clear mucus or have a cloudy/white colour to it. Fertile mucus will even smell sweeter (and apparently taste sweeter) than less fertile mucus which may have a more vinegar scent, however the most important observation to make is the wetness/slippery observation.

Highly Fertile
This time is the most likely time to find what is commonly known as EWCM (egg-white cervical mucus) or spinn (short for spinnbarkeit which is german for spiderweb). EWCM is ‘stringy’ hence coming from the word spiderweb. It may appear as a glob, or in smaller amounts in more watery mucus. Not all women experience this form of mucus so don’t be alarmed if you don’t notice any EWCM.

Some women swear by Evening Primrose Oil to increase their levels of EWCM, however see a naturopath and they can suggest an appropriate dosage for you. If you were to stretch EWCM between your thumb and index finger, you may notice it stretches, unlike the infertile mucus which keeps it’s shape. You can see why this form of mucus favours sperm – it’s easy to swim through and creates an ideal environment for them to reach the egg.

Post Ovulation
Following ovulation, you may find that the mucus may quickly return to the thick, tacky mucus or you may have none at all, leading up to your period. Some women experience a glob of mucus prior to getting their period, which is infertile.

Recording Your Observations

There are so many benefits to keeping an actual record of mucus, especially when you are starting out.

You will quickly notice the unique pattern for you and will no doubt learn to tell when you are most likely to be ovulating, infertile or fertile. Observations will become easier, like habit, and when putting together mucus information with other charting observations (see the article on Charting for Conception), you will have an even better idea on when you are more likely to aid or avoid conception.

Betty asks…

How would you know you missed your period if you have an irregular period?

I’ve been having unprotected sex with boyfriend for the past 2 months (he pulls out every time). It’s been exactly 32 days since my period last started. I don’t know when i’m suppose to have my period, and for the past 3 periods I’ve been getting it at 29-33 days apart. Other than that, my periods can range from 30-60 days apart. I don’t feel like I’m getting my period anytime soon either.
So should I take a pregnancy test, & when will it be most accurate?

Pregnancy Advisor’s answers:

I am irregular too, my cycle length ranges 27-43 days.

What I do is use ovulation tests. Because I know when I ovulate, I also know when to expect my period. For me that is 14 days after ovulation, which is average.

Of course that doesn’t help you right now, because you don’t know if and when you ovulated. Judging by your cycle length you probably sometimes have anovulatory cycles. Not ovulating at all in a cycle is the most common cause for a period to stay away for as long as 60 days.

Usually the advice is to test when the number of days of your longest cycle in the past 6 months have gone by without a period. But for you that might be too long. After all, if you ARE pregnant that would mean you would find out about a month later, which would make you miss out on early prenatal care. So in your case I would test now, and if the result is negative test once a week until you get either a positive or your period.

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