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Finding your fertile window

As you might already know, in order for conception to take place, sperm must be waiting in the Fallopian tube at the moment that ovulation occurs so it can fertilize the egg within 12-24 hours of the egg being released from the ovary.

Because sperm can only live for up to 7 days in the female body, and only a small number of sperm will even survive the long journey to the egg, you and your partner need to have sex at the right time to maximize the chance that you will conceive.

This means you need to know when you will ovulate, which is more difficult to determine than you might think. One reason for this is that due to normal fluctuations in your body, you won’t always ovulate on the same cycle day from one cycle to the next. Fortunately, there are other reliable ways to measure what’s going on in your body and predict when your most fertile days in each cycle will fall. The most important thing is to find a method for pinpointing your fertile window that works well for you!

Some of the ways to predicting your fertile window include:

  1. Using a period tracking APP. This is good enough especially for those with regular periods. There are also many free options of these apps.
  2. Ovulation Predictor Kits(OPKs) are a popular method for predicting ovulation. OPKs detect the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. Approximately 12-36 hours before ovulation occurs, the amount of LH in your body “surges”. By testing with OPKs, you can identify this LH surge, which allows you to know that ovulation is just around the corner and that you are in your fertile window. These can be used alongside your period tracking app to be extra sure of when you are ovulating.
  3. Electronic fertility monitors, like the OvaCue Wireless Fertility Monitor, can give you the most advanced notice of ovulation, up to 7 days. They use the Electrolyte Method to track changes in the electrolytes in your saliva and cervical mucus that correspond to the fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone throughout your cycle. These devices even work well for women with irregular cycles as they work by watching for trends in the readings rather than looking for set reading levels. The main con for these is price with most of them starting at about 250USD or Ksh.30,000/-.

For those with irregular cycles, it would be best to first regulate their cycle so that they can be better able to track their fertile window. Fertilaid for women is a supplement that is designed just for this.

Have you been tracking your ovulation? Which method have you been using? What challenge have you faced?

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