What is a Fertility Window?
For most women, it is possible to conceive over a full six day period. Fertilization itself only occurs in the 12-24 hours after ovulation but sperm can remain ready to impregnate for up to five days. Thus, the fertility window is defined as the day of ovulation and the previous five day period.
The Menstrual Cycle
Although commonly explained using a 28-day window, a women’s menstrual cycle normally lasts anywhere from 21 to 35 days. The menstruation cycle is broken down into five phases. The first phase is menstruation, commonly referred to as a women’s period. After your period ends, a woman’s egg begins to mature before entering the important fertility window. The fertility window is the five days prior to the 12-24 hours of ovulation. After ovulation, if your egg has been fertilized it will implant on your uterine wall about 7-10 days after ovulation. The first signs of pregnancy may begin to appear during the time. If your egg is not fertilized, your uterine lining will absorb the egg, which will then cause your next period.
Identifying your Fertility Window
The easiest way to calculate your ovulation at home is to begin tracking your period. A number of mobile apps or even just marking the beginning and ending of your period on a simple paper calendar can help. Other predictors of ovulation include cervical fluid consistency, basal body temperature, mood swings and other symptoms. If you are trying to conceive, talk to your doctor or a fertility specialist to help you identify the best way to determine your fertility window.