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How do I know I am fertile? Pt 1

Knowing your own body and being able to tell when you are fertile or ovulating is an important skill that every woman should have.

You will save yourself an enormous amount of worry and anxiety when you get to know your body and can control your risk of unwanted pregnancy.

The fact is that there are only certain times during your menstrual cycle when you are fertile or can get pregnant in. So it pays off to know when those times are.

Your body will give you clear clues and signals as to when fertility is approaching and happening.

A woman is fertile when she is ovulating and for a few days before ovulation when fertile cervical mucus is present.

Ovulation usually occurs mid cycle. More precisely, ovulation usually occurs 14 days before the onset of bleeding.

Not at day 14 of the menstrual cycle as is commonly believed.

However - ovulation can be upset and delayed by many factors, eg, sickness, alcohol, travel, stress etc which is why simply counting the days can be inaccurate.

You will find your success in tracking your fertility will be far greater when you become adept at recognising your own personal fertility signals rather than just counting the days.

Ovulation can also spontaneously occur during your natal lunar phase. Your natal lunar (moon) phase fertile time can occur at any time during your menstrual cycle, including before, during and after your period.

Your natal lunar fertile time is individual to you and is calculated from your birth data - it is all to do with which phase of the moon you were born under.

Please go to what is menstruation or the biological changes your body goes through for a description of what goes on through the menstrual cycle, and there is a menstrual glossary to explain unfamiliar terms.

Below is a table that gives a rough description of the very real physical and emotional symptoms that you can observe throughout your menstrual cycle.

It is a brief guide that I have put together from my own observation. The time frame is very approximate, so don't worry if your cycle is not the same... everyone is individual

Please note that this table is not the definitive guide. Each cycle may not be the same, and each woman is not the same, it all depends on how you are and what's going on in your life.

If you experience other feelings or symptoms, let me know so I can add it to the list.

 

Steps to Managing fertility:

  1. Find a system of recording your menstrual cycle and fertile times that is easy for you to use.

    There are many good systems available from simple moon / menstrual calendars and diaries to fertility tracking computer software that allows you to record and track many different bodily symptoms.

    It's not always essential to buy something special - using your normal diary or calendar works just as well as long as you remember to write down the information you need.

    The system you need will depend very much on your purpose.

    Someone trying to conceive is going to need to record more information than someone else who just wants to know when their period is due.

  2. Use your system regularly.

  3. If you want to cover all bases then find out what your natal lunar phase fertile time is as it is thought that the moon can trigger ovulation to occur at any time during the menstrual cycle see Two Fertile Times

  4. The moon is a great tool for monitoring and regulating menstrual cycles - so try to use it in whatever system you emply. The moons cycle is approx 29 days and so is your cycle. Observe the moon (look at the sky, check out the ready reckoneror invest in a moon diaryor calendar) so you know when your fertile natal lunar phase occurs, (a Lunar Report will give you this information)

  5. Start observing your mucus, and keep a record...WRITE IT DOWN. We offer a Free Blank Charting Template and instructions that you can print out and use each month. Alternatively DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE trial software Hormonal Forecaster which makes tracking your fertility a breeze.

  6. If using lunar fertility methods - do your two cycles (mid cycle ovulation and natal lunar fertile time) co-incide? Do you have one fertile time or two?

  7. Ensure you use contraception or abstain from sexual intercourse during your fertile time if you don't want a pregancy.

    If you do want to get pregnant, go for it during your fertile times.
Week 1
From first day of bleeding
  Bleeding and the various symptoms felt then depends on the individual
At the post bleeding phase there is generally an increase in physical energy and vitality.
The individual is more outgoing and sociable. Sleep patterns and appetite return to normal.
Vaginal mucus is dry or absent.


Week 2   As ovulation approaches mucus becomes more wet, slippery, white (whatever is your individual pattern.)


Ovulation
Day 14 approximately*

  Mucus is very wet and slippery, easily allowing penetration of sperm.
Breasts may be tender, Mood swings, increase in libido, cramps, desire to be with your partner.


Week 3
After Ovulation moving into premenstrual phase
  Mucus production slows, becomes drier and thicker. Moods balance out again.


Week 4
Pre-menstrual phase
  Premenstrual symptoms kick in, which depending upon you, range from bloating, cramps, headaches, mood swings, food cravings, and insomnia.
Energy levels decrease, libidio may increase.
Desire for solitude

** Please note that ovulation does not always occur at day 14, which is why counting the days or the rhythm method is an unreliable and often incorrect method of guaging fertily.

However, periods or bleeding do usually arrive 14 days after ovulation. In irregular cycles, it is the first half of the cycle or pre-ovulatory phase which varies in length (rather than the second half of the cycle), as bleeding almost always occurs 14 days after ovulation.

It is only through getting to know your individual cycle that you can know what your pattern is. If you experience a constant reliable rhythm - then that rhythm is yours, regardless of how it fits into the 'norm'.

Cervical Mucus is one of the most important indicators of fertility.

It will change throughout the menstrual cycle from being dry, thick or pasty (infertile) to being wet and slippery (fertile).

It is the job of the cervical mucus to either restrict or allow sperm penetration through the cervix.

Getting to know your body and its types of mucus is a very important step in this process. Different women have different symptoms or charateristics of mucus, differences in the wetness, colour, smell, pastiness, so it only by "Knowing Thyself' that you can know what your own personal pattern is... Personal onbservation is extremely important.

Continued next page...click here

 

When observing mucus, ask the question - 

 "Could a sperm swin through this type of mucus?"

It will assist in deciding if you are fertile or not.

It is easy to imagine that mucus that is dry and thick is not as easy to swim through than mucus that is wet and slippery.

Written by Nadia MacLeod