11 Jan How to Chart Your Menstrual Cycle and Timing of Ovulation
There are several ways to predict ovulation and time intercourse to achieve pregnancy. Getting pregnant is about timing so conditions are right for egg and sperm to come together, and your menstrual cycle is the key to the timing Charting your cycles and monitoring your cervical mucus can assist with predicting ovulation.
Menstrual charting is simple and inexpensive and tracking your cycle provides valuable information about your overall health and offers clues to help you conceive. The menstrual cycle is divided into two phases: follicular phase and luteal phase.
The follicular phase begins with the onset of menses and ends on the day before the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge. The follicular phase can vary from 11-21 days in women with 25-35 days cycles.
The luteal phase begins on the day of the LH surge and ends at the onset of the next menses. The egg is released from the follicle at the surface of the ovary approximately 36 hours after the LH surge. It then travels down the fallopian tube to the uterine cavity. There is a close relation of the timing of egg release to the LH surge. This allows measurements of urine LH to estimate the time of ovulation in women.
Charting your menstrual cycles helps you to determine if, and when, you may be ovulating, and which days of your cycle are most fertile. To start, you need to chart your menstrual cycle and record how long it lasts. Several aps are available to make cycle charting easy to record and reproduce for you doctor.
- Day 1 is the first day of your period.
- Cycle length is the number of days form the start of one cycle (day one) to the start of the next cycle.
- Record the number of days of bleeding. It is helpful to track the amount of flow: spotting, light, moderate of heavy. Documenting the number of tampons or pads soaked each day is helpful.
- Menstrual cycles are usually every 25-35 days and are associated with typical premenstrual symptoms, such as menstrual cramps, breast tenderness, fluid retention, and appetite or mood changes. There is a midcycle increase in cervical mucus that is clear, stretchy and slippery. Women with these cycles are usually ovulatory.
- The average adult menstrual cycle lasts 25 to 35 days, with 11 to 21 days in the follicular phase and 14 days in the luteal phase.
- Menses occurs approximately 14 days after the LH surge.
- Cycles less than 25 days or more than 35 days may indicate anovulation.
Other inexpensive methods to predict ovulation include cervical mucus changes. Right before ovulation, there is an increase in cervical mucus. It will be clear, stretchy and slippery and it may stretch across your fingers if you spread them apart.
For couples pursuing pregnancy, the highest probability of conception appears to be with intercourse one to two days prior to ovulation. Therefore, attempting to identify the fertile period and timing intercourse during this interval maximizes the probability of conception. You are most fertile right before ovulation, which is 14 days before your period and when your cervical mucus is clear, stretchy and slippery, like egg whites.
Keeping track of your menstrual cycle can give you valuable information about your reproductive health. To learn more about this topic and speak to one of our physicians about fertility treatment, you can request a consultation here.