It takes most women about two to six months to fulfil a desire to have children. If you want to increase your chances of getting pregnant, it can be helpful to consider your cycle and determine your fertile days.

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The fertile days have to do with your desire to have children

Your fertile days are three to five days before and 12 to 24 hours after ovulation. Ovulation occurs in the middle of your cycle. During this time, the probability of pregnancy is highest because the sperm can survive in the fertile cervical mucus. So you have a maximum of six days a month to get pregnant. If the egg cell is not fertilised within these days, it’s expelled through menstruation and a new cycle begins.

How do you determine your fertile days?

You can use various methods to determine your fertile days, which we will present in the following section.

1. Measurement of temperature

For three months you measure and document your temperature every day before you get up, starting on the first day of your period. A special basal thermometer is best suited for this. Due to the increase in the hormone progesterone, your body's basal body temperature rises by 0.6 to 0.8 degrees Celsius during ovulation and remains elevated until the onset of your menstrual period. This method doesn't tell you when your fertile days will be, but it does teach you to read your body's signs correctly. In addition, after these three months of documentation, you can use the rise in your temperature to estimate where the window of your fertile days is in your cycle.

2. Checking your cervical mucus

The so-called ovulation method looks at the consistency of your cervical mucus, which changes over the course of your cycle. This is due to the fluctuation of the hormones estrogen and progesterone over time. Because your body produces more estrogen from the end of your period until ovulation, the cervical mucus becomes more liquid and creamy, which allows sperm to be transported more easily to the uterus. In this state, it even "protects" the man's sperm from the acidic vaginal environment, allowing them to survive longer.

On the other hand, on the days when you are not ready to conceive, the mucus is viscous and whitish-yellow to cloudy. During this time, it seals your uterus to protect it from invading bacteria.

3. Calendar determination

If you have a regular cycle, you can also use this method. To do this, you should accurately log your cycle length for at least six months. You start on the first day of your menstrual period. From this data you then determine your shortest cycle, from which you subtract 19 days. The result shows you your first fertile day.

Then you subtract 11 days from your longest cycle and calculate your last fertile day within your cycle. However, an exact prediction of your ovulation is not possible with this method.

However, it’s most effective if you take the temperature in combination with checking your cervical mucus. This is also known as NFP - natural family planning. It’s important that you and your partner are patient and to not put yourself under pressure. Stress and other external factors can be counterproductive for the development of a pregnancy. Approach the planning in a relaxed manner, be attentive and look forward to the little being, which hopefully will grow up in you very soon.