When you are trying to get pregnant, understanding your menstrual cycle can be the first step in maximizing your chances. Years of taking birth control pills can help you identify the phases of a normal menstrual cycle, and Dr. Dan Gehlbach with Midwest Reproductive Center explains the color-coded correlation and the basics of getting pregnant.
Timed Intercourse is the Trick to Getting Pregnant
Your birth control pills are packaged in colors in seven-day increments. The first day of your period marks Day 1 of a normal menstrual cycle.
The Follicular Phase (Days 1-14)
During the follicular phase, your body is responding to hormonal signals from the brain to start developing small, fluid-filled sacs (follicles) in the ovaries that contain oocytes, or eggs. Typically, only one egg will mature and will be released into the fallopian tube. This is called ovulation. The fertile window surrounding ovulation varies, and so basal body temperature charting, or ovulation predictor kits can help track a pattern.
Dr. Gehlbach recommends timing intercourse to coincide with the last few days of the follicular phase, two days before and one day after ovulation occurs.
The Luteal (Premenstrual) Phase (Days 14-28)
The ovulated egg travels to the fallopian tube where fertilization with the sperm takes place, and then on to the uterus to implant. If no pregnancy occurs, the body prepares to shed the endometrial lining.
Dr. Gehlbach works with the 1 in 7 couples that perfectly time intercourse around a normal menstrual cycle for a reasonable time period, yet still do not achieve a pregnancy. Fertility specialists recommend trying to get pregnant for 12 months for most couples, or 6 months when the woman is over 35. Learn more about underlying causes of infertility here.
Contact Midwest Reproductive Center for an appointment if you suspect underlying causes of infertility.