What is your fertile window?
Your fertile window is the days in each menstrual cycle where you have the highest chance of conceiving. If you and your partner are trying to get pregnant, you should aim to have regular sexual intercourse – around every second day – during your fertile window.
When am I most fertile?
Every month, from puberty to menopause, women go through a three-stage menstrual cyclethat takes around 26-32 days (typically 28 days). This cycle controls the maturation and release of an egg, and prepares the uterus to receive and nurture an embryo so a pregnancy can be created.
If you are trying to conceive, your most fertile time – or ‘fertile window’ – is when the egg is moving along the fallopian tube. Once released, an egg survives for 24 hours, whereas sperm can live within a woman's body for 2 - 3 days. To maximise your chances of conceiving, you should aim to have regular unprotected sex during your fertile window, paying special attention to the two days prior to ovulation.
Every woman’s cycle is different, and your own cycle may also vary month to month. To work out when you ovulate, subtract 14 days from the number of days in your cycle. So if your cycle is usually 29 days long, you can expect to ovulate on day 15. You may also notice other symptoms of ovulation around that time. Common physical symptoms include a change in the consistency of cervical mucus (clear and slippery, similar to raw egg white), or increased libido.
Infrequent periods = infrequent ovulation
If you have infrequent or occasional periods, or no periods at all, you may have an ovulation disorder. This is often caused by a deficiency in one of the controlling hormones. If you are not ovulating often, you will have reduced opportunities to conceive, or if your periods are irregular it may be difficult to calculate your fertile window.
Your doctor will test for ovulation dysfunction via simple blood and/or urine tests to measure hormone levels, and may perform an ultrasound scan to check for any physical factors that may be affecting your menstrual cycle, such as the presence of ovarian cysts or endometriosis.
Treating ovulation dysfunction may be as simple as taking medication to encourage ovulation or tracking your hormone levels throughout your cycle to predict when ovulation is going to take place.
If you have been trying to conceive for a while without success, your Fertility Specialist may recommend Ovulation Induction (OI). OI is a simple process that encourages your eggs to form and develop, and can help women who produce low levels of the hormones that enable conception, or who are not ovulating at all. Treatments involve having FSH injections to increase the chance of conception.
$150 Couples Consultation
The approximate out-of-pocket cost for this appointment is between $100 and $150. This is the cost for both you and your partner after Medicare rebates have been claimed. It is important that you obtain a referral from your GP before your appointment, that way you will be eligible for Medicare rebates. Your referral can be made out to a specific Specialist, or to Queensland Fertility Group.
Many of the basic diagnostic tests your Specialist may recommend are bulk billed. Other tests will incur additional costs – the tests ordered will depend on your medical history, and any additional costs will be explained to you.
Follow our Fertility Insights Program
Whether you’re trying to conceive now, or hope to fall pregnant in the future, there are many ways you can improve your chances of falling pregnant – our Fertility Insights Program is a great place to start.
Developed by leading fertility specialists, it’s a six step program full of informative and practical free pregnancy advice that any woman trying to conceive should follow.
All Queensland Fertility Group doctors are expert gynaecologists and obstetricians who specialise in fertility, and can help with the diagnosis of ovulation disorders and identifying the best course of treatment to help you get pregnant.