TTC Series: The Menstrual Cycle

One of the things that helped me to conceive master monster was learning about how my body and more specifically my menstrual cycle worked.  Most women know that their cycle is however many days long and that their period is takes up so many days and is heavy or light etc and that they usually ovulate in the middle of the cycle. What most women don’t realise unless they are or have been in the process of trying to conceive a child is how the menstrual cycle actually works and how it relates to their own bodies.
There are 4 phases that the menstrual cycle goes through before a woman either succeeds in getting pregnant or begins the cycle again: menstruation, follicular, ovulation and luteal. Each one plays a part in preparing the womb for carrying a baby. Here is a basic description of what each phase is and does.
The Menstruation Phase
Every cycle begins with bleeding otherwise known as a menstruation or period. The first day of your cycle is considered the first day of your period. This is the day that the 40 weeks of your pregnancy will date from even though you are not actually pregnant at this stage. (fun fact: your baby will actually be 2 weeks younger than your gestation week will be) Your period is the process of your body releasing the build up of the liner in the womb and the unfertilised egg from the previous cycle.

If you have been unfortunate enough to have suffered a miscarriage, it will come under this stage of your cycle.

The Follicular Phase
This phase incorporates the menstruation phase in it. It is the part of the cycle that most varies from woman to woman and can last anywhere between 7 days and 40 plus days. This is the phase where the hormones in your body begin to prepare the follicles of ovaries to release the egg for ovulation.

The Ovulation Phase
This phase is only 4-5 days long and in an average 28 day cycle will take place starting from around day 10 of your cycle. This is when your womb is the most fertile for conceiving a baby and the part of your cycle to be having the most fun in the bedroom. The second to last day of this phase is when your ovaries will release your egg for fertilising. Once your egg is released however it only has a 24-48 hour life span unless it is fertilised. Some women may suffer a cramp like feeling when their egg is released.

Ideally to conceive a child you should be having intercourse every day from the start of your ovulation phase until the last day of the ovulation phase. However, if you are unable to do so, then making sure you have intercourse on the day your egg is released will give you a higher chance of conceiving.

Interestingly enough, when your egg is fertilised can help determine the sex of your baby. Those couples who manage to fertilise their egg by having intercourse on the day of the egg release or the day following will have a higher chance of conceiving a boy. Those couples who fertilise their egg by having intercourse before the day of the egg releasing will be more likely to conceive a girl.

The Luteal Phase
This last phase is the important phase once an egg is fertilised. It is usually between 12-14 days for most women and starts from the day after ovulation has occurred but must be a minimum of 10 days for a pregnancy to be successful. This is the phase when the egg if fertilised successfully will implant itself into the side of your womb.

If your egg has not been fertilised successfully then it will not implant itself into the side of your womb and the menstrual phase of your cycle will begin again.

About AMummysLife NZ

Mother of 4 children. Blogger about family life, recipes, product reviews and motherhood in general.
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