Krisha McCoy, MS
Having a good understanding of your menstrual cycle can help you time intercourse and increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
On average, a woman’s menstrual cycle is 28 days long, but it can vary—from 17-36 days. Day 1 of your menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period. Between Day 7 and 11, the lining of your uterus begins to thicken, preparing for a fertilized egg to implant. Around Day 14 of a 28-day cycle, changes in hormones cause a mature egg to be released from an ovary (called ovulation) and travel down a fallopian tube. It is here that a sperm may fertilize the egg. The fertilized egg will travel toward the uterus for implantation. If this happens and the egg attaches to the lining of the uterus, pregnancy occurs.
When trying to get pregnant, it is helpful to know when the egg is released. That is the best time to achieve a pregnancy. The table below describes four of the most common methods that can be used to track when you are most fertile each month.
Trying to conceive. National Women’s Health Information Center website. Available at:
http://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/before-you-get-pregnant/trying-to-conceive.cfm. Updated September 27, 2012. Accessed December 26, 2012.
Understanding ovulation. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at:
http://www.americanpregnancy.org/gettingpregnant/understandingovulation.html. Updated March 2011. Accessed December 26, 2012.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
National Women’s Health Information Center
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Women's Health Matters
Last reviewed November 2012 by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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