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Even couples with normal fertility have only a 1 in 4 chance of getting pregnant each month and on average many take a year to conceive. There are only a few days each cycle when a women is fertile. Understanding your cycle and being able to identify these days is important when trying to fall pregnant.
The Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle is how your body prepares for the chance of a pregnancy. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days from the start of one period to the start of the next, but it can range from 21 days to around 35 days.
During the menstrual cycle, the levels of a hormone called oestrogen rise and cause the lining of the uterus to grow and become thicker. Around the middle of the cycle (approximately day 14 in a 28 day cycle), another hormone called luteinising hormone (LH) rises rapidly. This is called the LH surge.
The LH surge causes an egg to be released from the ovary, this is referred to as ovulation. The time of ovulation differs from woman to woman and can also be different from month to month. This variability can make it difficult to predict when your ovulation will occur.
Just dividing the number of days in the cycle in half to pinpoint ovulation is not very accurate and can be quite frustrating, especially if you have an irregular cycle.
After ovulation the egg that has been released travels down the fallopian tubes to the uterus. The egg can only live for around 24 hours. If during this time the egg becomes fertilised by sperm and attaches to the uterus, the woman becomes pregnant. Once the fertilised egg attaches to the uterus it begins to produce a hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG). If the egg does not become fertilised, the uterus does not need the extra thick lining and it will start to shed, this is the start of your next period and menstrual cycle.
The diagram below shows the rise of oestrogen prior to ovulation and the fertile period in a 28 day cycle with ovulation at day 14.
The diagram below shows the rise of LH prior to ovulation and at day 14 in a 28 day cycle.
One in 6 couples in Australia has difficulty falling pregnant. So, don't leave it to luck.
Your most fertile period lasts for only a few days each cycle. OvuPlan can help you get pregnant sooner by identifying the days when you are most likely to become pregnant.