How to Get Pregnant
Women have been getting pregnant for thousands of years, so it's really not that complicated, right?
Actually, it is. It's not that easy to get pregnant. To maximize your chances of getting pregnant naturally or with fertility treatment, you need to get to know your menstrual cycle. The average length of the menstrual cycle is 28 days; however it can range from 25 to 36 days.
Your menstrual cycle has three phases. Your period (menstruation) occurs on Day 1 of the first phase when your body realizes that you did not get pregnant during the previous menstrual cycle. The estrogen and progesterone levels begin to drop, which causes the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to shed and bleed through the cervix and vagina.
The follicular phase starts the first day of your period and lasts until ovulation occurs (around 13 or 14 days). During this phase, your body prepares itself to get pregnant. The endometrium grows and thickens, and the vaginal environment becomes more sperm friendly. Ovarian follicles (small sacs in which the egg matures) develop, and one becomes dominant. The follicular phase ends when the level of luteinizing hormone (LH) surges dramatically, resulting in the release of an egg (ovulation).
The ovulatory phase lasts approximately one to two days. One egg is released from the dominant ovarian follicle in response to the LH surge. The egg can be fertilized up to 24 hours after it is released. When trying to get pregnant, it is very important to determine when you ovulate. For women with a 28-day menstrual cycle, ovulation is usually between days 13 and 15.
The luteal phase begins just after ovulation and lasts about two weeks (14 days). After the egg is released, the ruptured follicle closes and forms a structure called the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum produces progesterone (the hormone that is responsible for body basil temperature or BBT) and prepares the uterus for fertilization. If the egg is not fertilized and you do not get pregnant, the corpus luteum degenerates, and a new menstrual cycle begins.
A man's sperm can last from three to five days in a woman's body; however, the egg can only last up to 24 hours; therefore if you are trying to get pregnant, the best time to have sex is a few days before ovulation occurs and one day after.