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For some couples conception simply happens, while others have to work hard in order to get pregnant.

For some couples conception simply happens, while others have to work hard in order to get pregnant. One of the most important tasks for couples trying to conceive is timing their intercourse, ovulation and conception. Understanding ovulation period and timing an intercourse when woman is most fertile is a key to successful conception. Adopting healthy habits, such as proper diet and exercise, leaving cigarettes, alcohol and caffeinated beverage, is important step when trying to conceive, but even couples with the healthiest lifestyles have to understand and monitor fertility cycles, because they re most important factors for pregnancy.

Women's cycle lengths may vary from a 24-day cycle to a 34-day cycle. The following ovulation calendar is based on a 28-day cycle, which is average cycle length for most women. If your cycle is longer or shorter, you may adjust it accordingly). This article will lead you through your cycle day-by-day which may help you determine when you are fertile and ready for conception.

Cycle Day 1

This is the start of your period (or menstruation). Your reproductive hormones are at low level. This is period when a menstrual bleeding starts.

Cycle Days 1-5

Menstruation typically lasts about 5 days. Your body is in so called cool phase with temperature low, since your progesterone hormone levels have dropped off from your last cycle and your estrogen levels may yet to rise.

Cycle Days 6-8

Estrogen dominates the cool phase of your cycle, but before estrogen can be produced, the brain and body relay a set of hormonal messages to prepare your body for upcoming ovulation. Two hormones are being released - follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone. Both are responsible for the maturation off eggs and follicle, producing estrogen as egg develops.

Cycle Days 8-11 

Eggs mature and the estrogen production is at full speed. Increase in estrogen should cause changes in the cervical mucus, supporting the build-up of the endometrium and preparing your uterus for pregnancy. Your body temperature will still remain low. The amount of cervical fluids increases, but they re still sticky and translucent.

Cycle Days 11-13 

If you have a 28-day cycle, you're getting close to ovulation, which means you re entering your fertile window. Estrogen levels are high in this period and cervical mucus will start to become clear, slippery and stretchy. During these days, your fertility level is high, even though ovulation may be more than a few days off. The reason why you can get pregnant is because sperm can survive few days in a woman's body.

Cycle Days 13-14 

The estrogen levels are at their highest during these days. This precipitates a boost in the hormone LH, which causes ovulation. The egg emerges from the ovarian follicle and you are at peak fertility. Since the egg can only survive just twelve to twenty four hours, these few days preceding ovulation are the best period for trying to conceive. Intercourse on the day after ovulation could be helpful as well.

Cycle Days 14-15

Ovulation has taken place, as well as two-week-waiting period. Estrogen levels drop and your body moves from the cool phase to the hot phase, due to production of progesterone in corpus luteum. You can confirm that ovulation has taken place by seeing your basal body temperature rise. This rise should last through the rest of your cycle.

Cycle Days 16-22

The corpus luteum continues to produce progesterone. Your basal body temperature remains high. A few days after ovulation, the amount of cervical mucus decreases and it becomes cloudier and stickier. Conception must take place within 24 hours of ovulation or the egg will die. If the egg is fertilized, it begins the trip to the womb.

Cycle Days 23-27

Unless you become pregnant, the corpus luteum will begin to falter and you may see your basal body temperature temps drop right at the end of your cycle. If pregnant, your body will keep producing the progesterone, and your BBT temps will stay high.

Cycle Days 28

If you have a 28 days cycle, this will be your last cycle day. Both estrogen and progesterone drop. If you are not pregnant, you can expect to have your period a day after. If you are pregnant, well done, and good luck with your pregnancy.

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