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Odds of Getting Pregnant During Every Phase of Your Menstrual Cycle

calendarJuly 25, 2016
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Odds of getting pregnant during every phase of your menstrual cycleOdds of Getting Pregnant During Every Phase of Your Menstrual Cycle

Planning to have a baby? Congratulations!

As your family gets bigger, your responsibilities will also become more numerous. After all, you’re the person everyone is counting on — you’re a woman, wife, and now a mom! But things can be really difficult even before your little one is born! Conceiving is a tough process, one that requires careful planning and a good understanding of your menstrual cycle and fertile period. Every month, you go from infertile to fertile, and back to infertile during the second half of your menstrual cycle.

So what are the odds of getting pregnant during the different phases of your MC? We’ve asked our expert about it, and here’s what she says:

Getting Deeper into How Your Menstrual Cycle Works

Before we even dig deeper into the different phases of your menstrual cycle, we should briefly go through the basics first:

  • What Is Your Menstrual Cycle?

In essence, the menstrual cycle is a series of changes that occur in your body, specifically in your uterus and cervix. These changes make pregnancy possible. This cycle is required for the production of eggs, medically known as ovocytes, and the preparation of the womb for pregnancy.

  • When does your menstrual cycle start?

The first day you start bleeding from your vagina is the first day of your menstrual cycle, or day 1.

  • What is the average length of a menstrual cycle?

The length of the menstrual cycle varies widely from woman to woman, but the average is said to be 28 days. However, some women have cycles as short as 22 days, while others have cycles that last up to 32 days. During the first months up to a few years after you’ve got your period, your menstrual cycle may be irregular, meaning the length can be different every month. But as your body matures, it becomes gradually more regular.

What are the phases of your menstrual cycle?

Odds of getting pregnantOdds of Getting Pregnant During Every Phase of Your Menstrual Cycle

The menstrual cycle can be divided into four main phases. Based on the average 28-day menstrual cycle, these phases are:

The menstrual cycle can be divided into four main phases. Based on the average 28-day menstrual cycle, these phases are:

  • Menstrual phase (day 1 to 5);
  • Follicular phase (day 1 to 13);
  • Ovulation phase (day 14 to 16);
  • Luteal phase (day 15 to 28).

Phases of Your Menstrual Cycle

1. Menstrual Phase

The menstrual phase starts on the very first day of your menstrual cycle, and lasts until day 5. It can sometimes last until day 6 or 7, from case to case. This phase is characterized by bleeding from the vagina, which can range from very light to very heavy. The bleeding is due to the uterus shedding its inner lining, a very soft tissue known as endometrium. This is the tissue where the egg attaches if it’s fertilized by your partner’s sperm cells.

During the menstrual phase, you can expect blood loss of 10 to 80ml. Sometimes, the blood loss can be a little higher, and may be accompanied by clots. Unless they are larger than a dime, they are a normal part of the menstruation, and occur due to the blood not having enough time to form complete clots.

Stomach cramps, breast tenderness, back pain, dizziness, nausea and bloating are all normal symptoms.

2. Follicular Phase

Just like the menstrual phase, the follicular phase begins on day 1, but lasts until day 13. During this phase, your pituitary gland produces a hormone that stimulates young egg cells to mature in fluid-filled sacs that form on your ovaries. However, only one of the eggs reaches maturity. The process takes about 13 days on average. As the egg matures, the follicle produces a hormone that stimulates the uterus to develop a lining of blood vessels and nutrients — the endometrium.

As the release of the egg approaches, estrogen levels are on the rise.

  • Odds of getting pregnant: Good, especially if you have sex about one week before pregnancy. Since sperm cells can survive up to 5-6 days in your system, they may be hanging around when you ovulate, ready to fertilize the egg.

3. Ovulation Phase

How to increase odds of getting pregnantOdds of Getting Pregnant During Every Phase of Your Menstrual Cycle

Between the 14th and 16th day of your menstrual cycle, the pituitary gland produces a hormone that causes the ovary to release the matured egg, which is swept into the fallopian tube. Here, the egg survives for up to 24 hours only if it’s not fertilized, and is shed along with the endometrium during the menstrual phase. When you ovulate, your basal body temperature rises by one degree, and you experience stomach cramps that are similar to your period. Other symptoms include:

  • spotting;
  • breast tenderness;
  • low back pain;
  • increased vaginal discharge.

The discharge your cervix secretes is slippery and thin to facilitate intercourse and mobility of sperm cells. The amount increases up to 20 or even 30 times more as compared to your normal cervical mucus.

  • Odds of getting pregnant: Very high. Ovulation is the prime time to hop into bed and have sex to get pregnant!

4. Luteal Phase

The luteal phase begins immediately after ovulation, usually on the 15th day of your menstrual cycle, and lasts until day 28. The next day following the luteal phase is day 1 of your next menstrual cycle, and the day vaginal bleeding starts. If the egg hasn’t been fertilized, it will start to disintegrate, only to be later expelled by your vagina along with the endometrium and blood. Also, the hormone that’s causing the uterus to retain its endometrium gets used up by the end of your menstrual cycle, which signals your next period to start (your menstrual phase).

  • Odds of getting pregnant: Nil. Once the egg dies, you have to wait until the next month to try getting pregnant again. If there’s no egg, fertilization can’t occur, and so conceiving can’t take place either.

Now that you know when it’s good to hop into bed, it’s time to get busy!

Read also: What Are The Chances Of Getting Pregnant In Various Scenarios?

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