If you are fed up with taking pills and using any number of gadgets and devices to fall pregnant, you will be relieved to hear that you can increase your chances of having a baby in a more natural way. Understanding how your menstrual cycle works is the key to effective family planning.
Ovulation is the miraculous process by which an egg is developed and then released, waiting to be fertilised by the sperm. If it is not fertilised, the lining of the womb is shed and you have your period. The length of an ovulation cycle can vary from approximately 23 days to 35 days. By knowing your own cycle, you will be better able to predict your most fertile time. Your fertile period is between seven days before you ovulate until about two days afterwards.
Emotional and physical changes are taking place in your body all the time due to the influence of hormones. These hormones are called progesterone and oestrogen, and will influence your cycle of fertility. There are various signs to watch out for at different times of your cycle, and learning to observe and then record these different signs will set you on your way in knowing when you are at your most fertile. The signs or indicators of family planning the natural way include the following:
Your Waking Temperature
When you ovulate your body temperature rises by 0.2C. This is called the basal body temperature (BBT), and it should be charted first thing in the morning when you wake up. Charting BBT will enable you to confirm the onset of ovulation, and as such it is a very useful method in helping facilitate conception.
Changes in Cervical Mucus
Changes will occur right through your cycle. Infertile days are dry, while fertile days are moist and sticky and resembling the raw white of an egg.
Changes in Your Cervix
Cervical mucus can give you early warnings of your approaching fertility.
Calculations of Your Cycle Length
Try to measure how long your cycle lasts. This is calculated from day one of your period up to (but not including) day one of your next period.
Minor Fertility Indicators
These will include ovulation pain, or Mittelschmerz, that is felt as a dull ache or a sharp pain in the abdomen for a couple of hours.
The advantages of a natural pregnancy are that no pills or chemicals are used. Fertility awareness can be used to plan for a pregnancy or avoid it, and there is a certain sense of romance when joint responsibility is taken for planning and enjoying pregnancy the natural way. It is essential to eat an appetising and balanced diet to give your body the nutrition that it needs at this special time, with lots of vegetables and fresh fruit (preferably organic) and good quality protein to aid in keeping a healthy body. A healthy body and a healthy mind go hand in hand. Exercising is a natural way to keep you in peak condition.