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First trimester weeks

Congrats! During the first trimester, you’re getting used to the idea of being pregnant.

Second trimester weeks

As you enter this second trimester, your body will settle down to pregnancy.

Third trimester weeks

You've reached the third and final trimester and will be heavily pregnant by now.

Week 2 of Pregnancy

Your "fertile window" is approaching and this could be the time you conceive.
Toward the end of this week, one of the eggs in your ovaries is likely to have reached full maturity. Ovulation occurs as the egg, under the influence of hormones, bursts out of its follicle. If it meets a sperm, you may become pregnant. Now is the time to enjoy lots of sex with your partner, so go for it-as often as you like. If you have any anxieties about fertility, try to put them aside and relax.

Day 14 of your Menstrual Cycle

266 days to go...

ovary at the end of fallopian tube ready to release egg

What's happening inside

The ovary can be seen here at the end of the fallopian tube. At around this time of the menstrual cycle, a follicle at the surface of the ovary releases an egg, which is swept down the tube by clearly visible fingerlike projections called fimbriae.

You're highly likely to ovulate today, if you haven't already, and if egg meets sperm you may soon be pregnant.

Tracking ovulation is an important step for women trying to conceive. For women with a standard 28-day cycle, ovulation typically occurs around day 14. However, it is possible to happen a day or two earlier or later. According to the American Pregnancy Association, most women ovulate between days 11-21 of their menstrual cycle. 

Ovulation is a short-lived process, lasting only 12-24 hours, but because sperm can live in the body for several days, most women have a fertile window of about 5-7 days. Once that fertile window has passed, you will need to wait until your next period passes to try again.

Since day 14 is the average ovulation day, this article focuses on what happens to your body when it is ovulating, how to track your ovulation and fertile window, and offers tips on how to conceive. 

What is a Follicle Rupture During Ovulation? 

Ovulation is when an egg is released from your ovaries by follicle rupture; in some cases, multiple eggs are released, which is how fraternal twins and triplets are conceived. 

Your body receives the message it is time to ovulate by a rise in the luteinizing hormone or LH. Your pituitary gland produces LH, and when your egg is ready, it sends a signal that creates an LH surge. Approximately 24 hours after the LH surge is when ovulation begins.

Right before the follicle rupture happens, the follicle is rich with fluid and roughly 18-22 mm in diameter. Just before ovulation, the follicle lies below the surface of the ovary. If you could see the follicle, it would look like a blister about to burst. Next, the follicle produces enzymes that digest its outer layer, releasing the egg onto the surface of the ovary.

Once the egg is released from the follicle, it's swept into the nearest fallopian tube by the fingerlike projections at the end of the tube, where it hopes to be fertilized.

Learning how to track your ovulation can prove useful when trying to become pregnant. To start with, you’ll need to know how long your menstrual cycle typically lasts. If you don’t keep track of your menstruation, now is the time to start. A three-month window should give you a solid idea of what is typical for your cycle. 

Tracking Your Ovulation

The Calendar Method of Tracking Your Cycle

Start by tracking from the first day of bleeding; this is day one. Count how many days there are between day one and the beginning of your next menstrual period. The first day of your period is always day one. However many days there were between both “Day ones” is your cycle length. 

For example, if your period started on the 1st of the month and your next period starts on the 29th, you have a 28-day cycle. 

If you are coming off of contraceptives, your cycle may take a few months to adjust due to your new hormone levels. 

The calendar method works best for women with a standard 26-32 day cycle. Ovulation will likely occur about 14 days before the start of your next period.

You can try inputting your data online using an ovulation calculator like this free ovulation tracker from Women’s Health

Basal Body Temperature

To successfully use basal body temperature charting to BBT charting, you must take your temperature first thing in the morning every day and record it. There are specific, ultra-sensitive thermometers you can purchase for just this purpose. 

Record your temperature each morning before you even get out of bed. Once you’ve noticed a sustained rise, you will know you have ovulated. Using a chart like this for several months will help you predict your ovulation pattern. 

Tracking your basal body temperature could also indicate a possible pregnancy. For example, seeing a possible implantation dip in your temp about one-week post ovulation or seeing a triphasic shift (three distinct temperature rises) about a week after ovulation could both indicate you are pregnant. 

Ovulation Test Kits

Ovulation test kits can be found in the pharmacy family planning section and are used similarly to pregnancy tests. While these tests can’t tell you the exact day of ovulation, they are relatively accurate at predicting that ovulation is about to happen. 

Ovulation test kits use your urine to detect an LH surge. The detected hormonal changes indicate that you will ovulate in the next 12 to 36 hours. It is recommended you test over a 5-10 day period for optimal results and accuracy. 

Tracking Cervical Mucus Changes

Regularly checking your vaginal secretions is probably not at the top of your list; however, it is a fairly accurate way to determine if you are ovulating. As your body notices the end of the follicular phase and prepares to host a potential fertilized egg, in addition to your uterine lining thickening, your cervical mucus also changes. 

As you approach, ovulation cervical mucus becomes thin, stretchy, and white, similar to raw egg whites. The thinner mucus allows sperm to pass through the cervix easier at the time of ovulation.

The fertile window is a magical 5-7 day phase of the menstrual cycle when a woman’s body is most likely to become pregnant. Sperm has a life span of roughly five days, which means you could, in theory, have sex five days before you ovulate and still become pregnant. However, the egg or ovum only has a lifespan of 24 hours. Because of the short-lived life span of the egg, you are most likely to become pregnant if you have sex the day before or the day of ovulation.

The Follicular and Luteal Phases

Menses consists of three distinct phases: the follicular phase, the ovulatory phase, and the luteal phase.

The follicular phase begins on the first day of your menstrual flow and ends when ovulation begins. This phase lasts approximately fourteen days. During this phase, the lining of the uterus or endometrium becomes thicker due to increased estrogen production. Once the mature egg is ready to be released, the pituitary gland is stimulated by the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to produce the LH surge, which prompts ovulation.

The ovulation phase lasts one day, and it is the day you ovulate. 

The luteal phase is when hormonal levels decrease, FSH and LH lower, and the corpus luteum gland produces progesterone to keep the uterine lining intact. If fertilization is not detected, progesterone levels decrease, and the shedding of your uterine lining begins, aka, your period. 

The luteal phase is roughly twelve to fourteen days. During the final week of this phase, many women begin noticing signs of PMS such as mood swings, bloating, fatigue, and depression. In most cases, you can take care of PMS at home with OTC remedies, but if you find your PMS symptoms challenging to manage or negatively impacting your daily life or mental health, speak with your healthcare provider. In addition, some women benefit from using birth control to manage their PMS symptoms.

Lowering Stress When Trying to Conceive

If you're trying to conceive, you may have little else on your mind, which can put a strain on your relationship. When you and your partner are hyper-focused on conceiving, it's easy to become clinical about sex. At this point, you and your partner may regard each other less like objects of sexual interest and more as components of a baby-making machine. 

Understandably, you may find that your partner becomes aggrieved if he feels pressure to provide sperm; the distress may adversely affect the willingness and even ability to have sex which could lead to temporary infertility on his part. 

Make an effort to be loving and work together rather than against each other. Consider taking a break; couples often conceive when they're away on vacation, more relaxed, or have stopped trying. Make sure you also enjoy some stress-free sex outside of your fertile window.

Day 14 of your Menstrual Cycle

266 days to go...

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