What is the Fertile Window?
When am I fertile?
The fertile window is around 6 days long. This includes the day of ovulation and the rate of sperm survival, as sperm can live in the female reproductive system for up to five days before an egg cell is even released! Getting pregnant on your period is unlikely, though not impossible. Because cycle lengths vary from woman to woman, it’s difficult to predict ovulation without knowing your unique cycle.
The best time to get pregnant in the fertile window
Unlike resilient sperm, the egg cell starts to deteriorate quite quickly after ovulation happens. Within 24 hours the egg cell usually dies, and even before this, as each hour passes, the cell loses quality and conceiving becomes less likely. For this reason and to increase the chances of conceiving, it’s best to have sex the day before ovulation happens.
There are a number of ways to predict ovulation and to plan the best time to get pregnant during the fertile window. Indicators such as a rise in basal body temperature, positive ovulation tests and consistency of cervical mucus can help identify and narrow down the fertile window and help plan a pregnancy.
Preventing pregnancy in the fertile window
While finding the fertile window can help identify the best time to get pregnant, this knowledge can also be used to do exactly the reverse: preventing a pregnancy. A short fertile window means there’s only actually six days in a month when a woman can get pregnant.
This means, in theory, that identifying ovulation can be used as birth control if a woman uses protection or abstains from sex during the time when there is a risk of pregnancy. However, ovulation day can vary cycle to cycle and sometimes we don’t know until after it has happened. This is where Natural Cycles comes in.
How does Natural Cycles calculate the fertile window?
The Natural Cycles app is powered by an algorithm which analyses temperature data (amongst other factors) to predict and identify ovulation. This technology means the app can learn your unique cycle and removes an element of human error involved in traditional fertility awareness-based methods. It’s also completely hormone-free.
The app works in two ways: prevent mode and plan mode so you can tailor it to your reproductive health needs. Natural Cycles provides a daily fertility status and, as birth control, tells you if you need to use protection to prevent pregnancy. Natural Cycles does not protect against STIs.
Find out if Natural Cycles could work for you
By Jennifer Gray
A writer with passion for women’s health, Jennifer Gray is Content Owner here at Natural Cycles. She’s making it her mission to close the knowledge gap on reproductive health.