Things You Need To Know Before Pregnancy

Knowing your menstrual cycle does more than keep you prepared with the things you need. It is important when the time comes to start your own family. And being aware of your body will help you achieve that.

Most menstrual cycles last roughly 28 days and are made up of two parts - before ovulation & after ovulation. Pregnancy is most likely 2-3 days before ovulation and 12-24 hours after ovulation. This is the midpoint of your menstrual cycle, about two weeks before your period begins.

During this midpoint, an egg is released from one of your ovaries into your uterus through the fallopian tubes. The time right before an egg is released until the time it reaches your uterus is when pregnancy is most likely to occur. The egg will break apart if it is not fertilized and your body will prepare to shed the uterus lining so that the cycle can begin anew.

But since there are no obvious changes or symptoms to show ovulation has occurred, keeping track of this part of the menstrual cycle is not easy. Thankfully, there are two simple ways for you to find out.

Calendar Method
This method requires keeping a record of your menstrual cycle on a calendar or journal. Mark the first day of your period as Day 1 on the calendar. Keep this record for 8 months to a year and you will know how many days are in your menstrual cycle. Each cycle may vary from month to month. That is why it is important to keep a record.

After recording down all these dates, you can find out when you are most fertile. Just look for the cycle with the fewest days and subtract 18 from that. Add this result to every Day 1 on your calendar; this marks the first day you are most likely to be fertile.

Now check your records for the longest cycle and subtract 11 from that number. Unlike the first step, now you subtract this number from every Day 1 on your calendar. This will mark the last day you are most likely to be fertile.

However, if your menstrual cycles are always not the same length, then the calendar method should be used together with other tracking methods.

Basal Body Temperature
This is the lowest temperature your body gets while it is resting. It is best measured as soon as you awake in the morning. Keeping a record of this for several months is another way of predicting when you will be at your most fertile. You see, this temperature rises slightly by about 0.4-0.8 degrees Celsius during ovulation. You can use a basal body thermometer to detect these changes. Recording them down over time as a line graph will show the high points indicating ovulation. Basal body thermometers are easily available at pharmacies.

Knowing and being aware of your body will certainly help in nurturing an egg for fertilization into a foetus. And when an egg is fertilized, your menstrual cycle ends to let you concentrate on what's important: your baby.