If you are trying to conceive it’s important to know when you are ovulating.
Each month, you only have a 24-hour window in which to conceive. This is because, once your egg is released at ovulation, it only survives in your system for 24 hours.
Sperm must be present in your system during this 24 hour window for a pregnancy to occur. Sperm can survive a little longer, around 3 – 5 days in ideal conditions, so making sure you’re trying in during the days leading up to ovulation will greatly increase your chances of conception.
So how do you know when you will be ovulating?
Some women display very strong signs leading up to and during ovulation such as mood changes, cravings and pain. But for most of us, it can be very hard to tell.
Temperature charting and ovulation kits can be very useful. Another way you can help pinpoint your most fertile days is to check your cervical position. This can also be a great way to get to know your body and better tune into your natural cues.
The position of your cervix naturally changes throughout your cycle to encourage or help block sperm entering the fallopian tubes to reach the egg. Changes in the feel and texture of your uterus can also be felt as you progress through the different stages of your cycle
Performing a self-examination can take some practice. It’s best done after a shower or even during a bath. Find a position that is comfortable for you and use this same position each time so you’re drawing the same comparisons each time. Gently insert one or two fingers into the entrance of your vagina and feel for the cervix, which is located towards the upper front.
By doing this regularly you will start to notice the unique changes corresponding to the timing in your cycle.
Changes in your cervical position throughout your cycle
The menstrual bleeding phase
The cervix will be positioned quite low during the bleeding phase of your cycle. You should be able to reach it easily and will notice that it may feel open, kind of like your ear or nose. This position allows blood to easily flow out. It will also feel quite firm during this phase
When bleeding stops
When you come to the end of your period your cervix will still be positioned low down and feel firm but it will now be closed.
Leading up to ovulation
As your body prepares for the egg to be released at ovulation, your cervix will move higher up. You will also notice that it becomes softer and moister.
At the height of your ovulation phase, just as your egg is being released, your cervix it in the optimum position for conception. It will feel very soft, moist and open, more like your mouth and lips than your ear or nose during this phase. It will now be positioned quite high, you may not even be able to feel it because it’s either out of reach or the softness may blend in with the vagina walls. This is the ideal position to support the journey of sperm to the egg. Now is the time to be having sex!
Once ovulation occurs, the cervix will begin to lower down and become firmer again. The cervix will now close tightly. This may happen immediately after ovulation or may take hours up to a few days.
If pregnancy occurs
If an egg is fertilised and implanted into the uterus, the cervix will rise back up and become soft again. However this time it will remain tightly closed.
If pregnancy doesn’t occur
The uterus will remain closed until the next menstrual period is due to begin.
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