Apart from artificial birth control methods, there are natural techniques of preventing pregnancy that also increase the chances of getting pregnant.
For a typical 28-day menstrual cycle, the following information will help you calculate when to freely engage in sexual intercourse as couples to help you space child bearing. This will also help you to get pregnant at will.
The phases of the menstrual cycle are as follows:
- Menstruation phase: The menstruation phase is a recurrent period in women called period. It is the outward flow of shedded uterine wall (endometrium) and unfertilised ova as blood. This bleeding usually last for about 3 to 8 days. The phase and the premenstrual phase is as a result of sudden fall in level of estrogen and progesterone as a show of disappointment by the reproductive system due to unfertilisation. This rapid internal hormonal change is evident with an outward change of mood by women depending on how an individual is sensitive to change. A woman is said to be infertile during this period because there is not egg to fertilize.
- The follicle formation phase: This phase is kick-started by the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This phase starts around day 6 from first menstrual flow to day 14 of the menstrual cycle. The reproductive system is encouraged by the estrogen rise to begin to form follicles. The hormones fosters the thickening of the follicles. A woman is said to be free to have sex between day 6 and 9. The chances of getting pregnant are increased as day 14 approaches because the male sperm can live up to 5 days in the woman waiting for the release of egg from the ovary.
- Ovulation phase: For a typical 28-day cycle, ovulation occurs on day 14. The estrogen rise activates the Luteinising hormone (LH) to mature the follicles to burst and release an ova from the ovary. The release of egg from the ovary is known as ovulation. The female egg lives for about 12 to 24hrs while the male sperm can live for 3 to 5 days. Therefore, unprotected sex on day 10 to day 15 suggest a high chance of being pregnant.
- The Luteal phase: The menstrual cycle enters the Luteal phase on day 15 to 24 of a 28-day cycle. The Luteinising hormone helps the released egg to travel from the fallopian tube to the uterus with the hope of being fertilized and implanted in the uterus. Progesterone is triggered to prepare the uterine wall to receive zygote. If there is no fertilization, around day 24 your estrogen and progesterone level will drop drastically and this causes sudden mood change, anxiety, irritability, and depression as the case may be.
Day 24 to 28 is known as the premenstrual week and your mood is likely to be highly irritable.
The cycle will repeat by the shedding of the uterine wall and rupturing of unfertilised egg which leaves the body as blood and it is accompanied with discomfortable abdominal cramps for some women.
Precautions: you need to track your menstrual cycle for a long time to determine how long is your cycle so as to work with estimated average figure.
Chances of being pregnant is high,
- On ovulation day
- 3 to 4 days before ovulation and 36 hours after ovulation
- After period bleeding stops
Chances of being pregnant is low,
- During your menses
- 1 to 2 days after menses
- 3 days after ovulation
Disclaimer: Take note of monthly changes like dieting and stress as it can cause early ovulation and thereby altering your ovulation day and increasing your chances of getting pregnant if you have unprotected sexual intercourse on day 9.