Growing up, most of us learned about the importance of a balanced diet and exercise during health class. We learned how the human body functions, but we never really learned the basics of menstrual health. Oftentimes we only really start thinking and learning more about our cycles when we are preparing to begin TTC. There’s no need to wait until you’re beginning your fertility journey, though! 

Whether you’re just starting your TTC journey or have been babydancing for a while, we know the importance of understanding your menstrual cycles and fertile window. If you have questions or are looking to clear up any confusion, you’ve come to the right place.

True or False - Menstruation Edition 

We know many of you have questions about your menstrual cycle and may not be able to tell what information is true and what is false. To help, we’re clearing up any misconceptions below. Continue reading to see if you can tell fact from fiction with the following statements!

True or false? The menstrual cycle has three phases: follicular, ovulation, and menstruation.

False! There are actually four phases within the menstrual cycle:

    1. Follicular - This phase occurs between your period and ovulation
    2. Ovulation - The short window in which this phase occurs happens during the 24 hours that your egg can survive after being released by the dominant follicle
    3. Luteal - The luteal phase takes place between ovulation and your period, when progesterone is produced and your core body temperature rises
    4. Menstruation - The final phase, of course, is your period

True or false? It is easy to track all the stages in a woman’s menstrual cycle because most women have 28-day cycles.

False! Women’s cycles are so unique. In fact, there is no such thing as “normal” ovulation or cycle length, contrary to what we are often told. Every cycle is different and timing can vary. (We have a feeling you all knew this, though!)

If you are not currently using a fertility monitor to track your cycles, OvuSense can help. To get started, check out our OvuSense Ovulation Calculator, which will help you work out when you should try to conceive and recommend the best OvuSense product to help you to take more control over your fertility. This quick and easy calculator asks for some information about your cycles - including average length and date of last period - before giving you your ovulation results. Still looking for more information? Check out our blog to learn which of the three solutions in OvuSense’s fertility monitoring family is right for you.

True or false? The luteal phase is often referred to as the Two-Week Wait (TWW).

True! This is the phase of the menstrual cycle that begins after ovulation and lasts until either pregnancy is confirmed or the breakdown of the corpus luteum (a normal cyst that forms on the ovary every month during a woman’s childbearing years) has begun. Not everyone’s luteal phase is exactly two weeks, but it should be no shorter than nine or 10 days to support the implantation of the embryo. Cycle tracking is a helpful tool that can determine when you are in your two-week wait, and if you may need to test for pregnancy. If you are looking for some tips on how to naturally increase your luteal phase, read our blog.

Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle to Pinpoint Your Fertile Window

Now that you know the truth about your menstrual cycle, you can use that information to find your fertile window! When you’re trying to conceive, you need to make sure you’re trying at the right time, under the right circumstances. The ‘fertile window’ refers to a small number of days that revolve around your ovulation date when it is easier to conceive. But what exactly is a fertile window, and how do you find yours? Continue reading to find out!

What is my fertile window?

Your fertile window refers to the most fertile days in your menstrual cycle, which give you the highest chance of conceiving. Historically, menstrual cycles were said to be 28 days in length, with day 1 being the first day of your period. However, in reality, very few women have a 28-day cycle. Many cycles vary from 25-35 days in length, however, for women suffering from hormonal conditions, such as PCOS, cycles can be much longer.

When is my fertile window?

Your fertile window spans from five days before you ovulate to the day after, as sperm can live in the reproductive tract for up to five days. Once your egg is released, it typically only has 24 hours in which it can be fertilized, so your fertile window is typically a span of six to eight days calculated around the day you ovulate.

How do I find my fertile window?

To calculate your fertile window, you need to determine which day you ovulate and the length of your menstrual cycle. This can be tricky to do if you are unsure when you ovulate. Using your unique temperature information, OvuSense identifies an 8-day fertile window based on when you are predicted to ovulate. This window is the eight days when you are most likely to be able to conceive, from five days before ovulation until two days after ovulation, to include an additional buffer.

How OvuSense Can Help

Any kind of irregularity in your cycle makes it all the more important to take advantage of those times when you do ovulate. This means careful tracking of your cycle to spot the key signs that give you a clue when you’re in your fertile window. OvuSense can be an incredibly helpful tool to track your cycle and identify your fertility window, giving you the best possible chance of conception. If you have been trying to conceive for a while or you know you may have an issue like PCOS, the OvuSense OvuCore sensor might be right for you. OvuCore is a unique patented sensor technology designed to measure continuous Core Body Temperature (cCBT) while you sleep, giving you the best possible understanding of the fluctuations in progesterone that occur during your cycle.

The advantages of using OvuSense include a greater level of accuracy when measuring temperature, as well as the ability to use up-to-date data to predict your current month's cycle, as opposed to using data from the previous month. This allows you to get an accurate prediction of your ovulation date, even if your cycles are irregular from one month to the next.

Take Control of Your Cycles Today! 

No matter where you are in your fertility journey, OvuSense is here for you. Everyone is different, and there’s no exact, universal schedule telling you when your fertile window is – you have to understand your own body to learn when you ovulate. We hope this blog helps clear up any confusion you may have had about your menstrual and fertile cycles!

Visit our website to learn more.