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Learn How to Use a Fertility Calculator

Fertility and conception rely on timing. For those females with regular or “normal” menstrual cycles, ovulation typically occurs mid-cycle. For example, if there are 30 days between periods,  you may estimate ovulation at 16 days after the start of your period. A 28 day cycle may indicate ovulation occurs at 14 days, and so on. You may time intercourse accordingly a few days before and the day of estimated ovulation.

Some couples rely on fertility calculators to do the job for them. These handy tools indicate the most fertile period of your cycle and thus the optimum time for intercourse for those trying to conceive. Armed with the knowledge you garner from your fertility calculator you’ll coordinate the best time for egg and sperm to meet and nature take its course. But first let’s have a tutorial.


What is Ovulation?

First some background regarding ovulation. Females are born with all of the eggs they will have during their lifetime, unlike males who replenish sperm every 64 days. When you mature reproductively your ovaries mature and release an egg each menstrual cycle. If sperm fertilizes the egg you become pregnant. If not, you’ll experience your period.

Doctors define a menstrual cycle as the time between day one of your period to day one of your next period. For example, if you start your period on July 1 and then start your next period on July 28 you have a 28 day cycle. A regular menstrual cycle follows the 28-day span month after month with few exceptions. Everyone’s body differs and someone with a very predictable cycle may experience a few off months here and there.


How to Use a Fertility Calculator

When you use a fertility calculator, you enter information regarding the first day of your last period and your average number of days for your cycle. Your calculator does the work and presents you with a window of your most fertile days, i.e. the optimum days for intercourse for conception.

Depending on the type of fertility calculator, you use you may set a reminder. If you download a fertility calculator app to your phone, you may receive a pop-up alert during your fertile days. For those who use an easy online fertility calculator you’ll reference the tool for reminders each month. The fertility calculator is a very handy tool as it does the work (math) for you.

For those couples and individuals using the fertility calculator for six months to a year without conception, it’s time for a fertility evaluation. There are several reasons behind the inability to conceive while using the fertility calculator. Female factor infertility isn’t always about ovulation and male factor infertility doesn’t involve the fertility calculator.

Just as there are different conditions impacting fertility, so there are different treatments. After you receive a diagnosis, you and your doctor can plan treatment accordingly.


What if My Periods Are Irregular?

If your periods tend toward irregular (26 days one month, 32 days the next and so forth) you’ll have a challenge estimating ovulation. Instead of timing intercourse for your most fertile days you may end up “guesstimating” which makes conception difficult. In that case you should confirm ovulation with your fertility doctor.

Reasons for irregular menstrual cycles come from a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of irregular menstrual cycles? You may have hormonal imbalances, PCOS, an infection, or you take certain medications that disrupt ovulation. The cause of your irregular periods could be ovulatory dysfunction. Those with ovulatory dysfunction may have irregular ovulation, rarely ovulate or, in some cases experience no ovulation at all. There are several conditions that cause ovulatory dysfunction and your doctor determines the cause through testing.


Male Factor Infertility

A regular menstrual cycle usually indicates regular ovulation. For females who ovulate each month male fertility may be behind your inability to conceive. For 30% of infertile couples that is the case. Several conditions cause male infertility and, again, once you receive a diagnosis your doctor discusses treatment.


If You Suspect Infertility

A fertility calculator is a useful tool for those trying to conceive. However, if you don’t conceive after 12 consecutive months (six months for females over 35) of unprotected intercourse then schedule a fertility evaluation with your doctor for both you and your partner. If you suspect infertility please contact LA IVF and let’s find your path to pregnancy.

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