KNOW WHEN TO OR NOT TO DO IT! HERE’S HOW!
One certainly gets to the age where he/she has tried everything and experienced different things in life. You would definitely reach the age of settling down and dream of having children of your own at some point. You can’t just go head on and dive into the unknown. It is wise to plan how many offspring you would like to have and be aware of a woman’s fertility. Because having children is a great responsibility, you have to consider when to have them and whether you want a small family or children as many as a baseball team. Deciding to have more children also needs planning because the interval between having children is important to properly care and provide them not only financially but also to give the proper attention while they are growing up.
“Peace is the beauty of life. it is the sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of man, the victory of a just cause, the triumph of truth.”—Menachem Begin
Fertility awareness is the collection of methods using the natural function of your body to determine the days where a woman is most likely able to get pregnant. It is also known as Natural Family Planning (NFP). This method does not use any medications or devices for birth control. It is the combination of the natural processes that the body of a woman undergoes in her fertility cycle. It is very useful not only in preventing pregnancy but also in targeting the perfect timing in getting pregnant.
Methods such as calendar, basal body temperature, and cervical mucus are used to let you know when a woman’s body is most fertile. Getting used to a woman’s ovulation and fertile periods gives chance for a choice to have it done, to abstain from having intercourse, or to use natural methods that would yet prevent pregnancy from occurring.
For the natural family planning to work, you need to be familiar with the menstrual cycle and start charting the pattern. The average menstrual cycle is between 28-32 days. There are two parts in relation to a woman’s cycle: the pre-ovulation period and the post-ovulation period.
The beginning of your cycle is the first day of the menstrual flow.
On the seventh day, the egg cell is preparing to be fertilized by the sperm.
On a 28-day cycle, by the eleventh to the 21st day of the cycle, the hormones in the body causes the release of the egg cell from the ovary, thus called ovulation. The egg travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus. Here, the egg waits for the sperm cell. When the sperm penetrates the egg cell, the egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus and starts to grow. If the sperm was not able to penetrate and the fertilization does not happen, the egg breaks apart. On the 28th day of the cycle, the levels of hormones drop that cause the lining of the uterus to shed, thus, your menstrual flow.
The first part of the cycle or the pre-ovulation period is different for every woman and can change from monthly. It can happen as long as 13-20 days. The last part of the cycle, usually similar to every woman ranges 14 days from ovulation period until the beginning of a woman’s next period. This is the reason why women are encouraged to track their cycle by counting back 14 days from their Last Menstrual Period (LMP) to determine the most fertile time of the month.
The previous menstrual cycles will be helpful in estimating fertility period. You can start on tracking your menstrual cycle for 8-12 months. The first day will be the day of your menstruation. Pick the longest and shortest cycle from the several months you have tracked in the 8-12 months. By subtracting 18 days from the shortest cycle, you can determine the fertility period. Say 24 days was the shortest cycle subtracted by 18, you come up with 6. This means that your fertility window starts on the 6th day of the cycle.
Subtracting 11 from the length of the longest cycle determines the last fertile day. let’s say your longest was 32 days, you come up with 21. This means that the 21st day of the cycle marks the end of your fertility period.
The time between these is the fertility window. The example above takes the 6th until the 21st day of the cycle as a fertility period. During this time, the woman will not get pregnant. To avoid pregnancy, abstinence to intercourse after the 21st day of the cycle will be crucial. Having intimate act during this time would be good to those who have plans in conceiving.
BASAL BODY TEMPERATURE
Basal Body Temperature measures a change in the temperature that happens after ovulation consistently elevated until the nesting period. The temperature has a pattern on anticipate ovulation.
Start by taking body temperature every morning before the activities. Using basal thermometer recognizes the small changes in temperature. When you ovulate, the temperature will only rise from 0.4 and 1 degree Fahrenheit. A woman’s temperature should be recorded on the fertility tracking calendar. By recording it daily, it will be observed that a woman’s temperature is consistent prior to ovulation. Approaching ovulation, the temperature may decline slightly but will be followed shortly by a sharp increase. This increase signals that the ovulation had just happened. Alcohol, drug use, lack of sleep and illness are some of the factors that can make it difficult for an accurate reading.
CERVICAL MUCUS METHOD
During the menstrual cycle, the consistency of the cervical mucus change. There are 3-4 dry days after a 5-day menstrual flow in the average cycle. The wetness of the mucus increases daily up to 9 days until the wettest day when mucus is easily seen. It should be abundant, clear, slippery and very stretchy. It’s been described as egg whites. On the peak day of the stretchy mucus (within 2 days), ovulation happens.
Use the fingers to collect mucus from the vaginal opening from the front to the back. Record it on the fertility calendar noting the color, consistency, and the feel whether it is dry, wet, or sticky. Ovulation occurred on the day that mucus is clearest, slippery, and very much stretchy.
Note that douching or using spermicides will increase the risk of infection and wash away the change of appearance of the mucus.
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