Fertility is the ability to conceive and have children through normal sexual activity.
Infertility is the failure or inability to conceive after one whole year of regular sexual intercourse without contraception.
When Are You Fertile?
The best time to engage in sexual activity is undoubtedly during your fertility window, which varies from ten to fourteen days following the first day of your menstrual period or seven to eleven days following the first day of your menstrual cycle, depending on which literature you read.
But to know exactly when your fertility period is, it is best to employ these three methods together: the calendar method, the cervical mucus method and the basal body temperature method.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, the calendar tracking method involves plotting down your menstrual cycle for at least eight months. Next, from the eight months that you have plotted, determine which months had the shortest and the longest cycles. Subtract eighteen days from the length of your shortest cycle to get the first day of your fertility window and subtract eleven days from the length of your longest cycle.
The basal body temperature method meanwhile involves taking your body temperature first thing in the morning before doing any activity and recording this on your calendar. You will notice that as your ovulation approaches, your basal body temperature will slightly lower followed immediately by a sharp increase. According to the American Pregnancy Association, this sharp increase in temperature means that ovulation has just occurred.
The cervical mucus method of determining fertility requires you to collect and observe your cervical mucus and recording its color and consistency daily. The guidelines of the American Pregnancy Association provide that your mucus will be at its most clear, slippery and stretchy when you have just ovulated.
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“Oocyte – Definition.” Medical Dictionary. Web. 06 Jan. 2011. http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/oocyte.
“Fertilization.” Arbl.cvmbs.colostate.edu. Web. 06 Jan. 2011. http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/reprod/fert/fert.html.