After the intrauterine insemination (IUI) didn't work, my husband and I decided to try it naturally again. Maybe our timing was just off. I'd been reading a lot about getting pregnant and was surprised to discover that there are actually only two to three days a month during which a woman can get pregnant. These days depend on your cycle. You've got to time intercourse to just prior to ovulation so the sperm and egg have a chance to meet and get together. So, I started tracking my ovulation very carefully.


There are a number of ways to track ovulation. For the time being, I chose a combination of counting and peeing on ovulation predictor sticks. The counting was because I read that peak fertility usually occurs between the 11th and 14th days of a woman's menstrual cycle. I would count from the first day of my period and mark these days on my calendar with an "F" for "Fertile."

I also checked the quality of my cervical mucus on and around these days. When a woman is at her most fertile, her cervical mucus takes on the appearance and consistency of egg whites. It's actually called "egg white mucus." This is the mucus that is most effective at delivering the sperm to the egg.

Of course, each month can be different in terms of ovulation. Even though my periods were really regular, it still didn't necessarily mean I was ovulating on the days marked on my calendar. So I peed on an ovulation predictor stick once a day from the 8th day of my cycle until I got a second line on the stick. The second line means ovulation should occur within 24 hours and you should have sex. I was right on schedule for ovulation most months. However, some months it varied enough that those ovulation sticks made a difference in timing our intercourse.

We did this for nearly a year, hoping to get pregnant naturally and save money on more expensive fertility treatments. But it was pointless. I still didn't get pregnant.

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