The terminology associated with fertility treatments and the reproductive system can be confusing, but the term fertility cycle is not difficult to understand. The fertility cycle is the same as the menstrual cycle – in many terms. The female menstruation cycle is extremely important and informative when it comes to reproduction. For the first year of attempts, many women find charting the fertility cycle is the ideal way to better learn how their body works. Cycles are typically very patterned, but that is not always the case and when your fertility cycle is off pattern, you may have more difficulty conceiving.

The Basics of Your Fertility Cycle

For the sake of explaining the fertility cycle, let’s say your cycle starts on the first of the month. Days one to five are your menstruation days. This is when the lining of your uterus is shedding. Some women shed for three days and others for seven to nine days; it depends on the individual cycle. Between days eight and 19, the female is most fertile. This time is called ovulation. Again, this span is based on the average fertility cycle that lasts just 28 days. Your cycle could last 30 or 31 days and that would change the exact span of ovulation. After you ovulate, the body starts preparing for the beginning of the cycle again and the entire fertility cycle restarts. 

How to Track Your Fertility Cycle

Get a cheap calendar and a pen. Write the first day of your menstrual cycle and the last day on the calendar. The basic fertility cycle spans 26 to 32 days. So, if your cycle (the time between the first days of two periods) is between those two numbers, you are most fertile between days eight and 19. Mark those days on your calendar. Voila – you have a fertility calendar. 

You will need to continue marking the first day of your cycle to find out the 8th day – or the start of the next ovulation.