Understanding A Woman’s Cycle

Understanding A Woman’s Cycle

woman's cycleWhen you try to talk to a guy about a woman’s cycle, most men envision that part from Kubrick’s The Shining- you know- the elevator scene. But getting to know your lady-friend’s cycle is crucial to understanding the process of conception and can get you one step closer to planning your family.

What happens during a woman’s cycle?

We’re going to get the worst part out of the way first: a woman’s cycle starts on the first day of her period. While every cycle is different, her period should last between 3 to 7 days. During this time, her uterus is shedding the lining that was built up over the last cycle. While this lining is being shed, the unfertilized egg from the previous cycle is also shed. Think of it as a spring cleaning for her uterus.

While this is going on, Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) signals the egg-containing follicles to begin to grow. As they grow, one follicle tends to become dominant (think of it as the Highlander follicle- there can only be one). This dominant follicle releases an egg, kicking off the ovulation phase (usually around day 15 of your cycle).

The ovulation phase is typically the shortest part of the cycle, lasting 16-32 hours. Once the egg is released it travel down the fallopian tube, lodging itself in the uterine lining. It stays there for roughly 14 days, and, if unfertilized, after day 14, it is flushed with the rest of the uterine lining and the cycle starts over.

When is the best time to have sex if you’re trying to conceive?

A few days before her ovulation, and the day(s) shes ovulating. This is due to sperm’s ability to live 2-3 days in a female reproductive tract, so that once that egg is released, your swimmers are there and ready to fertilize. To boost your chances of conception even more, try having sex about 3-5 times a week, or every other day. For even more tips for conception, let’s talk about sex.

One Comment

  1. Lolade May 13, 2016 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    Hello
    I have been trying to conceive for almost 3years now. I am a 38year old woman. I took clomid in April, 2016 but since then I have not seen my period. I had my last period on March, 2nd, 2016. I carried out home test but it came out negative. I went for scan, d result says I have ovarian cyst mass on d right ovaries and small on the left. What can I do for my period to come back. Please help!

    • Sara SDx May 24, 2016 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      It sounds like you might have polycystic ovarian syndrome. This is a pretty common condition that can prevent women from ovulating. There are lots of reasons for it, typically it is caused by a hormone imbalance that interferes with egg maturation. If you do a search for PCOS, you can learn lots about what you can do. Some of the big things include — avoiding sugar / carbs in your diet, losing weight if you are overweight, exercising more, reducing stress. If you are in very healthy shape, the ob-gyn can give medication that can help stimulate ovulation. Does this help?

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