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.