If you are hoping to become a parent, either now or in the future, it’s important that you understand the menstrual cycle. Being aware of what happens before, during, and after your (or your partner’s) period, you will potentially be in a better position to conceive a child. After all, there are times during the cycle when pregnancy is far more likely.
What is the Menstrual Cycle?
First of all, it’s important to understand that the menstrual cycle doesn’t just refer to the bleeding that occurs. The term ‘menstruation’ does refer to the period, during which time the uterine lining is shed. However, the cycle itself is longer than that; it starts on the first day of the period and ends when the next period begins. During the first part of the cycle, the body builds up the lining of the uterus and prepares an egg to be released from the ovary for possible fertilisation. The process in which a mature egg is released is referred to as ovulation. Then, the second part of the cycle involves preparation of the uterus to accept a fertilised egg, or to start the next cycle if the egg is not fertilised.
What Do Heavy or Lengthy Periods Indicate?
A heavy or long menstrual period is medically labelled “Menorrhagia”, and they can be caused by various health problems. It could be due to imbalanced hormones that are causing your body to make the lining of your uterus too thick. Sometimes it can be caused by polyps or fibroids growing within your uterus, certain medications, or something more serious. Of course, for some women a heavy or lengthy period is normal, but it’s always wise to talk to a doctor if this is happening to you.
When is the Best Time to Conceive?
During ovulation is the best time to try and conceive. As mentioned above, ovulation occurs when a mature egg is released from the ovary, which is usually around 10-14 days before the menstruation occurs. If you are hoping to conceive, it is recommended to have regular, unprotected sex during the ovulation period. Of course, this can be difficult to determine, particularly if the period is irregular. Fortunately, there are ovulation kits that can track when ovulation is occurring.
If you have been trying to conceive without success for a year or more, don’t hesitate to contact us for some support. We can perform various health checks to uncover if you or your partner have any specific health concerns that might be leading to infertility and suggest the next appropriate steps.