Cycle tracker: Get your body in lineHelena Gil
Us women take our menstrual cycle for granted. We don’t worry about it until we want to conceive. We usually start becoming interested in what’s going on inside our body when we want to get pregnant.
Moreover, we spend most of our lives trying not to get pregnant, so we know more about contraception than we do about fertility. Consequently, we only know the clearest sign of our cycle: menstruation.
However, our body goes through a cycle of changes every month designed for fertility purposes. Later on, we tend to focus on ovulation, which is important, but in order to get pregnant it’s also important to know every other moment of the cycle.
It’s important to use a cycle tracker to understand your fertility
Get your body in line, improve your health, well-being and fertility. It’s important that you discover your body throughout the cycle and how to interpret the signs transmitted by it.
In order to do so, it’s really important that you familiarize yourself with your cycle, to get to know your ovulation and to get the most out of your fertile period.
Are menstrual cycles always the same?
Our menstrual cycle usually lasts 28 days, but it’s still considered to be normal if it lasts between 21 and 35 days. During our menstrual cycle, our body prepares itself for a possible pregnancy.
During the first two or three years of our period it’s normal for the menstrual cycles to be a bit irregular. After that, and in regular conditions, cycles tend to become regular until we’re about 40 to 45 years old, when they start going back to being irregular again before menopause appears.
How to track a woman’s cycle
In a 28-day menstrual cycle we can distinguish two parts of 14 days each, more or less. Our body and mood will go through some changes because of the cyclic variations of two hormones: estrogen and progesterone.
Woman cycle: First, menstruation.
The first half of the cycle’s most important event is our period. It usually lasts between 3 and 7 days. The amount of menstrual flow varies significantly from one woman to another, but it’s usually during the first two days when 70% of discharge occurs. During the first week our energy and defenses usually decrease, and with our period we discharge the liquid that we previously retained. The second week, just after our period, we get a boost of energy. Estrogen improves our skin and hair quality. We don’t get so tired, ovulation is on its way and there’s a peak in the libido, so it’s easier to get aroused and reach an orgasm.
From day 1 of our period until day 14 of our cycle, our body is full of estrogen. The egg reaches maturity and gets released from the ovary, thus starting ovulation. The egg makes its way through the Fallopian tube into the uterus.
During those days, if the sperm fertilizes an egg, and the egg attaches to the uterus wall, pregnancy begins.
Woman cycle: Second, ovulation.
In the second half of the cycle, from day 15 to 28, there’s an increase of progesterone, which starts 2 or 3 days after ovulation. On the third week, progesterone can cause anxiety, dry skin and an increase in appetite. The fourth and final phase of the cycle is when the premenstrual syndrome starts. We begin to retain fluids, and we may notice digestive discomfort such as feeling bloated, nausea or constipation.
Luckily, having your period means that all these symptoms disappear, and it’s the starting point of the next cycle… unless you get pregnant!
Which are my fertile days?
There are some days when us women have higher chances of getting pregnant. If our cycle lasts for 28 days, ovulation usually occurs on day 14 of the cycle. The most fertile days include the 3 or 4 days before and after the day you begin ovulating.
Therefore, if you’re trying to get pregnant, you should ideally prepare an ovulation and pregnancy calendar. There are many ways of tracking your cycle but the most advisable and reliable one is through your basal temperature. You can find more information about this topic in the following post: The most reliable method to measure