The first objective within fertility awareness
is to become familiar with your menstrual cycle and to begin charting your fertility pattern. The average menstrual cycle is between 28 to 32 days, however there are two parts related to your cycle: before ovulation and after ovulation. Here is a glance at an average cycle to give you a gauge for examining your cycle:
Day 1: The first day of your menstrual flow is the beginning of your cycle.
Day 7: By day seven your egg is preparing to be fertilized by sperm.
Days 11-21: (based on 28-day cycle) Hormones in your body cause the egg to be released from the ovary around this time. This process is known as ovulation. The egg travels through the fallopian tube
towards the uterus
. If sperm penetrates the egg, the fertilized egg will attach to the lining of the uterus and begin to grow. If fertilization does not happen the egg breaks apart.
Day 28: Hormone levels drop around this day causing the lining of the uterus to be shed making up your menstrual flow.
It is important to realize that the first part of the menstrual cycle (before ovulation) is different in every woman and can even change from month to month. The variation usually occurs from 13 to 20 days long. The last half of the cycle is usually more similar for every women, because there are about 14 days from day of ovulation until the start of the next period. This is why women are encouraged to track their cycles and count back 14 days from their LMP to narrow down their most fertile time of the month.
Note that there is no specific time in the day for fertilization it can occur at anytime during the ovulation period.