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In order to get pregnant, you have to have near-perfect timing! It's important that the conditions are just right for when the egg and sperm meet. Your menstrual cycle can help you identify when your body is ready to start the process. Generally, a woman with a 28-day menstrual cycle has 5-6 days each month when she can conceive - the day one of her ovaries releases an egg (call ovulation) and the 4-5 days prior. To have the best chance at getting pregnant, you'll need to time sex within this window. In order to figure out your window, you'll want to start charting your menstrual cycle and noting how long it lasts. Day 1 is the first day of your period. Remember, not every cycle is the same, therefore you'll want to keep track for at least a few months. You'll soon begin to see a pattern, and have a good clue as to when the window of opportunity is best! Next, subtract 18 days from the length of your shortest cycle. Generally, this will begin the fertile window. Subtract 11 days from the length of your longest cycle, and this is the last day you're likely to be fertile. Having sex between those two dates will give you the best chance at getting pregnant. Basal Body Temperature Another way to help identify when you're fertile is to measure your Basal Body Temperature (aka BBT). This is your temperature when you first wake up in the morning. Generally, it rises slightly just after you ovulate (sometimes less than a degree), and will stay higher until your period starts. If you record your temperature every day, you'll begin to see the subtle changes that mean one of your ovaries has released an egg. Here's how to take your BBT It's important to use a basal body thermometer (check Amazon), as they are more accurate than your typical thermometer. It will even measure a fraction of a degree! Be sure to take your temperature at the same time each morning for best results (before you get out of bed). You'll want to keep it nearby. Remember, smoking, drinking, not sleeping well, etc can all affect your BBT. Unfortunately your BBT won't tell you exactly when you have ovulated, and it will probably take 2-3 months before you recognize a pattern. Typically, you're most likely to get pregnant a few days before your ovary releases an egg, ad then another 12-24 hours thereafter. When you temperature has spiked for 3 days, your window of opportunity begins to close. Cervical Mucus As your ovaries get ready to release an egg, a build up of mucus will occur around your cervix. Just before and during ovulation, the amount, color and texture of it changes to make it easier for you to get pregnant. It will become really slippery (resembling egg whites) and may also be very stretchy. This stage should last 3 to 4 days, which again is when you're chances of getting pregnant are high. Here's how to check your cervical mucus Check the opening of your vagina for mucus a few times a day, and take note whether it's cloudy, sticky, clear or slippery. Chart both your cervical mucus along with your basal body temperature, and this will help create even a clearer picture of where you are in your cycle. Breastfeeding and using hygiene products can change your mucus, which may throw off the indicators. It's a good idea to use a spreadsheet, as you'll be able to enter and compare data with ease. Good luck!