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Calendar tracking method:
Tracking your menstrual cycles may help you estimate your fertile times.
In order to track your menstrual cycle and identify your expected window of ovulation, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Plan on tracking your menstrual cycle for 8 to 12 months.
Step 2: Day 1 will be the first day you start menstruation.
Step 3: Pick the longest and shortest of the cycles from your monthly tracking.
Step 4: The first day of your fertility window is determined by subtracting 18 days from the length of your shortest cycle. If your shortest menstrual cycle was 26 days, subtract 18 from 26, which gives you the number 8. This means that the first day of your fertility window starts on the 8th day of your cycle.
Step 5: The last fertile day is determined by subtracting 11 from the length of your longest cycle. If 32 days was your longest menstrual cycle, take 32 and subtract 11, which give you 21. This means that the last day of your fertility period is on the 21st day of your cycle.
The time in between these are considered your fertility window. In the above example, your fertility window would be from the 8th day to the 21st day of your cycle. Your ovulation is expected to occur on one day during this time frame. You cannot get pregnant every day during this time, but it is during one 12-24 hour time frame during this window that pregnancy can occur.
If you are trying to avoid getting pregnant, you need to abstain from sexual intercourse or use a barrier form of birth control during your fertility window. If you are trying to get pregnant, this fertility window would be the targeted time for sexual intercourse.
Keep in mind that the calendar method and tracking of past cycles is only a guide. Menstruation and ovulation can change from month to month. However, by combining the calendar method with the other natural methods of tracking your ovulation described below, you can have a fairly accurate understanding of when you are ovulating.