The Benefits of Fertility Awareness At Any Age
Education about fertility, particularly female fertility, is still an area of our lives where there is vast room for improvement. Even in this day and age, it’s not uncommon for girls and young women to have very limited formal education about reproductive health, including menstruation, ovulation, pregnancy, and delivery. While it’s true that there is a vast amount of information available on the internet, it can sometimes feel overwhelming and confusing to know which sources to trust. This is especially true if most of your information comes from friends and family members.
Being aware of your fertility and how it works is important. Fertility awareness can prevent pregnancy as much as it can aid it. It can help women to recognize when something abnormal is occurring so they know when to seek medical care, which can ultimately improve their quality of life.
Basic Fertility Awareness
It’s important to note that fertility is not a one-size-fits-all medical situation. A good way to get to know your own fertility is to simply pay attention to your menstrual cycles. Menstruation, as well as ovulation, varies from woman to woman. On average, a full menstrual cycle should last about 28 days, although this can vary. Periods should come around the same time every month, as well. In terms of flow, your period should start off somewhat heavy and peter out as your period comes to an end. Furthermore, any symptoms that you experience during your period, such as cramps, bloating, and fatigue should be easily manageable using over-the-counter medications, heating pads, and/or rest.
Unfortunately, many women who have extremely irregular periods or severe symptoms believe that this is just part of menstruation. It’s crucial for women to recognize the difference between what is normal and what is an issue so that they can seek out medical care when appropriate. Having significantly irregular periods, extremely heavy blood flow (i.e. having to change your tampon, pad, or cup every two hours), or severe pain and discomfort should not be treated as normal. All of these things can indicate that there is an underlying medical issue.
Ovulation Tracking When Trying to Conceive
You may have heard of women tracking their menstrual cycles to determine when they will most likely ovulate while trying to conceive (TTC). Ovulation is the part of the menstrual cycle when the egg is released from the ovary and then travels down the fallopian tube toward the uterus. This process takes around five days. It typically occurs on day 14 of a woman’s menstrual cycle (when using the 28-day average cycle length). You are your most fertile during this 5-day period. While women can technically become pregnant at any time during the month, your best chance for success is during that ovulation window.
When to Speak to a Gynecologist About Reproductive Health
Women are advised to connect with their gynecologist per any of the following situations:
- You have decided that you wish to try for pregnancy and wish to end birth control
- You have decided that you wish to try for a pregnancy, but you are unsure how to track ovulation
- You have an irregular period that negatively impacts your quality of life/ability to conceive
- Your period symptoms are not manageable; you struggle with school, work, etc. during your period
- You simply wish to better regulate your period
Please consider making an appointment with your provider today.Back to blog