6 Ways To Check Your Fertility & Find The Best Baby-Making Time

Ad failed to load

Your high school sex education class may not have taught you a lot about being sex-positive, but it most likely scared you into thinking you could get pregnant by simply looking at a penis. The fear tactics are strong in a lot of sex ed classes and, unfortunately, they often transition into adulthood. Before I became pregnant with my daughter, I did a lot of research and discovered that conceiving a baby isn't as easy as I was led to believe. But if you know how to check your fertility and the mechanics of making a baby, you can feel a little more in control of becoming pregnant.

A study published in the Human Reproduction Journal found that it can take up to a year, on average, for a healthy couple to conceive a child. That sounds like a long time, especially if you're desperate to have a baby, but it's a guideline to follow. The study was conducted by having healthy couples try to conceive during the times they thought they were most fertile, and according to the American Pregnancy Association, determining your fertility window is essential when trying for a baby.

But how do you do that? How can you determine if you're fertile and if your body is capable of making a baby?

Ad failed to load

It's not as hard as you think to start taking steps to find out if you're fertile at home. The American Pregnancy Association notes that one of the first questions about your fertility is if you're ovulating or not. Luckily, your body has some ovulation signs and a few ways to track it so you can look at every angle of your fertility.

Ad failed to load

1Chart Your Menstrual Cycle


For starters, you need to know what kind of cycle and period you're dealing with. Irregular periods can make a difference in your fertility and having the basic information of how long your cycles last and how long you menstruate can help when determining your fertility.

2Check Your Cervical Mucus


If you're not ovulating, then there's a problem. But you don't have to run out for expensive tests just yet. Start checking your cervical mucus every day and making note of the data. According to What to Expect, as your body is gearing up for ovulation, your cervical mucus will change its consistency to a stretchy, egg-white texture in order to help the sperm move along to the egg. When this mucus is present, it can mean ovulation is about to occur, making it easier for you to determine the best time to have sex.

3Take Your Basal Body Temperature


Many assume that taking and recording your basal body temperature — the temperature of your body in the morning at complete rest, before you're even out of bed — can help you time intercourse, but it's a little more complex than that. Parenting notes that while a rise in your temperature can help you determine when you've ovulated, it's too late to time intercourse. Your BBT actually increases after your body releases the egg, so it's a great tool to use for checking your fertility. If your BBT never rises or if the pattern seems extremely erratic, it can give you some insight into your body's ovulation.

Ad failed to load

4Chart Your Fertility Cycle


Whether you've been trying for six months or just came off birth control, it's a great idea to start charting your fertility cycle. The American Pregnancy Association notes that this is one of the absolute best ways to learn about your body and your fertility. It will not only help you determine when you're ovulating with the data from your cervical mucus and BBT, but it can also help you discover if you're ovulating. It's also extremely beneficial to have this cycle information if you have to see a doctor about your fertility.

5Use A Fertility Monitor Or Ovulation Test


If you're having trouble charting your ovulation or seeing signs of it in your body, it might help to use a fertility monitor or ovulation test. The American Pregnancy Association notes that both the at-home test and the monitor can predict ovulation as well as determine if there is a surge in the luteinizing hormone that triggers your body to release an egg.

6Go To Your Doctor For Testing


After a year of unprotected sex with your partner, a doctor will recommend that you begin fertility testing. According to the American Pregnancy Association, this can include a variety of testing such as an X-ray of your uterus and fallopian tubes, an ultrasound to determine the thickness of your uterus's lining, a hormone test, and an ovulation test. The outcomes of each test will either lead you to more testing or to an answer as to why you haven't conceived yet.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik