Step 2: Know Your Cycle
Normal cycles can vary; they can be as short as 24 days and as long as 35 days. However, according to Dr. Burry, an individual's cycle length should be consistent, either always short or always long.
Cycle length is calculated by counting from the first day of bleeding to the next first day of bleeding. Ovulation can occur at any point in the cycle.
Tracking your fertility signs is the only way to know for sure when—and if—you are ovulating. That can be done by taking your temperature every morning before leaving the bed (basal body temperature or BBT) and physically examining the consistency of cervical mucus. A slippery and stretchy, raw egg consistency is exactly what you are looking for. After that, a rise in the BBT signals that ovulation has indeed occurred.
While ovulation predictor kits are available, the tests are not always accurate; you can have false positives. But for those who have been having difficulty conceiving, those tests and kits may just be a life saver.
Krissi Danielsson of Marina, California, thought that having a baby was going to be a breeze, but after several miscarriages, she realized she would have to get more aggressive. "Just thinking back, I guess I was naive," she says. "I thought it was as simple as hopping in the sack, having a late period, taking a pregnancy test and voila!—nine months later there's a baby."
Danielsson began tracking her cycles and found that knowing exactly where she was in the cycle helped to calm her. "I used temperature charting in all the cycles I was trying to conceive," she says. "I also used a fertility monitor for about four of those cycles. I found it to be a major stress reducer since I knew exactly when I ovulated and when to expect my period or take a pregnancy test."