When you are ready to start, it is a good idea to understand a little how your body works.
Every month, your ovaries will develop small cysts called follicles, which grow in your ovaries. Each little follicle contains an egg. The follicles will grow for about 14 days following the first day of your menses before one dominant one pops and releases its egg.
There are several ways you can time intercourse. The best suggestion to all of you that using basal body temperature charting to time ovulation is NOT reliable since the temperature will usually go up several days after ovulation when the egg is not fertilizable. Basal body temperature charting (BBT) is simply not very useful and may be very frustrating.
The first reliable method to help time when you are about to ovulate, if you are comfortable doing it, is to check the consistency of your cervical mucus. It is a very helpful way to determine when you are the most fertile.
You may wonder how to collect this cervical mucus. Many women will just use toilet tissue to wipe the entrance of the vagina and examine it. It is more reliable, however, to insert your finger into your vagina, move your finger around the cervix and collect some mucus. In order to do that, first wash your hands well, then find a comfortable position such as squatting on the floor, or standing on a stool, edge of a bathtub, or toilet seat.
Remember to insert your index finger gently so that you do not hurt yourself. The cervical mucous should be thin and very elastic. Thick mucous indicates that you are not yet ready.
The second method is to simply have intercourse planned during certain times of your cycle. Normally, your body will be ovulating 14 days from the first day of your menses. We call the first day cycle day 1 and start counting from that day on so that ovulation occurs on cycle day 14.
If your cycles are longer than 28 days and regular, you will probably ovulate a few days later than cycle day 14. Sperm can live up to 5 days in your body but the egg is not fertilizable for longer than 12 to 24 hours after ovulation. To maximize your chances, do have intercourse on cycle day 12, 14 and 16 every month. If your cycles are longer than 28 days, also have intercourse on cycle day 18.
When you have intercourse, stay in bed for about 15 minutes before going to the bathroom. You do not need to put a pillow under your bottom to help with the sperm reaching the uterus. Do note, that it is normal for most of the sperm to come out after intercourse and that is OK.
Usually, only 1% of the sperm will enter into the uterus and that is enough for you to get pregnant! If you need to use lubrication, only use lubrication that is not spermicidal. A majority of lubrication products are known to cause sperm motility problems because of their thick consistency. Sperm has difficulty reaching the fertile cervical mucus. This mucus plays an important role for successful conception to take place.
The third and most precise timing method is to use an ovulation urine kit. They are called “Ovulation Predictor Kits”. You can buy them in most pharmacies over the counter. They will pick up an early ovulation signal, a rise in your Luteinizing hormone (LH), that leaves your body through the urine.
These tests turn positive the day before ovulation, giving you some time to plan for intercourse. To use them, test your urine around lunchtime starting on cycle day 10 or 12. When you get a positive test, you will most often ovulate within 24 hours or right afte. It is recommended to have intercourse that same evening and then the next morning.