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Especially if you are sexually active with someone of the opposite sex, understanding your period is essential. After all, this is the stage with the most chances of getting pregnant. But of course, she is not the only reason to keep an eye on this stage of menstruation.
The menstrual period is also the time when women tend to be more sensitive, have libido at heights or below zero, etc. So, closely monitoring the behavioral and physical changes that this stage brings to your life is fundamental.
So, do you want to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, better prepare yourself to get pregnant, or take better care of your physical and mental health at this stage? These goals can be achieved with a greater understanding of the fertile period. Continue reading and understand!
What is the fertile period?
This is the moment when ovulation occurs – that is, the release of an egg from the ovary -, allowing it to meet the sperm. If these two elements collide, fertilization may occur, which subsequently leads to pregnancy.
Every woman of reproductive age goes through her fertile period monthly. In general, the reproductive age begins around 10 years and extends to 37 years. However, the highest fertility rates are between 20 and 24 years old. Already after the age of 35, the chances of fertilization are much lower.
In other words, if you have unprotected sex with someone of the opposite sex, chances of pregnancy are higher. However, this does not prevent pregnancy from occurring at other times, whatever the reproductive age.
What happens in the female body during the menstrual cycle?
The menstrual cycle, which prepares a woman’s body for a possible pregnancy, can be regular throughout the childbearing age. The count is started when vaginal bleeding occurs, and lasts around 21 to 35 days.
Throughout the menstrual cycle, many changes occur in the female body. Most of them prepare the uterus for the arrival of the egg. However, if he does not bump into the spermatozoon – fertilization occurs -, the egg is released along with the menstruation.
Below, learn more details about what normally happens to women in the different phases of the menstrual cycle:
- 1st week — when there is no fertilization, the walls of the uterus desquamate to start menstruation. There is also the production of estradiol, a hormone that prepares the body to nourish and shelter an embryo at the beginning;
- 2nd week – the body prepares for a new ovulation, raising testosterone levels, vagina lubrication and libido, although some women do not have as much sexual interest in this period;
- 3rd week — ovulation has already occurred and the level of progesterone rises, which facilitates fertilization;
- 4th week — this is called premenstrual tension (PMS), characterized by a lower level of well-being hormones (such as serotonin) and a higher level of progesterone (which can reduce libido, bring on indisposition, fluid retention, etc.) .
Why is the fertile period important?
As mentioned, it is at this stage that the body prepares to become pregnant. Therefore, those who want to have children or not, need to pay attention to the fertile period. Thus, it is possible to redouble care to avoid an unwanted pregnancy or increase the chances of the process being successful.
It’s important to note that men produce sperm—the male gamete, released in ejaculation—all the time. However, women only release eggs during their period. So, if you want to get pregnant, when you miss this moment, you will only have the opportunity in the following month.
Of course, the probability of getting pregnant is not exclusive to the fertile period. However, there is a small chance that pregnancy will occur at another time. After all, the egg has already been released and left the tubes, which carry the sperm to it.
Still, not all women have such regular fertile periods. Then, for some reason — such as hormonal imbalance, excessive alcohol consumption, infection, etc. — ovulation may be delayed or occur early.
How to know when is the fertile period?
This calculation depends on the regularity of each woman’s menstrual cycle. So, learn more about the count in each case!
In that case, the cycle begins with menstruation, which can last from 3 to 8 days for those who have it on a regular basis. Thus, count 14 days after menstruating and add 3 days before and after the date.
For example, those who have a regular cycle and menstruated on July 1st will have their menstrual period as July 14th. However, the tendency is for it to start on the 11th and end on the 17th of the same month.
In the irregular cycle, women have many variations in the date of menstruation, which makes it difficult to calculate the fertile period. Therefore, it is recommended to seek a gynecologist to accompany you for 6 months and understand when this moment occurs.
What problems can arise in the fertile period and how to treat them?
As seen, the body goes through changes during the menstrual cycle, including the fertile period. Not all of them are pleasant, like:
- appearance of pimples;
- increased body temperature;
- pain in the lower abdomen;
- irritation and emotional instability.
There are some care that can soften the common symptoms of the fertile period. Between them:
- have a balanced diet – eat anti-inflammatory foods (such as bananas, zucchini, soybeans, berries, salmon, etc.), which act as muscle relaxants, to reduce pain;
- practice physical exercises – they release wellness hormones, great for relieving irritation and emotional instability, as well as reducing muscle aches;
- use contraceptive methods – if you don’t want to get pregnant, redouble care during sexual intercourse.
So, do you understand what it is and how the fertile period works? Keeping an eye on this stage of the menstrual cycle is essential for greater care for women’s health. Along with this, it is important to consult regularly with the doctor, such as the gynecologist and the endocrinologist.
Take advantage of your visit and access another article to understand what an endocrinologist does and how this professional relates to the fertile period!
Technical review: Alexandre R. Marra, researcher at the Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein (IIEP) and permanent professor at the Graduate Program in Health Sciences at the Faculdade Israelita de Ciências da Saúde Albert Einstein (FICSAE).