As International Women’s Day draws closer, you’re likely being bombarded with empowering quotes and inspirational messages but we want to help you feel empowered through education about your body and your fertility. So get ready…

Knowing your cycle 

This may sound silly, you’ve had periods for years, you know your cycle by now! But do you know about all the different stages? Not so sure, well let’s fix that.

While clinical guidelines state that a 28-day cycle is the norm, a recent study showed that only 13% of women have 28-day cycles. It varies from person to person and anything between 21-35 days is considered normal. Fall out of the 21-35 range? It might be worth a visit to your GP if you’re thinking about getting pregnant. 

Understanding your cycle

A menstrual cycle has 4 phases. 
  1. Your period – the messy bit.
  2. Follicular – the egg starts growing at this point.
  3. Ovulation – your egg is released from one of your ovaries and is (sometimes) fertilised by a sperm. Ever get a twinge on one side of your tummy in the middle of your cycle? That could be ovulation pain!
  4. Luteal – when the lining in your uterus grows so that an embryo can implant.

Be proactive about your fertility

Being proactive can mean many different things. You might want to get clued up on what’s good and bad for your fertility or you might get your hormones and ovaries checked. Ovarian reserve tests or a “fertility MOT” can help give an indication of your current fertility status – but remember, the key word here is current and the results of these tests won’t reflect your fertility in 1-2 years' time. Fertility MOTs can be helpful for family planning but they’re not the same as a comprehensive fertility diagnosis.

Next Steps

If all you do today to better understand your body is read this email then you've already won!

If you're trying to get pregnant, why not take a moment to book a fertility MOT or book an appointment with your GP to discuss your fertility?

If you're not trying to get pregnant right now, why not think about steps you can take today to improve your future fertility? Our previous edition of Practical Fertility delves into the best and worst things you can do for your future fertility, read it here.

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