A woman has only 6 days in her cycle to get pregnant, the five days leading up to ovulation and the 24 hours after ovulation. This is because sperm can live for up to 5 days in a woman’s body, and the ovum lives for only 12-24 hours. Getting pregnant, conception happens when a man’s sperm fertilises a woman’s egg. For some women this happens quickly, but for others its take longer. Sperm can live for up to 7 days inside a woman’s body.
So if a woman has had sex before ovulation, the sperm will have time to travel up the fallopian tubes to wait for the egg to be released. It’s difficult to know exactly when ovulation happens, unless the woman is practising natural family planning, or fertility awareness. If a woman wants to get pregnant, having sex every 2 to 3 days throughout the month will give her the best chance. She doesn’t need to time having sex only around ovulation.
The menstrual cycle is counted from the first day of a woman’s period. Sometimes after a woman’s period, she will ovulate and around 12-16 days after, she will have her next period. The average cycle takes 28 days, but shorter or longer cycles are normal. she is most likely to get pregnant if she has sex within a day of ovulation. This is usually about 14 days after the first day of her last period, if her cycle is around 28 days long.
An egg lives for about 12/24 hours after being released. For pregnancy to happen, the egg must be fertilised by a sperm within this time. Sperm can live for up to 7 days inside a woman’s body. So if a woman have sex before ovulation, the sperm will have time to travel up the fallopian tubes to wait for the egg to be released.
A woman’s reproductive system is made up of both external and internal organs, They are found in the pelvic area. The part of the body below the belly button. The external organs are known as the vulva, it includes the opening of the vagina, the inner and outer lips (labia) and the clitoris. The woman’s internal organs are made up of:
The pelvis: this is the bony structure around the hip area, which the baby will pass through when he or she is born.
Womb or uterus: the womb is about the size and shape of a small, upside-down pear. It’s made of muscle and grows in size as the baby grows inside it.
Fallopian tubes: these leads from the ovaries to the womb. Eggs are released from the ovaries into the fallopian tubes each month, and this is where fertilisation takes place.
Ovaries: there are 2 ovaries, each about the size of an almond, they produce the eggs
Cervix: this is the neck of the womb. It’s normally almost closed, with just a small opening through which blood passes during the monthly period. During labour, the cervix dilates (opens) to let the baby move from the uterus into the vagina.
Vagina: the vagina is a tube about 3 inches (8 cm) long, which leads from the cervix down to the vulva, where it opens between the legs. The vagina is very elastic, so it can easily stretch around a man’s penis, or around a baby during labour.
The Woman’s Monthly Cycle
Ovulation occurs each month when an egg is released from one of the ovaries. Occasionally, more than one egg is released, usually within 24 hours of the first egg. At the same time, the lining of the womb begins to thicken and the mucus in the cervix becomes thinner, so that sperm can swim through it more easily.
The egg begins to travel slowly down the fallopian tube. The egg may be fertilised here if there is sperm in the fallopian tube. The lining of the womb is now thick enough for the egg to be implanted in it after it has been fertilised. If the egg is not fertilised, it passes out of the body during the woman’s monthly period, along with the lining of the womb. The egg is so small that it cannot be seen.
Hormones are chemicals that circulate in the blood of both men and women. They carry messages to different parts of the body, regulating certain activities and causing certain changes to take place. The female hormones, which include oestrogen and progesterone, control many of the events of a woman’s monthly cycle, such as the release of the egg from the ovary and the thickening of the womb lining. During pregnancy, the hormone levels change.
As soon as the woman has conceived, the amount of oestrogen and progesterone in the blood increases. This causes the womb lining to build up, the blood helps the womb and breasts increase, and the muscles of the womb to relax to make room for the growing baby. The increased hormone levels can affect how the woman feels. The woman may have mood swings, feel tearful or be easily irritated, For a while. She may not be able to control her emotions, but these symptoms should ease after the first 3 months of her pregnancy.