sperm on egg

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How to get pregnant - and how Ovia can help

It all starts with an egg.

Females go through a full menstrual cycle every 28 days or so, though it's also normal to have a cycle that's a little longer or a little shorter. Ovulation, the only time during when there is an egg available to be fertilized, occurs about halfway through the menstrual cycle. One of your ovaries will release an egg into the fallopian tube, where it will either be fertilized by a sperm cell or disintegrate after about 24 hours.

However, because sperm can live for up to five days in the body, the fertile window (the span of possible time that a female can conceive) can be as long as six days. Conception is possible from intercourse at any point in the fertile window, but your chances of getting pregnant increase greatly if you have intercourse in the day or two immediately prior to ovulation. If fertilized, an egg (also called an "ovum") becomes a zygote - nothing changes, that's just what a fertilized egg is called - and begin the journey down the fallopian tube. While in the fallopian tube, it will transform from a solid ball of cells into a hollow ball of cells, called a blastocyst. It will imbed itself in the uterine lining, where it will develop into an embryo and grow for the next nine months.

Identifying the fertile window

Because you're only able to conceive for a few days each cycle, identifying ovulation and the fertile window is extremely important. Although some people have regular cycles and highly predictable ovulation dates, many others have an ovulation date and fertile window that can change from cycle to cycle. Luckily, the body has some ways of communicating when ovulation might happen.

  • Basal body temperature (BBT): This is your body temperature immediately upon awakening. It remains fairly consistent throughout the cycle, but it spikes a few days after ovulation. Tracking BBT can help to more accurately identify ovulation across cycles.
  • Cervical fluid: Cervical fluid is the vaginal fluid that helps protect the vagina from infection and transport sperm cells towards the egg. Cervical fluid changes in consistency from period to ovulation, when it becomes most clear, stretchy, and thin.
  • Moods: The hormones that regulate menstruation and ovulation are also responsible for emotions, so often there is a correlation between ovulation and emotional symptoms like heightened libido and sense of confidence.
  • Symptoms: Certain health symptoms, like lower backaches and one-sided abdominal pain, may be symptomatic of ovulation, due to the increased activity within the ovaries.

How Ovia helps

By tracking your period, basal body temperature, cervical mucus, symptoms, and moods throughout your cycle, our algorithm can compute your personalized “fertility score" from 1-10 for any given day, with 10 being the most fertile. Any score of 7 or higher indicates that you are in your fertile window and have a chance of getting pregnant. 

Read more
  • Dr. Walter Willett. "Nurses' Health Study II." National Institutes of Health. United States, 1989-. Web.
  • "Nutrition During Pregnancy: FAQ001." ACOG. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 4/15/2015. Web.
  • Murcia-Lora, José María; Esparza-Encina, María Luisa. "The Fertile Window and Biomarkers: A Review and Analysis of Normal Ovulation Cycles." Persona y Bioética. Vol. 15 Issue 2, p133-148. 16p. Web. July-December 2011.
  • Bruno Scarpa, David B Dunson, Bernardo Colombo. "Cervical mucus secretions on the day of intercourse: An accurate marker of highly fertile days." European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. Volume 125, Issue 1, Pages 72-78. Web. 3/1/2006.
  • Sabita Sujan, John Danezis, Aquiles J. Sobrero. "Sperm migration and cervical mucus studies in individual cycles." Journal of Reproduction & Infertility. 6(1):87-97. Web. Sep-63.
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