Fertility awareness

Fertility awareness means getting to know your body and your menstrual cycle. It can be an effective way to find your most fertile time of month and help maximise your chances of getting pregnant.

There's lots more detail about finding your most fertile time on our Planning a Pregnancy page.

Get to know your menstrual cycle

  • The average length of the menstrual cycle is around 28 days, although many women have longer or shorter cycles.
  • Each month as many as 20 eggs mature inside the ovary. Ovulation is the process that results in the release of an egg from your ovary.
  • Usually one egg is released into the fallopian tube, around 10–16 days before the start of your period, where it lives for just 24 hours.
  • The time leading up to ovulation is when you are most fertile (your fertile time). You can only get pregnant for a few days around the time of ovulation.
  • Your cervical mucus changes in texture and appearance at different times in your cycle. This can help you learn when you are most fertile.
  • Your basal temperature (temperature when you wake up) dips slightly before ovulation and rises afterwards. Keeping track of your basal temperature might help you know if you have ovulated.