By Nat Kringoudis

For most women, a lot of time and energy is invested into not falling pregnant during our early fertile years. In fact, we spend most of our teens and 20s doing everything we can to avoid it, often taking our hormones offline to flatline and halt our fertility.

Fast forward some 15 or so years and it hits us hard; conception is not necessarily as easy as we thought it would be and we go on a quest to understand our cycles more intricately.

One of the main reasons this can feel so difficult – we never were adequately taught how to really know when we are fertile for many reasons including the use of the pill or other contraception (because you don’t typically ovulate when you’re on pill) or for many it is simply too overwhelming and stressful. In any case, it is never too late to learn.

The complexity of understanding when you’re really fertile doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as you may have been led to believe, especially with a mix of the right information coupled with observing your own body rhythms – marry these two and you’ll be an expert of your own cycle in no time.

Nat Kringoudis AKA the Hormone Revolutionist is a best-selling author, podcaster and practitioner helping women understand their body better.

Top 4 facts understand your body’s rhythms

If you’re ready to understand your fertility, here are my top 4 most misunderstood facts to get you dialled into your own body rhythms;

1. Conception takes place only at ovulation, which typically happens in the middle of the cycle. However only 11 percent of women actually ovulate on cycle day 14 meaning that what we got taught in high school is incorrect and your app it’s a ‘guess’ when you ovulate. To help you accurately pin point ovulation, I suggest investing in a quality hormone free fertility tracker. I recommend Daysy as it is 99.4 percent accurate in being able to predict your non fertile days increasing your chances of conception.

Fertility tracker apps like Daysy help you to accurately pin point ovulation.

2. Women experience discharge all month round. This is very healthy! However, do you know your discharge? The trick is understanding the feeling. Fertile discharge is typically clear, stringy and somewhat slippery and provides a wet and cold sensation that can be felt around the opening of the cervix and vulva. No other discharge feels like this, focusing on the wet and cold sensation can help you know when you’re fertile. Infertile discharge appears claggy and glue like. But most of all, you can’t feel it, helping you distinguish between the two.

Tip: avoid using a panty liner every day, so you can really feel changes that help you pin point your fertile window.

Do you know your discharge? The trick is understanding the feeling to help track your fertility.

3. A period can only follow ovulation. So, if you have a regular period, you can be confident you are in fact ovulating. For some women they may experience an anovulatory bleed (that is a cycle where for some reason you don’t ovulate), but typically these bleeds are different with less flow and would spark for you to ask your health provider for further investigate.

4. Stress pulls the handbrake on ovulation, which means that if you are all fired up to ovulate, but something outside of your norm happens, your body is listening, and it may be pulled to an almighty halt. Truth is, your body knows this isn’t an ideal scenario for conception. This is nothing to worry about, usually it will try again several days later , the trick is knowing this may happen under stress and watching out if you see fertile signs reappear. Bottom line, you may attempt to ovulate more than once in a cycle, fact is, it will always be the last ‘attempt’ that in fact becomes ovulation.

Unlocking the power of your cycle for me as a natural fertility expert, the greatest gift we can give ourselves as women is understanding when we are really fertile, to really tap into the signs our bodies share with us every day and remove the mystery. Once you have the information onboard and you observe these rhythms, you’ll untap a secret superpower and wonder why you waited so long.