To many women, understanding their cycle can be confusing, especially when you throw conception in the mix. Knowing how your cycle works and when you ovulate can help you conceive faster. Here are the answers to some common questions.

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1. Is my cycle normal? The average woman’s cycle is 28 to 32 days, but varying each month is common. So, if your cycle is off by a few days, that’s totally fine. Your cycle is irregular if you are getting your period every two weeks or skipping months between cycles.

2. Can I still get pregnant if I don’t get my period? You absolutely can get pregnant if you don’t get your period. It’s just harder. A woman who gets her period every 28 days will ovulate on day 14. A woman who has a 35-42 day cycle ovulates less frequently because her periods aren’t as frequent. We suggest using an ovulation predictor kit or tracking your cycle on our ovulation calendar on our website!

3. Can I still be pregnant if I got my period? No, you can’t be pregnant and have a period at the same time. However, it is possible you are mistaking implantation bleeding (when the embryo imbeds itself in the wall of the uterus) for your period. Implantation bleeding is lighter and shorter. If you’re unsure, wait a week and then take a pregnancy test to make sure.

4. How soon can I take a pregnancy test? You don’t want to waste your money on expensive pregnancy tests until you’re sure you’ll get an accurate result. Over-the-counter pregnancy tests can detect hCG in urine by the day of your missed period. If you test too early, you’ll most likely get a negative result even if you are pregnant. If you get a negative result on the day of your expected period but your cycle hasn’t started, try taking the test again in two days.

5. What does it mean to be fertile? The fertile window in the menstrual cycle is the five days leading up to ovulation, when the egg is released from the ovary. Some women have such regular cycles that they don’t have trouble determining when they’re fertile. But for some women, it’s much harder to predict fertility. Click here for signs that you’re fertile now!

6. I’ve been taking birth control for years. Will this affect my fertility? Long-term hormonal birth control won’t affect your fertility. Most women begin ovulating within three months of stopping birth control. You should stop taking your birth control a few months before you want to conceive so that you can know if your cycle is regular.