I thought that there are people (like me) out there who don’t know much about it. Hope this post will help you to understand things better.
Please note, as I tried to make post more relevant to me there will be no mention of cervical mucus, basal body temperature thermometer.
First of all, menstrual cycle counts from the day you get your period (its cycle day 1).
Ovulation is when an egg (and, occasionally, more than one egg) is released from the ovary, and it’s the fertile time of your menstrual cycle.
You must have sexual intercourse during the period spanning one to two days before ovulation to about 24 hour afterwards. The reason: sperm cells can live for two or three days, but an egg survives no more than 24 hour after ovulation- unless, of course, fertilization occurs.
Your fertile days are the days leading up to ovulation, the day of, and the day after. You start to become fertile about 5 days prior to ovulation, are very fertile the 3 days prior, and at your peak fertility the day before and the day of ovulation. You are also fertile the day after ovulation, as your egg can live for up to 24 hours.
Figure out when your next period is due to begin and count back 12 to 16 days. This will give you a range of days when you will probably be ovulating. For women with a 28-day cycle, the 14th day is often the day of ovulation. To use this method, you must know how long your cycle usually lasts.
Once you know when your egg will be release from your ovary, you can plan to have sex during your most fertile days: from three days before ovulating through the day of ovulation.
You have a range of days for baby-making sex because sperm can survive for five to six days in your body. (Your egg survives for only about a day). That means if you have sex on Monday, sperm can survive in your fallopian tubes, waiting for an egg to float by, until around Thursday- or maybe even as late as Sunday.
If you’re not sure when your fertile period will be, here’s an easy rule of thumb: Hit the sheets every other day.
Another tip: If you and your partner are waiting to have sex until your most fertile time, make sure you haven’t gone through too long of a dry beforehand. Your partner should ejaculate at least once in the days before your most fertile period. If he doesn't there could be a build up of dead sperm in his semen when it’s go time, and dead sperm can’t get you pregnant.
Hope this was helpful!