There is a most effective time that’ll increase your chances of pregnancy, and it’s called your fertile window - though it’s possible to get pregnant at any one point of the month.
Your fertile window is the five days leading up to, and the day of, ovulation. You’re most likely to get pregnant if you have sex within these few days, and particularly within a day or two of ovulation.
An egg lives for about one day after being released, whilst sperm can survive for up to a week, so you could look at it like you have a six-day window for sperm to meet an egg. It can be tricky to know the exact date of ovulation, so it’s advisable to just enjoy having sex every few days. This will mean that there should always be sperm waiting in the fallopian tubes to meet an egg when it’s released.
If you do want to pinpoint your day of ovulation and increase your chances of getting pregnant, then there are a few things you can look out for…
How do I know when I’m going to ovulate?
If you have a 28-day menstrual cycle, then you’re likely to ovulate around the middle of your cycle. But if you have a short cycle, you could ovulate within days of your period ending. And a long cycle may mean that you won’t ovulate until two weeks after your period has ended.
According to Baby Centre, nearly half of women have a cycle length that varies by more than seven days. If your menstrual cycle is different from one month to the next, then it’s likely that your fertile window may vary each month, too.
Here are a few things to look for if you want to know when you’re ovulating:
- Increased vaginal discharge that’s egg white in colour and stretchy – this is also known as fertile mucus.
- Slight discomfort on one side of your stomach – ovulation pain.
Ovulation calculators and temperature charts
Some people may look at ovulation calculators or temperature charts to try to monitor when they’re ovulating.
Basal body temperature (BBT) is your temperature when you first wake up in the morning. To record your BBT, you need to use a basal thermometer. To know when you’re ovulating, look for a temperature rise compared to the previous six days of about 0.2 degrees Celsius.
Ovulation calculators work out (roughly) the date you’re at your most fertile and the day you ovulate, based on your last three periods.
Frequent sex boosts pregnancy chances
Although having sex around the date of ovulation might help to increase your chances of pregnancy, the best, and more realistically achievable thing to do is to have sex every two or three days throughout the month.
Trying to have sex around ovulation can get stressful, and stressed may mean you have less sex.
If you’re going to track your ovulation, remember to try and relax and still enjoy having sex with your partner.
Take a look at our ‘Five Reasons Why You Might Not Be Getting Pregnant’ post for more helpful tips.