Can You Get Pregnant When Your Fertile Window Is Active

Risks Of Fertility Medicines

How do I calculate my fertile window?

There are many different types of hormones used to treat anovulation. Your doctor will closely monitor you while you are on these to minimize the risk of side effects, including:

  • Ovarian hyperstimulation, which can cause serious complications such as blood clots, kidney damage, twisting of your ovaries, and fluid collecting in your abdomen or chest.
  • Pregnancy with multiple babies, which occurs in about 20% of pregnancies that result from fertility drugs.
  • Ectopic pregnancy, which is a pregnancy that occurs outside of your uterus.
  • Adnexal torsion, which is twisting of your ovaries.
  • Possibly increased risk of ovarian cancer, though this is still being researched.

How To Determine Your Fertility Window

Before we talk about how to calculate your fertility window, it might be helpful to briefly review the stages of your menstrual cycle, as hormonal changes that occur during the different phases set the stage for ovulation and provide clues as to when ovulation is coming.

As you may already know, in order for conception to take place, at least one healthy and vigorous sperm must be waiting in the fallopian tube at the moment ovulation occurs and must be able to fertilize the egg within 12-24 hours of the egg being released from the ovary.

Since sperm can only live for a maximum of 5 days in the female reproductive tract, only a small number of sperm will even survive the long journey through the female reproductive tract. Therefore, couples trying to conceive should plan to have intercourse a number of times in the days just prior to ovulation.

To do this means you must be able to predict when you will ovulate, a task that is sometimes more difficult than you might think. Fortunately, for those of us who need help, there are several reliable ways to predict when your most fertile days will occur during each cycle.

Can You Get Pregnant Right After Your Period

Yes, you can get pregnant right after your period. The likelihood of this happening, however, depends again on when you ovulate. In women with a 28-day, regular cycle, ovulation usually begins at day 14, which would be seven days after the end of a week-long period.

If you ovulate early, or if you have a short menstrual cycle or a long period, the amount of time between your period and ovulation could be much less. Also, because sperm can stick around for five days, sex only a day or two right after your period could lead to a baby.

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What Is A Fertile Window

During ovulation, an egg released from a womans ovary travels down her fallopian tube. It survives in the reproductive tract for 12-24 hours. Conception can occur if sperm fertilizes the egg during this time otherwise, the egg sheds with the uterine lining during menstruation.

Your chances of getting pregnant are highest within 24 hours of ovulation and one day beforehand. But conception is also possible if you have sex in the five days leading up to ovulation, says Rashmi Kudesia, M.D., an Ob-Gyn and reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist at Houston Methodist and Houston IVF. Thats because sperm can survive in the reproductive tract for five days, meaning that days-old sperm can still fertilize a newly released egg.

Can You Contract An Sti From Precum

The Fertile Window

As well as having sperm, precum also has the potential to pass on sexually transmitted infections. Therefore, using the pulling out method is an unsafe method to reduce your chances of contracting an STI.

The journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases reports that the withdrawal method cant protect against STIs. Researchers found that couples practicing the pulling out method are still at risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections. The study recommended the use of condoms for the full duration of sexual intercourse to provide the best protection from STIs.13

Precum can also contain the HIV virus and be transmitted through vaginal penetration even though no ejaculation occurs. The journal AIDS reported that precum may play a role in the transmission of HIV-1. Very often, swabs of precum taken for testing contain detectable traces of the human immunodeficiency virus.14

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Easy Example To Make You Understand Your Fertile Days

Here is an examples to help you understand how to calculate your fertile days easily.


Mrs Beric saw her period on the 14th of march 2015 and currently started see her period today, the 13th of April 2015. She has a regular 30 day cycle. When is her fertile window?


Ovulation, which is the release of egg from the dominant follicle in the ovary occurs about 14 days before your next period. This is fairly constant in women. Since her menstrual cycle is regular, she should see her next period by 12th or 13th of May.

What is her fertile window?

Now subtract 14 days from 13th of may, you will get 29th or 28th of April. She is expected to ovulate on the 29th of April.

Your fertile window is usually 5 days before ovulation and a day after ovulation. Therefore, between 24th to 29th of April is her fertile days.

Please note:

  • You cycle may not always be regular. It could be affected by emotions and stress.
  • All women do not ovulate at the same time. While some women may experience early ovulation or late ovulation.
  • Most women will start seeing their period 14 to 16 days after ovulation. This is fairly constant. However, regular charting of your menstrual cycle to know its length, is vital to calculate your fertile period.

Sowhen Does Ovulation Happen

By OpenStax College Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site. , Jun 19, 2013., CC BY 3.0, Link

Doctors describe the normal menstrual cycle as anywhere between 21 and 35 days. Some women have menstrual cycles that run like clockwork others are much more sporadic. Experts agree that, in general, ovulation occurs about 14 days before the commencement of ones period.

Ovulation happens when a womans luteinizing hormone experiences a surge. During that time, a mature egg will leave the uterus and travel down into the Fallopian tubes. It can survive for 12-24 hours before it disintegrates into the uterine lining and is shed with the womans monthly period.

So, ovulation occurs only one time during each menstrual cycle and generally lasts from 12-24 hours. Wow, only 12-24 hours? Does that mean thats the only window each month during which a women can get pregnant?

Not at all! A womans fertile window generally lasts about 6 days. Heres why.

Sperm can live inside the female reproductive track for up to 5 days, experts note. That means the woman can get pregnant via intercourse that happens anywhere from about 5 days before ovulation until 24 hours afterwards. The greatest chance of getting pregnant is on the day of ovulation or during the three days prior.

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Can Precum Get You Pregnant When You Are Not Ovulating

Even when you are not ovulating, you can still become pregnant if precum is in your vagina. This is because precum contains sperm that can live a few days in your body. If you ovulate while the sperm is still viable, you can get pregnant.

The reason that precum can result in pregnancy even when you are not ovulating yet is connected to the days when you are most fertile. A study published in the journal BMJ reported that only about 30% of women are fertile entirely within days 10 and 17 of their cycle.

However most women reach their fertile window earlier and others much later. The study concluded that the timing of womens fertile window can be highly unpredictable, even if their cycles are usually regular.7

Therefore, if you have unprotected sex using the pulling out method several days before or after your perceived ovulation date, it is still possible to become pregnant. When using the pulling out method, precum can still be released. The precum contains sperm which may live long enough to fertilize a mature egg. Since its hard to predict the exact date of ovulation, there is always a chance of getting pregnant from a precum.6

Track Your Most Fertile Days

OVULATION: Understanding Your Fertile Window and Cycle Tracking

Generally, the best chance of pregnancy is when sex happens 1-2 days before ovulation. If you have a regular 28-day cycle, count back 14 days from when you expect your next period to start. Plan on having sex every other day around that time — say, days 12 and 14. Your cycle may be longer or shorter, so an online ovulation calculator or over-the-counter ovulation and fertility kits can help you figure out the most likely day.

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Can You Get Pregnant Outside Of Your Fertile Window

Although conception only happens in the first 12 to 24 hours after ovulation, its definitely possible to get pregnant from sex outside of your predicted fertile window. Again, this is because sperm can survive inside the uterus for several days.

Although conception only happens in the first 12 to 24 hours after ovulation, its definitely possible to get pregnant from sex outside of your predicted fertile window.

Occasionally, ovulation may occur at a different point in your cycle. Stress, anxiety, travel, and changes to your normal routine all affect the delicate hormonal balance that triggers ovulation. For example, you might usually ovulate around day 20 but experience 1 or 2 cycles per year where ovulation occurs much earlier or later.

Truth: To Get Pregnant Have Sex Before You Ovulate

If you want to get pregnant, you should have sex before you ovulate. Sex in the two days before ovulation is most likely to help you conceive.

While at first glance, it seems to make sense that the egg needs to be present before you send in the swimmers. However, thats not how it works.

First of all, sperm can survive in the female reproductive tract for up to six days. The sperm will die off as the days pass, so the closer to ovulation you have sex, the better. But they dont need to get there “at the moment” of ovulation.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the egg becomes nonviable very quickly. If a sperm cell doesnt fertilize the egg within 12 to 24 hours of being released from the ovary, pregnancy cant occur.

When you take into consideration this short viability window, sex after ovulation could be too late.

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Changes In Body Temperature

Basal body temperature refers to your temperature when you first wake up in the morning, prior to getting up and moving around.

Your BBT rises by about 1°F or less during the 24-hour window after ovulation occurs. This is caused by the secretion of progesterone.

If pregnancy does not happen, your BBT will remain raised until your period starts.

Tracking your BBT may provide clues about your ovulation pattern from month to month, but this method is not foolproof.

An of over 200 women found that late ovulation cannot be predicted by any method and that no signs of ovulation, including BBT, correspond perfectly with the release of an egg.

BBT charting can also be unreliable for people who have even slightly irregular periods.

Fertile Window: What When And How Long Is It

What Does Fertile Window Active Mean

While the average menstrual cycle lasts somewhere between 21 and 35 days, conception can only occur on about 3 of those days. However, your fertile window may be significantly longer. Let Flo teach you how to pinpoint your fertile window to make informed reproductive decisions.

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Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle

If youre trying to get pregnant and want to track ovulation, you need to understand your menstrual cycle. Your menstrual cycle is your bodys way of preparing for pregnancy. It begins on the first day of your period and starts over when your next period begins. A typical menstrual cycle is 28 days, but cycles ranging from 21 to 35 days are considered normal.

Lots of changes happen in your body during the cycle, including hormone fluctuations. About halfway through, one of your ovaries releases a mature egg. The egg goes to one of your fallopian tubes, where it waits to be fertilized by sperm. The lining of your uterus gets thicker, too. This prepares the uterus for implantation of the fertilized egg.

If you dont get pregnant, it could mean that the egg didnt fertilize, or that the embryo didnt implant into the uterus. In those cases, the uterine lining sheds and you get your period.

Does Precum Contain Sperm

Most studies on the contents of precum have found that the viscous fluid does indeed contain live, mobile sperm that could result in pregnancy.

For example, the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand in 2016 reported that precum fluid containing active sperm was detected in 16% of tested males.3

The study published in the journal Human Fertility found that nearly 40% of precum samples contained a reasonable proportion of sperm that was motile. Therefore, most doctors still recommend wearing a condom during sexual contact to prevent transmitting STDs or getting pregnant.1

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Charting Basal Body Temperature

A womans resting body temperature rises during ovulation by at least two-tenths of a degree. Taking your basal body temperature first thing in the morning with a BBT thermometer can help monitor ovulation. “As this method only detects ovulation after it has already occurred, I would only recommend this to help confirm ovulation or gain a sense of ones average ovulation day, says Dr. Kudesia.

Conceiving From Sex After Ovulation

Maximise your chances of getting pregnant

Ideally, if you want to get pregnant, you need to have sex before you ovulate. If you were confused about this beforeand thought sex needs to come after ovulationyoure not alone. Many people dont realize that the best time to have sex to get pregnant is before, not after, ovulation.

However, lets say you think youve already ovulated is there any point in having sex, just in case? Yes.

There have been several research studies on the odds of conception at various stages of the menstrual cycle. Everyone agrees that your best odds of conception are the day before and the day of ovulation. But not everyone agrees on how likely you are to conceive once ovulation has passed.

Based on a number of studies, your odds of getting pregnant from having intercourse once may be anywhere in these ranges:

  • 21%35% one day before ovulation
  • 10%33% on ovulation day
  • 0%11% one day past ovulation
  • 0%9% two days past ovulation

These numbers assume that you have sex just once during your fertile window. If you have sex before you ovulate and the day after, your odds will be significantly different than if you have sex only after you ovulated.

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What About Period Sex

Weve heard period sex hailed as the ultimate time for unprotected love making. Though baby making odds are slim, its not 100 percent risk-free.

During the 4 to 8 days of bleeding, youre shedding the unfertilized egg from your previous cycle. This means there isnt a new egg ready for baby making, but it doesnt mean your partners sperm wont hang out until the new egg makes its debut.

Other Possible Signs Of Ovulation

Some more potential signs of ovulation include:

  • Tender breasts. Some people report breast tenderness or sore nipples around the time of ovulation.
  • Bloating. Some people feel bloated before and during ovulation. Since bloating occurs at other moments during your cycle, particularly during menstruation, its not necessarily a reliable indicator of ovulation.

The ovulation phase of your menstrual cycle typically lasts between 16 and 32 hours, starting with the LH surge and ending when the egg is released.

Ovulation generally occurs 24 to 48 hours after the LH surge.

You can become pregnant both before and after ovulation. This is called the fertile window.

Your fertile window starts up to 4 days prior to ovulation and extends for 1 day after ovulation. You are most fertile on the day before ovulation and the day of ovulation.

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Should I Have Sex Before During Or After Ovulation

For the best chances of pregnancy, you should have sex every day or every other day during the:

  • Five days leading up to ovulation
  • Day of ovulation
  • Day after ovulation

Theres a lot of information about methods for having sex that could increase your chances of getting pregnant. Theres no specific sex position that increases your odds of conceiving. Some lubricants may negatively affect sperm and prevent them from reaching the egg. Talk to your health care provider about which lubricants to avoid.

How To Predict And Track Ovulation

What Does Fertile Window Active Mean

If youre trying to get pregnant, you may find it helpful to track your ovulation. Even if you are not trying to conceive, monitoring your cycle may be a useful way of understanding more about your overall health, energy levels, mood changes, and when you can expect your period to start.

To track ovulation, try to keep a record of the following information:

  • your menstruation dates
  • descriptions of your menstrual blood
  • descriptions of your cervical mucus
  • your BBT readings
  • physical changes, such as cramps, pain, bloating, or breast tenderness
  • other relevant information, such as your mood, libido, and energy levels

You can use any calendar or journal to track ovulation. There are a number of printable templates to track your menstrual cycle available online. In addition, organizations such as the American Pregnancy Association and the provide online ovulation predictors.

Fertility charts are another option. They require you to plot your morning temperature readings on a graph, providing a handy visual of the rise in your BBT after ovulation.

Finally, there are a number of apps you can use to help you track your cycle. While these apps may help you determine when youre most likely to be fertile, they may not be able to reliably predict the day of ovulation, according to a 2018 study.

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