Planning Sex Can Help You Increase Your Chances Of Becoming Pregnant
Meredith Shur, MD, FACOG, is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, as well as a certified medical examiner.
If you want to get pregnant faster, you might be interested in knowing when you should have sex, how frequently to have sex, and whether there are factors that can increase or decrease your chances of becoming pregnant each month.
Its important to know that you can get pregnant at any time during your menstrual cycle, even if you are having your period. This is one of the reasons that birth control methods like the rhythm method are not very reliable in preventing pregnancy.
While unprotected sex doesnt lead to pregnancy every time, you can become pregnant if you have sex just one time. In general, fertility declines with age, and teenagers are far more likely to become pregnant with only one or a few sexual encounters than older women are. If you are having a hard time getting pregnant, there are some things to know that can help you maximize your chances.
Fertility Does Not Depend On The Age Of The Couple
The prime reproductive age of humans has been found to be the ages between the 20s and the 30s. There will be a slight fall in fertility levels after the age of 35 and a sharp fall after that. After this, that is, any time during the age of 40 and above, the chances of a healthy unassisted pregnancy without complications, such as a miscarriage and genetic abnormalities, are quite low. This is true for both men and women.
When Is The Best Time To Get Pregnant
So what does this all mean?
These precious few days of sperm and egg survival combine to form your fertile window. And its during this fertile window, and ONLY during this time, that sex can result in pregnancy.
The fertile window is a maximum of 6 days long composed of the 5 days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation itself. In practice however, the fertile window is typically shorter than this often just 2 3 days long.
So the best time to have sex to get pregnant is during the 2 3 days leading up to ovulation the time when sperm are most likely to survive. Ideally, you want to have sperm ready and waiting in your reproductive tract, so that they can do their thing as soon as your egg is released at ovulation .
Because the egg survives for a maximum of only 24 hours, any sex you have after ovulation day will NOT result in pregnancy. And actually, even having intercourse on the day of ovulation itself can sometimes be too late research has shown that ovulation day is typically a less fertile day.
Want to know the secrets of Baby-making Sex? Grab the fertility guide here.
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How To Calculate The Time Of Ovulation
Safe period and ovulation are related because safe days are calculated based on ovulation. According to the popular Safe Period Calculator method, day 1 to day 7 are safe and unfertile in a regular menstrual cycle which lasts 26 to 32 days. This takes into account the premise that the lifespan of the sperm in the reproductive canal is 3 to 5 days. This method calculates that ovulation occurs onthe 19th day. Therefore, fertilisation can occur until the 20th day of the cycle. Since all these calculations are an approximation, and the results can vary from woman to woman.
This calculation is adjusted to reflect WHO data that shows that approximately 80% of menstrual cycles range between 26 to 32 days.
Can You Get Pregnant Before Your Period
You are least likely to become pregnant during this time.
We know that for women whose menstrual cycle is 28 to 30 days, the ovulation window ranges from the 14th to 17th day. The period after this is the post-ovulation stage, which lowers the chances of pregnancy. Therefore, having sex right before the onset of next cycle is the safest period to avoid pregnancy.
However, if your ovulation gets delayed due to health issues or stress, and moves to the end of the cycle, then you are likely to get pregnant before your period. The tricky thing here is it is difficult to know if your ovulation is getting delayed.
Unless you have a regular menstrual cycle, it isnt easy to know about your fertile and non-fertile days in a month. Adding to the confusion are innumerable misconceptions that have been passed on to us over years.
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Can You Get Pregnant On The Last Day Of Your Period
If you stop bleeding on Day 6, have sex on Day 7 and ovulate on Day 11, its possible the sperm from Day 6 will be waiting in your fallopian tubes for conception. Your chances of conceiving right after your period increase each day after your bleeding has stopped. If you are trying to conceive this is a good time to have sex. Increase your chances of conception by having sex every other day for the next 14 days.
How Likely Am I To Get Pregnant If I Have Sex On The Last Day Of My Period
By | Aug. 23, 2011, 4:14 p.m.
How likely am I to get pregnant by having intercourse on the last day of my period?
Its possible to get pregnant any time you have unprotected sex, regardless of what day it is in your cycle. Sperm can live in a womans reproductive tract for about six days, so its always best to use protection. Its more likely that youll get pregnant from intercourse on the last day of your period if you have a shorter menstrual cycle. Your body ovulates releases an egg from your ovaries about 14 to 16 days before your period. If your cycle is only about 22 days long, sperm that entered your vagina on the last day of your period could still be there when you ovulate.
The morning after pill is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. It can be started up to five days after unprotected intercourse.
The brands Plan B One-Step and Next Choice are available from drugstores and health centers without a prescription only. If you are interested in getting emergency contraception and are 17 or older, you can either get it directly from a Planned Parenthood health center or private health care provider for a prescription.
The best way to prevent pregnancy is by using birth control. Learn more about your birth control options.
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Can You Get Pregnant Before During Or After Your Periods
A period is a time when your reproductive system sheds the uterine lining. It is when your previous cycle ends and a new one begins.
The period also sets the stage for ovulation around 14 days before your expected period. Your chances of getting pregnant are the highest during ovulation. But is it possible for you to get pregnant during or around your period, which is considered an infertile time in a cycle? MomJunction answers this question and more. Read on.
Get An Ovulation Predictor Kit
If you’re looking for a higher-tech method for knowing when you should have sex to get pregnant, pick up an ovulation tester online or at a drugstore. There are a few types to consider. Ovulation predictor kits test your level of luteinizing hormone to suss out your O day. All you do is pee on a stick and wait for it to reveal if your level of luteinizing hormone is high, suggesting ovulation. You’ll see a line that is the same or darker than the control line.
A next-level option is a fertility monitor. This device lets you check LH and estrogen levels in your urine. You turn on the monitor when you get your period and it alerts you when it’s time to start using the urine strips. Then you pee on a strip and insert it into the monitor to find out whether you’re having a low, high or peak fertility day.
There are also saliva tests that check electrolytes in your spit to predict when your estrogen is high. First thing in the morning, you put saliva on a lens. Then, five minutes later, you play scientist and look at it under an eyepiece. Most of the month you’ll just see random dots, but a day to three days before you ovulate, you should notice a pattern like a fern or frost on a window. The downside to saliva tests: Some women have trouble distinguishing the patterns.
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Dealing With Low Sperm Counts
If sperm counts are borderline normal or on the lower side, the general recommendation is to have sex every other day during the fertile window.
For example, if on Monday you get your first positive ovulation predictor test result, or you see fertile cervical mucus, you should have sex on Monday, skip Tuesday, and then again on Wednesday, skip Thursday, and once more on Friday. The day in between will help replenish the sperm supply, possibly increasing your chances of pregnancy.
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Will Orgasms Help You Get Pregnant
Some experts believe that uterine contractions during orgasm help propel sperm into the cervix, but one thing is for surethe tingles during orgasm definitely make you relaxed. And that means youve already cleared the biggest baby-making blocker: stress. The better the sex, the better the chances of conception, says reproductive physiologist Joanna Ellington, Ph.D., in the British documentary The Great Sperm Race. Men who are fully stimulated will ejaculate up to 50 percent more, according to research revealed in the program. So if you have what I call gourmet sex, where you really spend time and you make it fun for both partners, that is going to make the man more stimulated and he is going to ejaculate more and healthier sperm, Dr. Ellington says. Sure, sex without female orgasm can result in a baby, too, but why not go for the gold?
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When Am I Most Fertile
The most fertile time in your cycle are the days leading up to ovulation, before the egg is released from the ovary. After ovulation the egg survives for just 24 hours, while sperm retain fertilising capability for two to three days in the fallopian tubes. For this reason, we recommend that couples have sexual intercourse every two days throughout the females Fertile Window. This means that sperm are ready and waiting for the egg when the female ovulates. If you wait until after the female has ovulated before you have sex, you will most likely have missed the opportunity for conception that month.
More On Calculating Your Fertile Days
If you are relying on knowing when you are most fertile to avoid getting pregnant, the process is always the same:
- You need to determine the how many days each of your monthly cycle lasts.
- You need to predict the day that you will ovulate .
- Once you know this day, count backwards 6 days, and abstain from any unprotected sex for these six days .
- Then, do not have any unprotected sex for the entire day after the day that you ovulated.
That may be easier said than done. This goes back to our earlier discussion about how the length of your cycle may change from month to month.
So this is not a reliable birth control method unless you have been able to predict when you will ovulate and that you have fairly consistent cycles. Calculating your most fertile days is not limited to a perfect 28 day cycle. You can still determine when you are most fertile no matter how long or short your cycles are.
The key, however, is that your cycles are reliably that long. This means that is you have a 35 day cycle, you tend to have a 35 day cycle every month, and you have charted this to make sure.
Generally speaking, most women consistently have cycles that last 26 to 32 days. This means that ovulation is likely to occur between days 12 and 18. When counting the days of a menstrual cycle, you should count the the day that your period starts as Day 1.
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Pregnancy And Birth Risks
Because of the changes that happen in eggs and sperm as we age, including damage to genetic material, children of older parents have a slightly higher risk of birth defects and genetic abnormalities. The risk of mental health problems and autism spectrum disorder is marginally higher in children of fathers older than 40 than in those with younger fathers.
It is estimated that the risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality is approximately one in 400 for a woman aged 30 and one in 100 for a woman aged 40.
The risks of miscarriage and complications in pregnancy and childbirth are higher for older women than for younger women.
Its important to remember that although the risk of health problems increases with age, most babies are born healthy, whatever their parents age.
When Is The Best Time To Have Sex To Get Pregnant
The best time to try for a baby is on the days leading up to ovulation and the . Since sperm can live up to 5 days inside a womans body, timing sex for the days leading up to ovulation can also lead to pregnancy.
There is a common myth that all women have a 28 day cycle, but this is not the case. 52% of menstrual cycles vary by 5 or more days so using a method to identify when you ovulate can help you conceive.
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How Long Will It Take Me To Get Pregnant
Some women will get pregnant quicker than others. In fact, for up to 40% of women it took more time than , but more than 80% of couples will usually conceive within a year if they are having regular sex.The time it takes to get pregnant depends on factors such as
- family and medical history.
Most experts recommend women see a doctor if they cannot conceive within a year if they are under 35. If you are aged 35 or more, then see your healthcare provider if you cannot conceive within six months of trying. If you are over 40 should see your doctor straight away.
Tracking Ovulation With Irregular Periods
If you experience irregular menstrual cycles, tracking ovulation could be helpful using several different tools.
If your cycle is irregular, try tracking it on your calendar for a few reasons. You might notice a pattern, and you can share the information from your tracking efforts with your gynecologist or fertility specialist.
Your cervical mucus changes when you ovulate. Cervical mucus is minimal during the first few days after your menstrual cycle. Then, it will start to increase. As you approach ovulation, your cervical mucus will become more plentiful, clear, slippery, and sticky. A lot of people compare its consistency to egg whites.
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How To Avoid Pregnancy
To avoid pregnancy, use contraception. There are many methods of contraception you can choose from. Condoms are the only method that help protect against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections .
It’s difficult to know exactly when ovulation happens. Therefore, if you’re trying to avoid pregnancy, there isnt a “safe” time of the month to have unprotected sex.
A woman who doesnt want to become pregnant shouldn’t take the risk, says Belfield.
For a woman with a shorter menstrual cycle for example, 23 days having unprotected sex during her period could put her at risk of pregnancy. Sperm can hang around for seven days, and she might ovulate very soon after her period has finished.
Some women use natural family planning to plan or avoid pregnancy, but this needs to be taught by an expert. “Working out your fertile time is very dependent on knowing your cycle and knowing your fertility indicators, which takes observation, says Belfield.
It involves monitoring vaginal secretions, taking your temperature every day, and keeping a calendar of your cycle, to help pinpoint when ovulation is likely to be happening.
Vaginal secretions change during the menstrual cycle and become thinner and stretchy around ovulation a bit like raw egg white.
The most effective methods of contraception are long-acting reversible contraceptive methods, such as the contraceptive injection , contraceptive implant , intrauterine system and intrauterine device IUD .
Know When To Seek Help
Both the woman and the man should consider having an infertility evaluation if the woman is 35 or older and has not become pregnant after six months of having sex regularly without using birth control, Pavone said.
Pavone also recommended that a woman who is under 35 and her partner should consult a fertility specialist if she hasn’t become pregnant after one year of having unprotected intercourse on a regular basis.
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What Are The Advantages Of Using Fertility Awareness Methods To Avoid Pregnancy
If used correctly, FAMs can give you reasonable protection from an unwanted pregnancy.
Some advantages of using FAMs are:
- No expense
- No medication, therefore no side effects
- Greater understanding between a couple
- Some religious beliefs do not allow artificial contraception, so safe days method is a preferred option
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