How Can You Increase Your Chances Of Natural Conception
Ah yes, the million-dollar question. Because there are many factors that influence your chances of conceiving, there are several different things you can do to tip the scales in your favor.
Arguably the most important thing you can do to boost your odds is to track your cycles and time intercourse or insemination around ovulation. After all, if you aren’t having sex or inseminating during the fertile window, your chances of conception are zero. Because the chances of conception increase in the five days before ovulation and peak the day before ovulation, you should be having sex within this window if you’re looking to conceive. While some sources suggest you should be having intercourse every other day in this window, there arent empirical studies suggesting what the optimal intercourse frequency is, but its likely that more frequent = better.
To figure out where in your cycle you are, using ovulation predictor kits is a good idea to better understand when you’re ovulating they measure your hormones to give you a heads up on that egg’s release. You can also use so-called sympto-thermal methods of cycle tracking, which involve taking your basal temperature and examining certain symptoms like your cervical mucus consistency to pinpoint when your fertile window starts and ends. Previous work has shown that cycle tracking using these symptoms can increase chances of pregnancy among TTC people with ovaries, both who have and have not had difficulty conceiving.
How To Increase Your Chance Of Getting Pregnant
If you want a baby, here are five tips to increase your chance of getting pregnant.
Pregnancy is only possible if you have sex during the five days before ovulation or on the day of ovulation. This is called the fertile window. Having sex during the fertile window, especially the three days leading up to and including ovulation, gives you the best chance of getting pregnant.
So how do you know when youre ovulating? It depends on the length of your menstrual cycle. It happens about 14 days before your period starts so if your average cycle is 28 days, day one is the first day of your period and you ovulate around day 14. This means your most fertile days for sex are days 12, 13 and 14.
If your average menstrual cycle is 35 days, ovulation happens around day 21 and your most fertile days for sex are days 19, 20 and 21.
If you have a shorter cycle, say 21 days, ovulation happens around day seven and your most fertile days are days five, six and seven.
Use this ovulation calculator to help you pinpoint your fertile window.
If you have an irregular cycle and cant work out when you ovulate, having sex every two to three days should improve your chance of getting pregnant.
For women and men, working towards a healthy weight increases the chance of pregnancy. Being in good shape will not only boost your fertility and your general health, it will also give your baby the best start in life.
What If You Have A 28
The average menstrual cycle is 28 days, with the first day of menstruation as cycle day 1.
Most periods last two to seven days. Pregnancy is uncommon during this time, because your peak fertility window is still about a week or so away.
Around days 6 to 14 of your cycle, your body will start releasing follicle-stimulating hormone .
This helps develop an egg inside your ovary. Your body will also begin rebuilding the endometrial lining in your uterus.
Pregnancy is slightly more likely during this time. Sperm can live up to five days inside the body, so it could still be present when the egg matures.
Once the egg is mature, your body will release lutenizing hormone , triggering the eggs release from your ovary .
Ovulation usually occurs around cycle day 14. Pregnancy is likely on ovulation day.
That said, ovulation doesnt always happen like clockwork. It can occur anywhere from four days before to four days after the midpoint of your menstrual cycle.
The bottom Line
If you ovulate later in your cycle or start your period sooner than usual, you could become pregnant if you have sex in the days leading up to your period.
Lots of people dont have 28-day cycles. Some have cycles as short as 21 days and others as long as 35 days.
In fact, in one study , only about 30 percent of participants had their fertile window fall within days 10 to 17 of their cycle. Only 10 percent had ovulation fall exactly 14 days before their next period.
You can do this a number of ways, including:
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Using An Ovulation Test
If you get your period on the same day every month , you can use an over-the-counter ovulation kit, which works by detecting the hormone LH in your urine. As LH levels spike, or surge, you are about to ovulate. To predict ovulation, count 17-18 days backwards from when you would get a period in your shortest cycles. Then use an ovulation kit to test your LH levels beginning on that day. For example, if you usually have a 30-day cycle, start testing day 12 or 13, and test once a day, around the same time, until your kit shows a positive. A good rule of thumb is to purchase the most affordable kit with the least bells and whistlesno need to overcomplicate the process.
Finding The Best Time To Get Pregnant
If you want to get pregnant and you have regular periods, the best time to have sex is the day before you ovulate. You also have a good chance of conceiving in the five days leading up to as well as on the actual day of ovulation. Basically, the more often you have sex during this window, the better. Frequent intercourse means increased sperm and, since sperm quality has a short shelf life, its good to strike when its fresh.
Many people use a variety of fertility methods and products to track changes to their basal body temperature and cervical mucus however, turning your journey into a complicated project wont necessarily help you get pregnant any more quickly. In fact, it could create obsessive behavior and be hard on your relationship with your partner. If youve already been tracking and collecting all of this data, your doctor will certainly take it into consideration. But if youre healthy and have regular periods, the most effective way to get pregnant is to simply stop using contraception .
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Low Chance Of Getting Pregnant
This data comes from three major studies, each with slightly different findings:
This study, by the same authors as the previous one, found that the pregnancy rate is higher with ovulation-day sex, but the chemical pregnancy rate is also higher*. The best days from this study are two days before ovulation and the day before ovulation
A larger multicenter European study that found the best days are three days before ovulation and two days before ovulation .
Chances Of Getting Pregnant After Your Period
You can get pregnant after your period ends in fact, the fertile days last for up to 3-5 days after the end of your period. Regular sex on alternate days is recommended if youre planning to conceive. This should be continued up until a few days after the halfway mark of the period. For example, if the halfway mark is 14, 6 days before and 4 days after are considered ideal.
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It’s Possible To Get Pregnant At Any Time Of The Month
To get pregnant, you need to have sex on the days leading up to and around when you ovulate. The day prior to ovulation, and the day of ovulation itself, being your . Once the egg has gone you cannot get pregnant until after your next has started. Methods that tell you after you have ovulated are of no help if you are
The Role Of Age In Fertility
Age plays an important role in fertility. Your chances of being able to get pregnant naturally start to lower slightly in your late 20s, and considerably in your late 30s. Once you hit 40, your chances of conceiving can drop to 5-10%. By the age of 45, the chance of pregnancy drops to less than 5%.
These are statistics for the general population, but theres always room for outliers. There are instances where a 24-year-old can be struggling to conceive, while older women approaching menopause can have an unexpected pregnancy.
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Kick The Smoking And Drinking Habits
Smoking can lead to fertility problems in both women and men. Chemicals found in cigarette smoke, such as nicotine and carbon monoxide, speed up the loss rate of a woman’s eggs, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Smoking ages a woman’s ovaries and depletes her supply of eggs prematurely, according to the Mayo Clinic. In a study published in 2020 in the journalReproductive Biology and Endocrinology, researchers looked at scientific findings around smoking, alcohol, addiction and fertility they found that smoking is linked to decreased fertility.
It’s also a good idea for women to stay away from secondhand smoke, which may affect their chances of becoming pregnant, according to a 2009 study published in BMJ Journals. Taking or attempting to conceive should also be avoided.
It’s safest for a woman to avoid alcohol when she is hoping to become pregnant. A woman should also stop consuming alcohol if she stops using birth control because she wants to get pregnant. That said, a 2019 Danish study of 1,708 women over a five-year period did not find a link between regular alcohol consumption and binge drinking, and fertility, according to the study published in the journalHuman Reproduction.
However, a 2017 study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that in the United States, half of all pregnant women drink alcohol around the time they conceive or during early pregnancy, usually before they know they are expecting.
Chances Of Getting Pregnant
The chances of becoming pregnant vary from person to person and from cycle to cycle.
On average, a 30-year-old persons odds of getting pregnant are about 20% per cycle, assuming they are having unprotected sex.
The odds of becoming pregnant also depend on when a person has sex relative to ovulation. An app-based study of people who were trying to get pregnant found the average chances of pregnancy were as follows:
|Timing of sex relative to ovulation||Average chance of pregnancy|
|the day after ovulation||8%|
Therefore, people should not rely on when their period is due to decide whether to have sex.
The most crucial factor is ovulation. A period indicates the beginning of a new cycle, but it reveals little about when a person might ovulate.
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On Which Days Of Your Cycle Can You Get Pregnant
There are just six days during your cycle when your chances of getting pregnant are the highest the five days that lead up to ovulation and the 24 hours after ovulation. Sperm can live in your body for up to five days, while the egg lives for no more than 24 hours.
The key to determining the best time to try to get pregnant is to know when you ovulate. The precise timing of ovulation is hard to define, as it can happen at different times in each cycle.
Ovulation is when your body releases a mature egg from the ovary. This egg then travels down your uterine tube to be fertilized. The egg is more likely to be fertilized if the sperm is in your uterine tube already. Once fertilized and attached to the uterus, it will create an embryo, which will grow into a baby.
Your most fertile time consists of the five days leading to ovulation and one day after it. Having sexual intercourse during this window gives you the best chance of conceiving.
Menstrual Cycles Are Always 28 Days Long And Every Woman Ovulates On Day 14
The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long, but every woman is unique and nearly 50% of womens cycles vary in length by 7 days or more1. In a recent study of over 800 women, only 14% of women with a 28 day cycle actually ovulated on day 14. The day of ovulation ranged from day 11 to day 20.2 As menstrual cycles vary in length, so does the timing of ovulation, so it can be difficult to know .
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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.
Do You Know What Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant Really Are
It is possible to get pregnant on every day of a womans cycle.
Myth. Womens menstrual cycles have a fertile window of about 6 days, ending in the day of ovulation. However, the fertile window may occur on different days within the cycle.
A woman is likely to get pregnant on the days right after her period.
Myth. In most menstrual cycles, there are some days between the end of the period and the beginning of the fertile window however, in some unusual cycles, the fertile window starts before her period ends. This is more common in women who are nearing menopause.
A woman is likely to get pregnant on the days right before her period.
Myth. In most menstrual cycles, there are at least 10 days after ovulation and before the next period. Intercourse during these days will not result in pregnancy. However, in some unusual cycles, ovulation and the fertile window may be delayed, so you cannot rely on counting days to know for sure when ovulation happens.
A woman is likely to get pregnant around the middle of her cycle.
Myth and fact. For many women, ovulation happens around the middle of the cycle. However, in women with regular cycles, ovulation may occur as early as day 9 or as late as day 21. With an irregular cycle, ovulation may occur even earlier than day 9 or much later than day 21.
A woman is less likely to get pregnant on days when vaginal secretions are present.
It is impossible for women to identify the fertile window of the menstrual cycle.
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Being Stressed Will Stop Me Getting Pregnant And Using An Ovulation Test Will Make It Worse
While stress is never healthy, unless its interrupting your periods or sex life it wont stop you conceiving. It has been suggested that using to time intercourse on the most fertile days can be stressful, but a study by Prof. William Ledger and Clearblue found that using these tests is no more stressful than trying to conceive without them. In fact, in this study 77% more women got pregnant in the group that were using the tests3. Also remember its normal for sex to start to feel mechanical if youve been trying for a baby for a while. This is something a lot of couples experience and it doesnt mean theres anything wrong with your relationship. Most couples accept that baby-making sex can be different.
Sometimes Getting Pregnant Is Difficult
No matter how healthy you are, or what age you are, sometimes it is difficult to get pregnant.
If you have tried for 12 months or more , its time to talk to your doctor about your options. The best place to start is to see your general practitioner . You might like to complete the Healthy conception tool, and take your results, and your partners results , with you to discuss with your doctor.
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How To Prevent Pregnancy
The most effective strategy for avoiding pregnancy is to refrain from sex. Sexually active people who do not wish to become pregnant should use contraceptives such as condoms or birth control.
Using two methods can offer additional protection, for example, when a person uses both hormonal birth control and condoms.
Several fertility monitoring techniques make it easier for a person to pinpoint their fertile window and avoid sex or use contraceptives during this time.
These methods are more effective if a person has regular periods. Some fertility monitoring strategies include:
- Charting basal body temperature: A persons morning body temperature usually rises shortly after ovulation.
- Using ovulation predictors: These tests typically give a positive result a day or two before ovulation, but it is possible to get a positive without ovulation.
- Looking for fertile cervical fluid:Thick cervical fluid with a texture similar to raw egg whites indicates ovulation is approaching.
- Checking cervical position and texture: Some females find that the position and texture of their cervix changes throughout their cycle.