Sex for Pregnancy - What Is The Best Time To Get Pregnant?

Shweta Das

Created by Shweta Das
Updated on Mar 24, 2022

Sex for Pregnancy What Is The Best Time To Get Pregnant
Reviewed by Expert panel

Fertile period, ovulation calculation, tools, and tips. If you’re trying for a baby, trying at the right time can make all the difference. 

A woman can only get pregnant on a few days in the menstrual cycle. This period is referred to as the fertile window. Working out the days on which you’re ovulating and more fertile and then having sex on those days can dramatically increase your chances of having a baby. The information below can help you learn more about your fertile window and the best time for you to try to get pregnant.

What’s the best time to get pregnant?

The best time to try for a baby is during your menstrual cycle’s fertile window, as you’re most likely to conceive then. 

Your fertile window includes the day of ovulation and the five days before it. However, your chances of getting pregnant are the highest if you have sex during your ovulation period, i.e., on the day of ovulation or the two days before it. 

Why is your ovulation period the best time to get pregnant?

Technically, you can only get pregnant if you have sex during your fertile window, i.e.:

  • Five days before ovulation 

  • Day of ovulation

However, your best chances of getting pregnant are during your ovulation period, which includes your most fertile days, which are:

  • Two days before ovulation 

  • Day of ovulation

This is because eggs and sperm are viable only for a short time period:

  • An ejaculated sperm can live for around five days in the female reproductive tract

  • A mature egg can only be fertilized for around 24 hours/1 days after being released from the ovary 

When a mature egg is released from one of the ovaries during ovulation, it travels down the fallopian tube, where it can get fertilized if a viable sperm is present. The chances of this happening are higher if you’ve had sex as close as possible to your ovulation period.

If the egg gets fertilized, it leads to the formation of an embryo, which grows into a baby over the 40 weeks of pregnancy, gives or takes a few.

If 12-24 hours pass after ovulation and the egg remains unfertilized, you can no longer get pregnant during that menstrual cycle. This is because the egg is no longer available in the fallopian tube for fertilization. So, finding out when you ovulate is important if you want to get pregnant fast.

When to avoid sex if you don’t want to get pregnant 

There’s no safe period in a month where you can have unprotected sex without the risk of getting pregnant. However, avoiding having sex during your fertile window can reduce your chances of conception considerably. 

While it’s almost impossible to get pregnant if you have sex before or after your fertile window, it is always better to use contraception to avoid pregnancy. 

How to know when you’re ovulating

Finding out when you ovulate can help you better plan when to have sex to increase your chances of getting pregnant. To work out your most fertile days, you need to know your average menstrual cycle length. To keep a track of your menstrual cycles, you can use:

  • A chart

  • A diary

  • A free period-tracking app

How to calculate the average length of your menstrual cycle 

For regular menstrual cycles: If your menstrual cycles are regular, count the duration from the first day of one period (Day 1) to the day before the start of your next period (last day of your cycle). This is your menstrual cycle length. The average length of a menstrual cycle is usually considered 28 days. 

For irregular menstrual cycles: If your menstrual cycles vary in length, add the number of days in three menstrual cycles and divide the total by three. This gives you your average menstrual cycle length.

For example, if Cycle 1 is 27 days, Cycle 2 is 28 days, and Cycle 3 is 32 days, then your average cycle length is:

27 + 28 + 32 = 87

And, 87 divided by 3 = 29 days

How to calculate your most fertile days 

Once you’ve calculated the average length of your menstrual cycle, you can determine when you’ll start to ovulate and be the most fertile. Since ovulation occurs around 14 days prior to the start of your period, you can find out your most fertile days by counting back. 

For example, if the average length of your menstrual cycle is 28 days:

  • Ovulation day = Day 14

  • Most fertile days = Days 12, 13, and 14

Similarly, if the average length of your menstrual cycle is 35 days:

  • Ovulation day = Day 21 

  • Most fertile days = Days 19, 20, and 21

Note: If your cycles are irregular or if it is difficult to figure out when you ovulate, try having sex every 2-3 days. This should cover all your bases and improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Ways to find out when you’re ovulating 

Use our Ovulation Calculator

Our Ovulation Period Calculator can help you determine your most fertile days, i.e., the days you’re most likely to conceive. This can help you plan the right time to have sex to maximize your chances of getting pregnant.

Keep a track of your vaginal discharge changes

You can tell that you’re going to start ovulating soon if your vaginal discharge becomes: 

  • Clear

  • Slick and slippery

  • Egg white like inconsistency

This is the best time to try and conceive as sperm can easily travel in this type of vaginal mucus.

Use an ovulation test kit

Using an over-the-counter ovulation test kit can also help you find out when you’re about to start ovulating, helping you plan when to have sex to increase your conception chances.

Ovulation tests detect the presence of the luteinizing hormone (LH) in the urine. If you get a positive result, it means that you could start ovulating within the next 24-36 hours (1-2 days).

Tips to get pregnant faster

If you make some lifestyle changes to get healthier and fitter, it can increase your chances of conceiving a healthy baby. 

Here are some tips to get pregnant faster:

  • Quit smoking

  • Avoid caffeine

  • Avoid alcohol

  • Eat healthily

  • Destress

  • Manage your weight

  • Avoid recreational drugs

  • Avoid exposure to chemicals in the environment

  • Use fertility-friendly lubricants

  • Maintain good oral health

  • Avoid self-diagnosis

  • Use only pregnancy-safe medicines

If you have any more questions or concerns about getting pregnant, ask our Doctors for advice.

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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