Question

Women's Health

How can I determine the best days to try to get pregnant?

A Answers (3)

  • AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    To figure out your best window of opportunity for conceiving, use this formula: Record the length of your menstrual cycle for several months (i.e. 28 days, 31 days, etc…), then take the average. Subtract 14 from that number. Now, for each month, the best time to conceive is that number of days after the start of your period. So if your period comes every 23 days, subtracting 14 yields 9-so the 9th day after your period begins is the best day to make love if the goal is to get pregnant. But you should get a head start since sperm can live for three to five days inside a woman's cervical mucous. You can also use your basal body temperature to pinpoint ovulation (more on that in a moment).

    If you're trying to increase your chances of conception, your best chance happens one to two days before ovulation. To maximize sperm quantity and quality, have sex every two or three days starting five days before ovulation (because sperm can live for at least 48 hours in the vagina, you'll be covered). The challenge is that the actual day of ovulation can change from cycle to cycle.
  • AKevin Windom, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered

    The best way to determine when are “your best days to get pregnant", is to determine when you are ovulating. Every woman's menstrual cycle is different and they ovulate at different times.  In a classic 28-day cycle, a woman ovulates on day 14 of her cycle (day 1 is the first day of their period).  Women who have a 30-day cycle ovulate on average on day 16.  Women who have a 32-day cycle ovulate on average on day 18, and women who have a 34-day cycle ovulate on average on day 20. It can be very difficult to determine when you ovulate. I tell my patients to have intercourse on days 11, 13, 15, 17, and 19.  if you have sex on these days then you don't have to worry about trying to determine when you ovulate.

  • AMarch of Dimes answered
    The best time to get pregnant is a few days before ovulation or the day of ovulation. This is because a man's sperm can live up to 72 hours after intercourse and a woman's egg is fertile for 12 to 24 hours after its release. If your periods are regular, use an ovulation calculator. If your periods are irregular, use one of the following. Talk to your health care provider to learn more about the most effective way to use these.
    • Purchase a basal body thermometer. Use it to take your temperature before you get out of bed every day. Your temperature goes up by 1 degree when you ovulate.
    • Check the mucus in your vagina. It may become thinner, more slippery, clearer and more plentiful just before ovulation.
    • Purchase an ovulation prediction kit. Use it to test your urine for a substance called luteinizing hormone (LH). LH increases each month during ovulation.
    Have intercourse as close as possible to ovulation to improve your chance of getting pregnant.
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