Conception has been something that’s fascinated people for ages, and it’s just so remarkable to think about. Getting pregnant is not an easy process. This explains why couples’ sex does not always result in a baby. Numerous physiological, hormonal, and genetic factors play a role in the ability to conceive. Having a baby at the ideal time is not guaranteed for everyone.
Some people may have difficulty conceiving, while others experience untimely or unwanted pregnancies. Here comes the importance of figuring out the most fertile days to get pregnant. In this blog, we’re going to dive into the fascinating world of fertility.
We’ll explore all the nitty-gritty details, like what fertile days are, different methods to figure out when you’re most fertile, and chances to get pregnant on the fertile days. Okay, then, shall we begin?
What Are Fertile Days?
The days of a woman’s menstrual cycle known as her fertile days are the days during which, provided she has sexual activity, she has the highest probability of becoming pregnant. Ovulation, a critical step in the reproductive process, plays a significant role in determining a woman’s fertility as well as her most fertile days.
The ideal duration of ovulation is between 12 and 24 hours. When the ovary releases an egg, it stays in the body for 12 to 24 hours, waiting for fertilization. In the event that fertilization does not happen during this period, the ovum/ egg dissolves or dies.
During the average woman’s menstrual cycle, there are six days when intercourse can result in pregnancy. This is referred to as the “fertile window.” The fertile window is technically defined as the five days preceding ovulation and the day of ovulation. Because the day of ovulation differs from cycle to cycle, the days of highest fertility also vary.
Related Reading: What Are The Symptoms After Ovulation If Not Pregnant?
According to a study, over 70% of women are in their fertile window before day 10 or after day 17 of their menstrual cycle. Even among women who consider their menstrual cycles to be regular, there is a great deal of variation when it comes to their fertile window. The same research also found that only about 30% of women have a fertile window that falls entirely within these days.
A fertile window can take place over a wide range of days during the menstrual cycle. Women had at least a 10% chance of being in their fertile window on each day between days 6 and 21.
How Do You Calculate Your Most Fertile Dates?
To determine the most fertile dates, it is necessary to be aware of the first day of the most recent menstrual cycle and the average duration of the menstrual cycle. So, it is important to understand the menstrual cycle and know when ovulation is most likely to happen. The fertile window is the five days leading up to ovulation, the day of ovulation, and the day after ovulation.
The basic steps to calculate fertile days to get pregnant are as follows:
1. Find out how long your menstrual cycle is
The first day of your period marks the beginning of your menstrual cycle. The day before your next period begins marks the end of your menstrual cycle. The monthly cycle usually lasts for 28 days, but this can vary from person to person, and it can last anywhere from 23 to 35 days1.
To find the length of your average cycle, keep track of the average number of days between your periods over many months
2. Track the duration of your luteal phase
There are four stages of a woman’s menstrual cycle, and the luteal phase is one of them. (the others being menstruation, the follicular phase, and ovulation). The luteal phase’s primary function is to prepare the uterus for conception2.
The second half of your menstrual cycle is called the luteal phase. It begins after you ovulate and continues until your period starts. The luteal phase lasts 14 days on average, but it can be shorter or longer depending on your menstrual cycle. Luteal phases that last between 10 and 17 days are considered to be normal.
Keeping track of your menstrual cycle and noting key dates (like the first day of your last period and the day of ovulation) will allow you to determine when you entered your luteal phase3.
The following simple formula can be used to determine the length of the luteal phase.
Date of the menstrual period – date of ovulation = number of days in the luteal phase
3. Calculate your fertile window
Knowing when you ovulate is essential for tracking your fertility window. You should pay attention to the days before and after the day of ovulation to find your fertile window. Ovulation usually happens 14 days before your period is due. If your cycle lasts 28 days, you will probably ovulate on or around day 14. It is important to remember, though, that ovulation can happen at different times each cycle and not always in the middle of your cycle.
Related Reading: How Does Follicular Scan Help In Getting Pregnant?
To be more accurate, you can use one of the following methods to calculate ovulation and fertility window:
- Calendar method
Write down the dates of your periods on a calendar for a few months to find out how long your average cycle is. Next, find your ovulation day by subtracting the length of your luteal phase from the length of your whole cycle.
- Charting of basal body temperature (BBT)
Basal body temperature (BBT) charting is a method used to identify a woman’s fertile window by tracking her daily resting body temperature. Because of changes in hormones, BBT usually goes up a little after ovulation. This helps women figure out the exact day they ovulated.
If you take your temperature first thing in the morning, you can pinpoint the day of ovulation. By observing temperature shifts over several menstrual cycles, women will be able to determine the fertile window.
- Cervical mucus observation
Hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle also affect the quantity and quality of cervical mucus. Around the time of ovulation, the cervical mucus changes in consistency and color. Right before and during ovulation, you usually have the most mucus.
It stretches easily between your fingers and has a transparent appearance and a slippery texture that reminds you of raw egg whites. These “slippery days” are your fertile window.
- Take advantage of ovulation predictor kits (OPKs)
Ovulation prediction kits, or OPKs, are urine tests that you can do at home to find out when ovulation is going to happen. The luteinizing hormone (LH) rises during ovulation, which results in the release of eggs from the ovary. OPK detected this hike in LH. Ovulation prediction kits can tell when your body is trying to ovulate, but they cannot confirm that it did happen.
Related Reading: Fertility Tests To Take Before Trying To Get Pregnant
Combining ovulation prediction kits with other ways to find ovulation, such as BBT charting or checking cervical mucus, will give more accurate results. One great thing about ovulation prediction kits is that, unlike BBT charts, they let you know when ovulation is coming up instead of telling you that it has already happened.
Online ovulation calculators and apps can predict your fertile window based on your menstrual cycles. Ovulation tracking and fertile window identification are possible with these methods. Since these tools are not always accurate, use them with other methods.
How Many Days After Your Period Are You Fertile?
As we have already discussed, your fertile window overlaps with your ovulation day. A woman’s menstrual cycle lasts for one month, beginning with the first day of her period and ending with the first day of the following cycle. The average length of a woman’s menstrual cycle is 28–32 days, though some women may experience shorter or longer cycles.
In most cycles, ovulation takes place anywhere from day 11 to day 21, beginning on the first day of the last period. Ovulation typically lasts one day, occurs at any time during this window, and varies from month to month. Women with relatively short menstrual cycles are more likely to ovulate near day 11.
A woman may ovulate closer to day 21 if her menstrual cycle is longer. You can estimate this date by subtracting 14 days from the day you normally get your period. This timeframe is favored as the most fertile days after your period.
Ovulation occurs earlier in the cycle for women who have shorter cycles. Since sperm can live in a woman’s reproductive system for up to five days, a person with a shorter cycle could have sex near the end of a period and conceive five days later due to early ovulation.
Therefore, the answer to one of the most frequently asked questions, “Can I get pregnant if I engage in sexual intercourse toward the end of my period?” is yes. Participating in sexual activity near the end of a woman’s period does not always lower the probability of becoming pregnant.
Related Reading: How To Know If Your Period Is Coming Or You Are Pregnant
How Many Chances To Get Pregnant In Fertile Days?
According to the study’s findings, the probability of becoming pregnant ranged from 10 to 33 percent on any given day during the fertile window4. And obviously, the chances of pregnancy on ovulation day will be the highest.
Age, frequency, and timing of sexual activity, as well as an individual’s fertility, all play a role in determining how likely it is that they will become pregnant during the fertile days. However, the ovulation day and the day before the ovulation day can be counted as the two most fertile days to get pregnant.
To better grasp the overall chances of conceiving during the menstrual cycle, consider the simplified table below:
Day of the Menstrual Cycle Likelihood of Conception Day 1 to Day 5 (Menstruation) Low to negligible (the likelihood of conception is typically low because ovulation has not yet taken place). Day 6 to Day 9 (Early Follicular Phase) Low to negligible (the chances of conception remain low to nil as the egg has yet to mature). Day 10 to Day 14 (Leading up to Ovulation) Moderate to High (the probability of getting pregnant gradually increases during these days) Day 14 (Ovulation) Highest (chances of pregnancy on ovulation day is highest) Day 15 to Day 19 (Post-Ovulation) Moderate to Low (the chance of getting pregnant starts to go down, but it is still possible at the beginning of this phase) Day 20 and beyond (Luteal Phase) Low to negligible (the chances of conception become low as the egg is no longer viable and the body is preparing for menstruation).
Now let us closely watch the probability of pregnancy in the fertile window5 :
5 days before ovulation 10% 4 days before ovulation 16% 3 days before ovulation 14% 2 days before ovulation 27% 1 day before ovulation 31% Ovulation day 33%
Is It Possible To Not Get Pregnant During Fertile Days?
After the release of the egg, it can be fertilized within a brief period of 12 to 24 hours. As the sperm can remain viable for up to five days, a woman’s fertile window is considered five days to ovulation and the day of ovulation. Not all women could indeed get pregnant, even when they were at their fertile window. There could be a variety of causes for why women are not getting pregnant during their most fertile times.
Some of the reasons are:
- Infertility in the male partner
- Ovulation irregularities
- Low sperm count
- Structural problems in the reproductive system, like blocked fallopian tube
- Underlying medical issues
- Some of the medications taken to treat health problems
- Lifestyle factors
- Unexplained infertility.
It is important to keep in mind that becoming pregnant is not always a surprise or a fluke. We can make our own reproductive decisions. It is critical to have a solid understanding of fertility windows to make decisions about whether to attempt or avoid pregnancy. This knowledge enables people to take charge of their reproductive health.
Women benefit from making informed decisions about when and how to start and develop their families. Understanding the fertility window is highly beneficial for women who desire to conceive or avoid pregnancy.