Getting Pregnant | Timing o...

If you’re trying to get pregnant and it isn’t working for you, your job at that point is to figure out why. This can be a little more challenging than you might think, but a lot of times it has to do with ovulation. Contrary to what many people believe, you can only get pregnant during certain days of the month when you’re ovulating. Unfortunately, the number of days you’re ovulating is very small. Still, there are things you can do to improve your odds each and every month.


Ovulation + Sex = Pregnancy?

For a lot of us, we were told while we were growing up that getting pregnant involved having sex at any time, regardless of the circumstances. Unfortunately, this is not true for many couples and, in fact, it can take many months or even years for the feat to be successful. Nevertheless, knowing a little about ovulation before you start trying should help a lot.

Ovulation occurs when the egg is released from the ovaries and awaits to meet with the sperm. Simply put, the highest pregnancy rates occur when couples have sex around this type of the month, but first you have to determine exactly when you’re ovulating. As a general rule, women ovulate around 14 days before their next menstrual cycle, but each woman is different. An OTC ovulation kit found in most drugstores can help pinpoint when you’re ovulating.

Let’s take a closer look at menstruation so you can understand this concept a little better. If you start your period on August 1, that is day one of your month-long or 28-day “cycle.” After 21 days, you’ll be having another period, and 14 days before that is around August 7, which is technically when you’ll be ovulating.

If your cycle is more than 28 days long, your ovulation day is likely to be different. In this same scenario, if your cycle is 35 days long, you’ll ovulate around the 21st day. If it is 26 to 28 days long, you’ll probably ovulate between the 12th and 14th day. Practical ways to tell if you’re ovulating is to take your basal body temperature daily and check your cervical mucus to see if it’s clear and thin instead of cloudy and thick.


Should You Have Sex Every Day?

Many couples get anxious about the right time for sex and believe that if they have sex every day of the month, the odds of pregnancy occurring go way up, but that is not always the case. While this may be a lot of fun and bring you closer together as a couple, it doesn’t always work. Instead, try having sex every day or every other day during the six days starting five days before ovulation and ending one day afterwards. In this timeframe, your odds of a successful implantation are increased.

Why these six days? Because the egg survives for roughly 24 hours after it’s released and sperm can live inside of the woman’s body for up to five days. If you wait until three to five days before ovulation before you have sex, it’s much more likely that sperm and egg will meet and make a baby for you. In addition, if you start having sex daily it might become a chore or take some of the enjoyment out of it because you may feel like you’re doing it just to get pregnant.


What If You’re Having Trouble Getting Pregnant?

The truth is, even healthy couples may not get pregnant in the first six months or so, so expecting it to happen right away is unrealistic for many. Doctors recommend that if you’re under 35 years of age and you haven’t gotten pregnant within one year, you should see a fertility specialist or endocrinologist, which is a doctor who deals with hormones. If you’re older than 35, you should see someone if it’s been six months since you started trying.

If you’re reading this and you’re having problems getting pregnant, don’t panic just yet. A lot of times, the reasons why you’re not getting pregnant are easy to fix, but only a doctor can make the right diagnosis. Some of the medical issues that might affect your fertility include the following:

  • Pelvic surgery in the past. If you’ve already had some type of pelvic surgery, it could be affecting your ability to get pregnant.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is characterized by irregular or heavy periods, acne that doesn’t respond to acne products, and excess hair on the chest, face, upper thighs, or abdomen. In addition, four out of five women with PCOS are overweight.
  • When the endometrium, which is the tissue that makes up the lining of the uterus, is found outside of the uterus, this is endometriosis. It is painful but can often be fixed with surgery.

While you don’t need to worry right away when you’re trying to have a baby and it’s not working, you can still feel free to talk to your doctor any time that you have a question or concern.



The best time to have sex when you wish to get pregnant is three to five days before ovulation starts and up to one day afterwards. If you need help figuring out exactly when you’re ovulating, you can assume that you’ll begin ovulating around 14 days before the start of menstruation.

If you can’t figure out when your own ovulation is starting, you can pay attention to body changes and your basal body temperature, or purchase an ovulation kit from the drugstore, which is inexpensive and user-friendly.

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