When Is the Best Time to Get Pregnant?

Getting Pregnant: The Art of Proper Timing

Timing is everything, particularly when it comes to getting pregnant. Pregnancy cannot occur unless a sperm meets and fertilizes an egg. Since the window of opportunity for this meeting is relatively small, it’s important to know when you are most fertile so that you can time intercourse appropriately and increase your chances of successful fertilization.

The Ovulation Cycle

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Once a month, the ovaries release an egg that travels down the fallopian tubes and into the uterus, where it will hang out for somewhere between 12 to 24 hours in the hopes that a sperm might show up and get the fertilization party started. Ovulation generally happens at the midway point between your last period and your next one. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long, which means that ovulation is likely to occur 14 days before your next period. If your cycles run longer or shorter than average, simply calculate the halfway point to determine which day you are most likely to ovulate.

Don’t wait for ovulation to occur before you start having sex, though. You are most fertile in the days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation itself. If the egg is not fertilized within 12 to 24 hours of its release from the ovary, it will disintegrate, and pregnancy will no longer be possible until the next egg is released.

Watching the Biological Clock

If you are trying to get pregnant, patience might be required, because the odds are not stacked in favor of a speedy conception. The best-case scenario for the average healthy couple puts the odds of successful conception at only 25 percent each cycle, so it is normal for the process to sometimes take several months before reaching the desired result. Some factors like age, health and frequency of intercourse can delay the process even further, but most couples will get pregnant within one year of having regular sex without contraception. Regular sex is defined as every two to three days throughout the month.

When to Seek Help

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If you are under 35 years of age and have been trying to conceive for 12 months or more without success, it might be time to see a fertility specialist for an evaluation and professional guidance. Couples over the age of 35 are encouraged to seek fertility help sooner since age can sometimes reduce the chances of successful pregnancy without intervention. If you are over 35 and have been trying to conceive for six months or more without success, contact a fertility specialist for assistance.