When is the optimal time to have sex if we’re trying to conceive?
Timing is the key to everything. Sperm can live for three to five days, but the egg is only around for 12 to 24 hours. To increase the likelihood of conception, it’s critical to have sex every day in the days leading to ovulation and on the day you ovulate. A good approach is to have sex one to two days prior ovulation and again on the day you ovulate. In that way, there is a higher chance for there, to be a healthy supply of sperm waiting in the fallopian tube when an egg is released.
Certainly, exactly when a woman ovulates isn’t completely known. It depends partially on the length of your menstrual cycle. A woman usually ovulates about 14 days before her next period — not mid-cycle, as is commonly believed. If you have a 28-day cycle, which is the average, then you would ovulate about halfway through your cycle. However, if you have a 35-day cycle, you would ovulate around day 21, not day 17. (The first day of your period is day 1.)
How can I know when I’m ovulating?
The ovulation calculator can predict the moment when you’re most likely to be fertile. Some women can deduce when they ovulate, but most women don’t observe any changes at all. If you’re considering conceiving, attempt to record your cycle for a couple of months. Some signs of ovulation include:
+ Increased vaginal discharge that takes on a wetter, egg-white-type quality
+ A modest increase (about 0.4 to 1 degree Fahrenheit) in basal body temperature, or BBT, which you can detect by taking your temperature each morning before you get out of bed, one or two days after you ovulate. You can get a good feeling of your cycle if you track your BBT for a couple of months.
For details on how to record these symptoms, see our articles on detecting basal body temperature and cervical mucus and ovulation. Toni Weschler’s book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health, can also educate you to read your body’s symptoms.
If you still have difficulty pinpointing the definite date of ovulation, you could contemplate trying an ovulation predictor exam.
If my periods are irregular, will it be tougher for me to get pregnant?
Most women have about 12 periods a year, but some have fewer and others skip months or don’t get a period at all. Dramatic weight loss or gain, heavy exercise, and stress — all of these can cause intrusions in your period. It is more difficult to forecast ovulation if a woman’s period is irregular.
Say your cycle is 28 days one month, 21 days the next month, and 32 days the following month. A record of your menstrual cycles should be kept for several months. From your shortest cycle, you should subtract 17 and 11 from your longest cycle. The days in across the two are the ones in which you’re most likely to be fertile.
You should consider seeing a fertility specialist or your ob-gyn to check for other causes of an irregular cycle, such as excessive weight loss or an elevated prolactin level, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), ovarian dysfunction, or thyroid disorder, if your cycles are irregular and more than 35 days apart or longer.
Can’t we just try and see what happens?
Admittedly, orgasms are not even needed to conceive. You don’t have to keep complicated logs or plot basal body temperature if you don’t want to. You should try having intercourse at least two to three times a week habitually, and the laws of averages probably will triumph.