It is possible to get pregnant after ovulation. When a person has sex within 12–24 hours after the release of an adult egg, there is a high chance of getting pregnant.
Ovulation occurs when one of the ovaries releases an adult ovum. This is the time when the body is ready to receive sperm for fertilization.
If fertilization does not occur, the egg disintegrates in the uterine lining. The body will then shed the remnants during a person’s monthly period.
Ovulation lasts between 12 and 24 hours. After the ovary releases an ovum, it survives for about 24 hours before dying, unless a sperm fertilizes it.
If a person has sex days before or during the ovulation period, there is a high chance of getting pregnant. This is because sperm can survive up to 5 days in the cervix. Therefore, it is important to understand the fertile window.
The fertile window is the period during which it is possible to get pregnant from sex. This is the day of ovulation plus the amount of time sperm can live in the cervix before it fertilizes the egg.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a person can become pregnant if they have sex anywhere from 5 days before to 1 day after ovulation.
Depending on the menstrual cycle, the fertile window may differ from one person to another.
To calculate the fertility window, a person should pay attention to the first day of a period until the next period occurs. This time frame is the menstrual cycle. Most people who menstruate have an average cycle of 28 days.
However, according to the Office of Women’s Health, it can be expensive for some
According to the ACOG, ovulation occurs around day 14 of the menstrual cycle.
A person with a 28-day cycle, for example, will have their fertile window 5 days before the ovulation date.
Pregnancy is possible 12-24 hours after ovulation. This is because the released egg can only survive 24 hours before the sperm can no longer fertilize it.
The likelihood of getting pregnant on the days before and after ovulation varies from person to person.
An older study from 1995 looked at the timing of sexual intercourse with respect to ovulation and the likelihood of conception.
Out of 221 healthy women, there were 192 pregnancies. Researchers have concluded that they can estimate the chance of getting pregnant on each day of the fertile window between 10-33%, depending on the day.
The same study authors also note that there may be a 12% chance of getting pregnant on any day 7 before ovulation and the day after ovulation.
However, the chances of getting pregnant before or after ovulation depend on several factors, including:
For those trying to conceive, tracking ovulation is crucial to ensure they identify the most fertile days in the menstrual cycle.
Here are some of the methods a person can use to detect or predict ovulation.
Basal body temperature mapping
Basal body temperature (BBT) is the temperature when the body is at rest.
Mapping BBT for a range of months by measuring every morning after you wake up will help predict ovulation.
During or when ovulation approaches, there is a slight increase in BBT. A person can use a digital thermometer to detect these small changes in temperature.
Monitoring BBT can help determine when ovulation occurs and thus predict the days in the cycle when pregnancy is possible.
Ovulation predictor kits
The use of ovulation predictor sets, such as test strips and digital tests, will help measure the level of luteinizing hormone (LH), which usually rises during ovulation.
A person should take tests for consecutive days to detect the increase in LH.
Once they notice a constant increase, experts recommend having sex daily for the next few days to increase the chances of pregnancy.
Cycle chart programs
Various cycle apps, such as the Clue period tracker and Flo period ovulation tracker, can help calculate the ovulation period and fertile window.
Mapping ovulation using these applications will indicate the ovulation date and days when a person’s body is most fertile.
For people who are trying to conceive or want to avoid pregnancy, the use of fertility monitors to detect ovulation can help people plan intercourse.
Fertility monitors work by measuring significant body changes, such as BBT, heart rate, and respiration.
By compiling this data, the fertility monitor can predict the fertile window.
Cervical mucus method
The observation of cervical mucus can give an idea of when a person is ovulating.
As ovulation approaches, the cervical mucus changes to a thin, clear, stringy, smooth consistency. It may look similar to raw egg whites.
The mucus allows the sperm to swim to the released egg during intercourse.
Ideally, this is the ideal time to have sex because of the high chances of getting pregnant.
Looking for ovulation signs, such as a slight increase in BBT, changes in cervical mucus and increased sex drive, can help determine the best time to have sex to increase the chances of getting pregnant.
In addition, sex during the fertile window increases the chances of conception. During this period, the body is ready to receive sperm for fertilization.
On average, a menstrual cycle lasts between 21-35 days.
An irregular cycle or absent cycle lasting less than 21 days or more than 35 days may mean that a person does not ovulate.
A person should talk to a doctor if they do not become pregnant after 1 year of trying to conceive.
Age can also determine when to seek help. People between 35-40 years old should talk to a doctor after 6 months of trying to conceive. For those older than 40 years, a health professional can perform some fertility tests.
A doctor may also test for possible signs of infertility or if a person has ever had recurrent miscarriages, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, previous cancer treatment, or a history of irregular periods.
A person can become pregnant 12-24 hours after ovulation, as a released egg can survive up to 24 hours within the cervix.
For those trying to conceive, it is crucial to understand the menstrual cycle.
In addition, a person can use methods such as BBT mapping, cycle chart applications, fertility monitors, changes in cervical mucus and ovulation predictor sets to increase the chances of pregnancy.