When to try to conceive
Are you trying to conceive? No one needs to tell you how to do this (leave the diagrams to the amateurs, thank you very much!), but you might need a little help figuring it out when is the best time to have sex to get pregnant.
The short answer: The best time to get pregnant is around the time you ovulate. That first “getting pregnant” window can include anywhere from a few days before ovulation — because sperm can live for three to six days to fertilize — to about a day after the egg is released, which only lasts for about 12 to 24 hours is viable. .
How we calculate your fertile window
This ovulation calendar estimates when you will ovulate based on the date of your last menstrual cycle and the average number of days between your periods. First, we count back 14 days from the start date of your next expected period to calculate the date you are most likely to ovulate. Then we calculate your fertile window, which can be a few days before ovulation and possibly up to one day after. Just note that it’s not an exact science—menstrual cycles can vary from woman to woman and month to month (typical cycle length is anywhere between 21 and 35 days). And if you have irregular periods, it can make it harder to pinpoint your fertile window.
Wondering how to know when you’re ovulating? Pay attention to these signs of ovulation:
- Your basal body temperature drops slightly and then rises again when ovulation has occurred.
- Your cervical mucus becomes clearer and thinner with a smoother consistency similar to that of egg whites.
- Your cervix softens and opens.
- You may feel a slight twinge of pain or mild cramping in your lower abdomen.
- Your sex drive may increase.
- You may notice light spots.
- Your vulva or vagina may look swollen.
Tips for getting pregnant
Do you want to increase your chances of getting pregnant faster? Here are some tips to try:
1. Take your prenatal vitamin
Start that prenatal child at least a month before you start trying for a baby. One study showed that women who took their prenatal vitamins while undergoing fertility treatments were twice as likely to get pregnant as those who only took a folic acid supplement while undergoing the same treatments. So while it’s not a guarantee that you’ll hit the baby jackpot any time soon, it’s definitely worth a shot!
2. Know the signs of ovulation and time sex around it
Familiarize yourself with the typical ovulation symptoms to look out for and have sex starting a few days before you ovulate, which typically occurs halfway through your cycle (so on day 14 of a 28-day cycle). Having sex on the actual day of ovulation would be ideal, but it can be difficult to pinpoint.
3. Eat well
Eating the right foods and nutrients when trying to conceive can make your dreams of getting pregnant come true faster. Be sure to include plenty of healthy fats such as omega-3s, folate, calcium, protein, iron and fiber in your daily diet.
Moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day has been shown to boost fertility, so now is not the time to turn into a couch potato. Whether it’s the gym, going for a run or lifting weights, try to fit in some type of exercise while you’re trying to conceive.
5. Don’t worry
Stress can delay ovulation, which in turn will get in the way of conception, and it has also been shown to increase the frequency of uterine contractions, so implantation will be more difficult. Try to find ways to relax: take a yoga class, soak in a hot tub, go for an invigorating walk, write in a journal, or get a massage.
6. Get enough sleep
Try to log seven to eight solid hours of sleep when trying to conceive. Research has shown that spotty sleep is linked to irregular periods, which in turn can hinder your fertility. Sleep is also important to stave off stress, which has also been found to interfere with baby-making plans.
7. Cut out bad habits
If you smoke, it’s time to quit, as smoking has a negative impact on fertility and pregnancy. It’s also a good idea to stop drinking alcohol (or at least severely limit your intake) while trying to conceive and limit your caffeine consumption to no more than 200 milligrams per day (about a 12-ounce cup of coffee) to reduce.