What is a fertile window?
A woman’s fertile window is the only period in which it is possible for a woman to become pregnant from having sexual intercourse. This period covers the day of ovulation, but it also covers the amount of time that sperm lives inside the cervix before it fertilizes the released egg.
If you have unprotected sex anywhere between 5 days before or one day after ovulation, you can become pregnant.
That all sounds very simple and safe, but the tricky part is tracking and understanding ovulation. The cycle length is different for different women, and depending on the cycle length, the fertile window varies from one person to another.
To calculate the fertility window, note the first day of a period and then count the number of days before the next period occurs. This timeframe is what we call the menstrual cycle. On average, most women who menstruate have a twenty-eight-day cycle, but the menstrual cycle can also last twenty-one to thirty-five days.
Anything less or more than that is a possible cause for concern that should be addressed with a healthcare provider.
If your cycle lasts twenty-eight days, for example, your fertile window will happen around day fourteen, and your fertile window will be five days before the ovulation day and a few days after.
How many days after ovulation is it possible to get pregnant?
It is possible to become pregnant after ovulation, but the time window is limited to only twelve to twenty-four hours after the mature egg has been released.
What is the likelihood of becoming pregnant each day before or after ovulation?
It is very important to understand that the likelihood of getting pregnant days before and after ovulation is going to greatly vary from woman to woman, as well as many other variable factors.
However, a number of studies have researched the timing of sexual intercourse, ovulation, and the likelihood of conception. The results are:
- Day one of fertile window and five days before ovulation: 10%
- Day two of fertile window and four days before ovulation:16%
- Day three of fertile window and three days before ovulation: 14%
- Day two of fertile window and two days before ovulation: 27%
- Day one of fertile window and one day before ovulation: 27%
- Ovulation day: 33%
- Day one after ovulation day: 12%
Getting pregnant is possible after ovulation, but the time window is limited to only twelve to twenty-four hours after the egg has been released.
What is the best time in a woman’s menstrual cycle to have sex to conceive?
Sperm cells can last few days in the woman’s body, but the egg is alive for a maximum of 24 hours. Therefore, the best time to start having sex is about five days before ovulation occurs and a day after ovulation. In order for this time window to be correct and valuable, it is necessary to learn how to track and predict the ovulation window.
How can you track or predict your ovulation window?
There are several ways to get familiar with your cycle, and they can help you track and predict your fertile window, as well as your ovulation day. Some of the most common methods include:
– Using The Ovulation Predictor Kit
There are several different ovulation predictor kits available on the market, such as digital tests and test strips. These digital tests and test strips use urine to help measure the level of luteinizing hormone in urine, which usually rises as you are about to ovulate and ovulating. The test needs to be taken for consecutive days in order to detect the rise in LH. Purchasing a test every day for multiple consecutive days can be pricey if you are on a budget.
– Basal Body Temperature
Basal body temperature is the temperature when the body is at rest, and charting the changes in basal body temperature for a few months will help predict ovulation. You can take your basal body temperature by measuring your temperature every morning at the same time from the same place (mouth, vagina, rectum) before getting out of bed.
Basal body temperature typically rises less than ½ of a degree Fahrenheit (0.3 degree C) when you ovulate. Ovulation has likely occurred when the slightly higher temperature remains steady for three days or more.
You can use a basal body thermometer to track fertility by tracking these small temperature changes and you can write the findings on your phone or basal body temperature chart. It may take a few cycles to determine when this rise occurs each month.
– Cycle Charting Apps
There are several cycle apps, Bellabeat being one of the most popular that help you track fertility by tracking your periods and calculating the ovulation period and the fertile window.
– Fertility Monitors
Fertility monitors measure different factors and significant body changes, including heart rate, basal body temperature, and breathing patterns. By measuring levels in the long run, fertility monitors can predict your most fertile days, which is helpful for those who are trying to conceive.
– Cervical Mucus Method
During one period of your cycle, you might notice that your cervical mucus is stretchy, clear, and its texture resembles the texture of the egg white. This type of vaginal discharge helps sperm swim easily towards the released egg, and it is a sign that you are about to ovulate or are already ovulating.
Can you get pregnant when you’re not ovulating?
A menstrual cycle without ovulating is called an anovulatory cycle. Getting pregnant during your anovulatory cycle is impossible because there is no egg for the sperm to fertilize.
How many hours does an egg live after ovulation?
After ovulation, the egg can live from twelve to twenty-four hours. So, for a woman to become pregnant, the egg has to be fertilized in that time window.