I'm ready to conceive, now what?
August 07, 2018
So, you and your partner have decided that it’s time to try for a baby! Trying to conceive is very exciting, and a little overwhelming. To increase your chances of conception, it’s important to time your attempts with your body’s natural fertility cycle.
To start, track your fertility cycle. This will tell you when you have an increased chance of getting pregnant. There are lots of great ways to determine where you are in your cycle and when you are ovulating. Most women have a 28 day menstrual cycle; however, it is unique to everyone. There are many great mobile apps that can be downloaded to track your cycle. The first day of your cycle is the first day of your menstrual period and the last day is the day before your next period begins.
Once you have tracked your fertility cycle, you can determine when your fertile window is. This is the time during your menstrual cycle when it is possible to get pregnant. Technically, pregnancy is only possible between the five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. These six days are known as the fertile window, and reflect the lifespan of sperm and ovum. The life span of sperm within the fertile cervical fluid is at most five days, but most commonly for one to two days. An egg will live for about 12-24 hours after ovulation. To maximize your chance of conception, keep having intercourse daily until ovulation is confirmed.
So, when should you have intercourse? The best time to get pregnant is the two to three days right before ovulation; typically days 12 and 13 of your cycle. Even though your most fertile days are the three days before you ovulate, you’re also able to become pregnant up to five days before, due to the fact that sperm can live up to five days in the female reproductive tract. Utilizing an ovulation/fertility tracker will help you pin-point the exact days you should try to conceive.
How often you want to try to conceive can fall under two methods, the “spread the wealth” method and the “ready, aim, fire” method. The “spread your wealth” method is where you will have sex frequently every week, aiming for at least three to four times a week. The “ready, aim, fire” method is focused more on those that track their fertility closely. For this method you would have sex every day that you have fertile cervical mucus, a positive ovulation detecting test or a positive saliva ferning test. Regardless of which method you choose, it is best to speak with your doctor to have both you and your partner evaluated for any issues that might prevent pregnancy.
Your ovulation cycle can be affected by stress, illness and changes in routine. Don’t let trying to conceive push you to a point where you can’t conceive, reach out to support groups and speak with your doctor on how to effectively get pregnant for your way of life.
If you have more questions about fertility and your chances of getting pregnant, talk to your health care provider.