The Questions You Need to Ask When You’re Trying to Get Pregnant

Getting pregnant is rarely as easy as you might want it to be. Today we’re taking a look at some of the key questions that you need to ask and answer to help boost your chances of getting pregnant.

When Should I Try to Conceive?

What you’re really asking here is ‘when is a woman most fertile?’ Men’s fertility is relatively steady from day to day, declining only slowly over the course of a lifetime. Women’s fertility also declines over decades, but it also waxes and wanes within a month – or rather within a menstrual cycle.

You can get pregnant only when sperm can encounter a viable egg. Eggs are viable for a maximum of only twenty-four hours after ovulation (and potentially less, depending on your health, lifestyle and diet), while sperm can survive for up to five days after ejaculation (again, this lifespan can go down if you have any health conditions or take medication that can affect your fertility, smoke, drink excessively or aren’t getting the full complement of vitamins and minerals that go into making healthy sperm in your diet).

This gives you a ‘fertile window’ of around six days every cycle.

How Do I Find my Fertile Window?

Because of the five-day lifespan of sperm, your fertile window begins five days before you ovulate, but finding your ovulation date is still the best way to pinpoint when you need to try and conceive. You just need to know when you will ovulate at least five days in advance, to give you the full benefit of your fertile window.

Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs) and Basal Body Temperature tracking can help here. OPKs test your urine for the hormones that stimulate ovulation, while your BBT can show temperature patterns that reveal when you’re ovulating. You can also look at your cervical mucus, which changes in appearance in response to when you ovulate, and look for other secondary signs like tenderness or pain in the breasts and heightened sense of smell.

This will, of course, only help you confirm when you are ovulating. If you want to access your full fertile window you need to apply that knowledge to your next cycle.

How Can You Predict the Fertile Window?

If you know how long your cycle is, and when you last ovulated (relative to your period) you can find your fertile window using a simple calendar.

Add the date your last period started. Your next period will start one cycle length later – add this to your calendar. You can then mark on the date of your last ovulation. Look at how many days after your period that happened – fourteen for example. Count forward fourteen days from your next period start date and you’ll find the day you ovulate. Count back five days from that and you’ve just predicted when you’ll be fertile!