Understanding Ovulation can help you conceive sooner
There's no doubt about it, the best way to get pregnant is having sex every two or three days.
But if it’s taking longer than you expected, you might want to find out when you’re ovulating to boost your chances of conceiving. Here’s a quick guide to ovulation and finding your magical ‘fertile window’.
At a glance
- Find out when you are ovulating to boost your chances of conceiving
- Ovulation is when an egg is released from your ovaries - this is when you are most fertile
- Have lots of sex to increase your chance of getting pregnant
Ovulation – releasing an egg
Ovulation is when one of your ovaries releases an egg. And this is
when you are most fertile – just before and after you ovulate.
Your fertility window
This buzz of activity usually happens about 14 days before your next
period. So if your cycle is 28 days long you will ovulate around day 14,
and if it’s 30 days long you will ovulate around day 16. Your fertility
window is the 2-3 days around this ovulation date. Your body also gives
you lots of key signs you’re ovulating, from sore boobs to changes in your discharge.
To help you get a better idea of when you might be ovulating, take a look at our Ovulation Calculator. The calculator can help you determine when you'll be ovulating and have the best chance of getting pregnant.
Have lots of sex
To get pregnant, the egg must be fertilised by a sperm. So if you want to boost your chances of conceiving, having regular sex will mean there's always sperm hovering in the fallopian tubes, ready to meet the egg when it's released.
Find your ‘day one’
To work out when you ovulate, you need to pinpoint ‘day one’ of your monthly menstrual cycle.
"It’s easy to recognise day one because you bleed - even if it is very light,” says Richard Smith, Consultant Obstetrician.
“This is when the egg starts ripening in your ovary, before being released into one of your fallopian tubes ."
By keeping a note of ‘day one’, you can begin to keep a record of the length of your cycle and work out when you’ll be fertile in the next few months.
To make life easier, you can start plotting your periods on our ovulation calendar. Try this for a couple of months so you can see what your own personal pattern is, and then work out when you are most likely to ovulate.
Varying monthly cycles and irregular periods
The average monthly cycle is around 28 days long, but some vary by four days or more either way. If your ovulation cycle is less than 21 days or more than 35, or if your menstrual cycle is pretty irregular.
Many women with irregular periods have either long cycles (45 to 60 days) or in some cases will actually miss a period every few months. Factors in your life can also spark irregular periods such as stress, substantial weight loss or gain, illness, travel and even some medications.
Irregular periods can make it more challenging to get pregnant (since it’s harder to pinpoint when you ovulate if your periods are irregular), but there is plenty of help out there. If you do have irregular periods it's worth talking to your doctor, who can prescribe medication to kick-start your period and regulate your cycle.
As there is a known link between your emotions and your cycle, it's important to relax as much as possible. The less stress hormones you produce, the easier it is for your hormones to help keep your cycle on track.
Get a kit
Another great option is buying ovulation kits, which offer an accurate way to pinpoint when you are about to ovulate.