When am I most fertile? This is an important question for anybody who wants to get pregnant. If you have an idea of when you are likely to conceive, you can set things up so that you try for a baby at that time.
Ovulation is the time when an egg is released from one of the ovaries down the fallopian tubes into the womb. Any time it is in the tube it can be fertilized by a man’s sperm and grow into a baby. The timing does not have to be at the exact moment of ovulation because the egg will live for around 12 hours after ovulation, up to a maximum of 24 hours.
In addition to that, the sperm can survive for 3-4 days or even more, waiting for the egg to be released. So there is a ‘fertile window’ of several days. The best time to have sex if you want to get pregnant is from 2 days before ovulation, up to and including the ovulation day.
If you want to avoid getting pregnant using the ovulation method, you would need to avoid having sex for at least a week before ovulation and a couple of days after, in case egg and sperm are both in excellent conditions and survive for the maximum time. Even then, this is a very risky method of contraception because the timing of ovulation is hard to predict.
Theoretically, ovulation typically takes place about 14 days before the first day of your next period. This would mean that if your cycle is 24 days, you would be most fertile around day 10 of your cycle (that is, 10 days after your last period started). If your cycle is 32 days, you would be most fertile around day 18. And if your cycle is 28 days, ovulation would happen right in the middle of your cycle, on day 14.
However, the exact timing of ovulation can vary according to many factors including stress, hormone levels and even how much exercise you have had. And even if the 14 day rule was true in every case (which it is not), you still cannot calculate it accurately because you cannot be sure when your next period will start.
Some people think, OK, my menstrual cycle is 28 days, ovulation is 14 days before, so that means I can count 14 days from the beginning of my last period. But it is very rare that a woman’s cycle is so regular. Some women have shorter cycles, some longer. The menstrual cycle can be anything from 21 to 35 days long, or even longer as you approach menopause.
Many women do not have a regular cycle at all. They find that it fluctuates by 2 or more days each time. That makes it very difficult to know ahead of time when am I most fertile this month.
In that case you will probably want to try another method. You can take your temperature each morning and watch out for the small rise in body temperature that signals ovulation. Or you can buy an ovulation kit that measures the level of the fertility hormone LH in your urine. This is probably the easiest way if you want to know accurately when am I most fertile.
If you are trying to get pregnant by timing your sexual relations with your husband or partner according to your ovulation date, it is important not to be obsessive about it. Stress is a huge factor in whether or not a woman conceives, so if you are both getting stressed out about doing things at the right time whether or not you actually want to, you are not so likely to conceive.
So relax. Remember, you have 2-3 days at least. There is no need to focus your whole life around the question, ‘When am I most fertile?’