Advice on Timing for the Best Chances of Conception
Is there truly a best time to conceive a baby? In a typical woman’s cycle, the window of opportunity for conception each month is indeed very narrow.
There are countless numbers of women who have conceived without even trying or without knowing exactly when conception happened. But for those of us who are actively trying, and getting to know our bodies better, as a result, there is a vast amount of education to be had about the best time to conceive.
An egg is released each cycle when ovulation occurs. This only happens once in a cycle, though rarely another egg will be released within 24 hours of the first egg. Given the fact that the egg will only live for 12 to 24 hours, the window of opportunity is very narrow for pregnancy to occur. It is important to time intercourse to make sure that there is sperm present when the egg is released from the ovary. From this standpoint, a woman has 12 to 24 hours to actually get pregnant each month.
However, sperm can live up to 5 days in good fertile quality cervical fluid. This gives somewhat of an increase in the window of opportunity. Unless you have been charting and know for certain that your cervical fluid is excellent fertile quality, don’t totally count on this. To be absolutely sure of when ovulation occurs, chart your fertility signs – basal body temperature, cervical fluid and possibly cervical position. That way you can best pinpoint the most beneficial days to have intercourse in order to conceive.
With all this in mind – the longevity of the sperm and egg – how often you should actually have intercourse depends upon a few things. If your man has a normal sperm count, then having intercourse every day wouldn’t hurt. If he has a low sperm count, you may want to try the every other day approach. At the very least, if you know when ovulation should occur, have intercourse starting 3 days prior to ovulation until 1 to 3 days after. This will ensure that there is sperm present when the egg(s) is released.
The best time to conceive will depend on when you actually ovulate. Whether you find out when ovulation occurs by charting or by ovulation predictor kits (I recommend charting or a combination of the two), it’s important to time intercourse so that the sperm will be there, ready to fertilize the egg. It is rare that the egg will actually become fertilized from having intercourse the day after it has been released. Usually, by the time the egg is released it’s beginning to die by the time the sperm reaches it. It gives you a better chance to have intercourse right before and on the day of ovulation.
One last piece of advice – keep the romance alive in your relationship. Relax and have fun. It seems that when relaxed, the body will function better and do what it’s meant to do to aid in conception. Enjoy yourselves; this is meant to be a fun journey. I believe that stress sometimes hinders conception, it’s the body’s way of protecting itself from further stress. So live in the moment and keep those positive thoughts in your head and conception will occur at the right time!