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Your Chances of Getting Pregnant During Ovulation
Welcome to prime time for conception! Just before and during ovulation is the best time to try to conceive because it’s when an egg is released and ready to be fertilized.
Given the wide range of cycle lengths even for the same person cycle to cycle, knowing when you will ovulate isn’t as simple as looking at the calendar or counting cycle days. In fact, it can be near impossible to pinpoint exactly when ovulation occurs without an extremely well-timed ultrasound—and thankfully, that level of preciseness isn’t necessary to conceive. But there are some physical signs that your body gives to help you such as changes in cervical mucus and basal body temperature.
Your body temperature rises about half a degree (detected by a basal body thermometer) with ovulation, but bear in mind that this increase takes place after you’re already ovulating, which could be too late for conception.
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Getting Pregnant During Ovulation
“That’s where ovulation test kits become so helpful,” Dr. Bayer explains. These kits detect a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) that happens about 36 hours before you ovulate. After the test kit shows a surge, Dr. Bayer recommends having sex in the next 24 to 36 hours. Since sperm can survive for several days in fertile cervical mucus, they will be ready to meet the egg once it’s released.
Another good indication of fertility is a change in the consistency of your cervical mucus. “You’ll see vaginal discharge that increases in amount and has the consistency of egg whites, signaling it’s the perfect time to have intercourse,” Dr. Bayer explains. You can test your own cervical mucus by sticking your index finger and thumb in your vagina to get a sample, then tapping your finger and thumb together. If the consistency is thin and stretches easily between two fingers, you’re good to go.
Your chances of conceiving: High, especially if you have sex within 36 hours of detecting an LH surge. A released egg will live anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, but don’t worry: Research shows that found that pregnancy can be achieved through having sex every one to two days leading up to ovulation, so no need to get busy every hour or even every day (unless you really want to, of course!).
How long after ovulation can someone get pregnant?
It is possible to become pregnant after ovulation. When a person has sex within 12–24 hours after the release of a mature egg, there is a high chance of conceiving.
Ovulation occurs when one of the ovaries releases a mature egg. This is the time when the body is ready to receive sperm for fertilization.
If fertilization does not occur, the egg disintegrates into the uterine lining. The body will then shed the remains during a person’s monthly period.
Ovulation lasts anywhere from 12–24 hours. After the ovary releases an egg, it survives for about 24 hours before it dies, unless a sperm fertilizes it.
If a person has sex days before or during the ovulation period, there is a high chance of conceiving. This is because sperm can survive up to 5 days in the cervix. Therefore, it is important to understand the fertile window.
The fertile window is the period of time during which it is possible to become pregnant from sex. This is the day of ovulation plus the amount of time that sperm can live inside the cervix before it fertilizes the egg.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a person can become pregnant if they have sex anywhere from 5 days before until 1 day after ovulation.
Depending on the menstrual cycle, the fertile window may vary from one person to another.
To calculate the fertility window, a person should note the first day of a period until the next period occurs. This timeframe is the menstrual cycle. On average, most people who menstruate have a 28-day cycle.
However, according to the Office on Women’s Health, for some, it may last 21–35 daysTrusted Source.
According to the ACOG, ovulation occurs around day 14 of the menstrual cycle.
A person with a 28-day cycle, for example, will have their fertile window 5 days before the ovulation date.