Path To Pregnancy

3 Facts and myths about the best time to get pregnant

The best time for a pregnancy isn’t always necessarily a time when you’re actually ready for pregnancy. In fact, a recent survey of more than 2000 women showed that 83% of women underestimate the time it takes for them to get pregnant and almost half of the respondents did not understand the importance of having intercourse at the right time to become pregnant. The best time to get pregnant depends on how well you know your cycle. But in order to really understand it, you have to dissociate yourself from old myths about a woman’s cycle and about trying to get pregnant. This article helps you to find out how well you know the basic facts about fertility.

Pregnancy can occur at any time during a cycle.

This is a rather complicated question, but it’s actually wrong. The best time to get pregnant is during your fertile period, the 6-5 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation itself. However, if you don’t know when ovulation occurs, it may feel as if you could get pregnant at any time, simply because you don’t know when your fertile time is. There are online methods for monitoring your cycle, but you must be aware that these ovulation calculators can actually reduce your chances of getting pregnant. To understand why that is the case, look at the next question.

The best time to get pregnant can vary each cycle.

Correct. Researchers found out, that a woman’s cycle length and fertility can vary from cycle to cycle. A 2006 study showed, that more than 100 women had multiple cycles and about one-third of women had up to one-week variation in fertility time between cycles. (1. The conclusion? It is perfectly normal for your fertile window or for ovulation to vary in each cycle. Thus, you need to know your individual cycle in order to make the most of fertility calendars. As you can see, the calendar method really isn’t that reliable and you should start to track your fertility and ovulation (preferably based on hormonal analysis) to make the most of your chances.

The best time to get pregnant is a few days before ovulation.

TRUE! Several studies have looked at fertility rates among couples who had sexual intercourse along the cycle and most of the findings point at higher conception rates for the days before ovulation. In fact, studies have shown (Dunson, et al. Human Reproduction Vol.17, No.5 pp. 1399–1403, 2002), that it is possible to calculate the probabilities of pregnancy given sexual intercourse on the days before ovulation.

Many factors affect the chances, particularly age, but in average one day before ovulation is 26%, two days before ovulation close to 40%, 3 days before ovulation 24%, 4 days before ovulation and the ovulation day itself about 20%, five days before ovulation 10% and less than 5% any other day.

➜ Learn more about your fertile window in our Science page!

You might be wondering what it looks like on the day of ovulation but the answer is not that simple: During sexual intercourse on the day of ovulation the conception rate was high enough (20%), but at the same time there is also a higher rate of miscarriages. This may have something to do with the length of time the egg has spent outside the follicle before it got fertilized. However, this question can only be answered when more research results are available. You should remember though: Knowing exactly when you are ovulation can increase your chances of getting pregnant.

A good way to do so is to test relevant hormones such as LH (luteinizing hormone), FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and PdG (progesterone) with urine tests and let them be checked by Pearl in order to get a safe prediction and better understanding of ovulation and your cycle.

➜ Find out how to measure your FSH and LH with Pearl!

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