There are only a limited number of days during a woman’s menstrual cycle when sexual intercourse might result in pregnancy. The duration of this fertile period depends on the life span of both the sperm and the egg. Typically the egg is only viable for about 24 hours after ovulation. The life span of the sperm is variable and depends on many factors including sperm quality and the type and quality of cervical mucus present at the time of intercourse. In the presence of midcycle cervical mucus sperm may survive up to 5 days. Therefore, women generally conceive only around 5-6 days of their cycle and are most likely to become pregnant on the 2 days of peak fertility which is the day preceding and the day of ovulation.
Couples should have sexual intercourse around the time of ovulation to maximize their chances of conception. The most effective method of predicting ovulation aside from blood tests and pelvic ultrasound is home monitoring using ovulation predictor test kits which detect the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH) in voided urine samples. LH testing is a good indicator for predicting the 2 most fertile days in a woman’s cycle and can aid successful conception.
Should detection be difficult or if pregnancy has not occurred after one year of trying in a woman under age 35 or after 6 months of trying for women over age 35, then help should be sought from a Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist. Have more questions? Come talk with us today!