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Timing Sex to Get Pregnant

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When you are trying to conceive, there are certain times in your menstrual cycle when you are more fertile than others. Fertile days in your menstrual cycle occur around the time of ovulation, when your ovaries release a mature egg for fertilization. If you are trying to get pregnant, it is important to plan sex during your most fertile days.

Fertile Days in Menstrual Cycles

Fertile days vary from woman-to-woman, depending on the length and regularity of her menstrual cycles. Women are most fertile during ovulation, when a woman releases an egg to be fertilized. For women with 28-day menstrual cycles, ovulation usually occurs between days 13 to 15.

Once an egg is released, it can be fertilized for only 12 to 24 hours before it dissolves. Sperm, on the other hand, can stay alive in the body for 3 to 5 days, making a woman fertile for about 5 to 7 days.

For more information on ovulation symptoms, read: How Do I Know When I'm Ovulating?

Best Time to Have Sex to Conceive

Because sperm lasts several days in the human body, and a woman’s egg only last a maximum of 24 hours, the best time to have sex to get pregnant is a few days before ovulation should occur. Couples should begin having sex five days before a woman will ovulate and one day after ovulation. Couples should try to have sex at least every other day.

How to Detect Fertile Days to Get Pregnant

A helpful way to achieve pregnancy is to schedule sexual intercourse slightly before and during ovulation. In order to make the most out of each session of sexual intercourse, it is important to understand signs of ovulation so you know when you are ovulating. This will help you plan sex accordingly to help you get pregnant.

  • Changes in Cervical Mucus. Cervical mucus can be an important indication of ovulation. Before ovulation, cervical mucus is dry and sticky. As ovulation comes closer, it may take on a creamier consistency. Right before ovulation, cervical mucus tends to take on the consistency of a raw egg white and may become more slippery. Charting your cervical mucus can be helpful because it allows you to spot patterns from one menstrual cycle to the next.
  • Charting Basal Body Temperature (BBT). Charting BBT . Charting your BBT can help you detect patterns of ovulation. You can buy a special BBT thermometer, which detects temperature to the tenth degree. Take your temperature the first thing each morning. You can detect ovulation by an increased temperature of 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit, which will usually be the highest temperature over the last six days.
  • Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPK). Ovulation predictor kits are at-home tests that allow a woman to predict when she will ovulate. The test works by measuring the luteinizing hormone. When the LH rises sharply, ovulation should occur in the next 12 to 48 hours.
  • Physical Signs of Ovulation. Physical signs of ovulation may vary for each woman, but may include light spotting, abdominal cramping, breast tenderness, and bloating.

Have you been trying to conceive for several months? If you're experiencing trouble conceiving or suspect an infertility condition, you should consider consulting with a fertility specialist.


Comments (131)

Hi, Iam 25 years old and planning to get pregnant. my husband is out of station and he will be back on 12th aug and will stay till 15th last menstrual date was 8th July and my cycle differs from 28-30 days. will I get pregnant if we have intercourse from 12th aug - 15th aug? or when is the right time to have intercourse? Kindly suggest.

Okay. I am 21 and me and my husband having been trying to have a baby and it's just not working he has a son from his last marriage so I know it's not him.. I'm scared that I won't be able to have a baby . I have iregurler periods sometimes I have it for 2 days and then won't have it for 3 months and some I'll have it for 4 days and won't have another period till 3 more months.. So it's very hard to keep track on when I'm ovulating or if I am ovulating. I just wanna know what's the best way to get pregnate? Is there a special position that we could try or after words can I put my legs up in there air? Or what please let me Know thank you

I last went in my period on 4 for four days so when do I have sex because I want to get pregnant

Hello Filista,

In order to track your ovulation you need to have a regular period that comes at the same time each month. If you have a regular period, you would want to use Ovulation Prediction Kits to track your ovulation. You can find them at your local drug store in the same isle as the pregnancy tests. Please make sure that you're using the actual kit to track your ovulation and not an app on your phone as the app is not as accurate as the physical test. If you are having issues tracking your ovulation, or have any additional questions, I highly recommend that you consult with your Gynecologist as he or she can assist you as well.

Best of luck


My last period was on 25th of october. I had sex on 6th of november and another one on 12th pls I wnt to knw which one has resulted to pregnant. Pls wt immediate reply. God bless you. Tnx

my mc is irregular,28,30,33,35 etc. my last period is 19 august. i have sex 20 to 25. i have no next mc till now. i dont want pregnent. i have test but test result is negative. what is problem?? why i have not get next mc??? please reply soon

Of all the quiz and answers in still lost, I've had an ectopic pregnancy before and had my baby girl after 2years after now she is four4 years old I want another 1 but its hard I've being trying for 2 years now but no luck iv being on a fertiliser pills from my doctor I even took the double description but no luck I guess it work for others but not me so which other medication is out there that you can drink to help get pregnnt

Am 25days cycle and my period started on 27th june and i had sex on the last day of my period nd also on 6july will i be pregnant

Hello Glory,

When you are trying to conceive you should be tracking your ovulation. There is roughly a two day window each month when you are most likely to conceive and that is when you're ovulating. Most women ovulate before they get their period. When we get our period that means that we have missed our fertile window that month and our uterine lining is being shed in order to prepare for next month. If you had sex while you were on your period it is highly unlikely that you conceived. However, I am not a doctor nor do I have any medical training to advise you on this. To best track you ovulation you should go to your local drug store and purchase Ovulation Prediction Kits. They tell you when you're ovulating and you have sex on those days. If you believe that you're pregnant you should take an at home pregnancy test or consult with your Gynecologist.


I have already one baby but i want to take second chance but i didn't conceive now how can I conceive now please reaply

I last had my periods on the 20 of November 2014,when must I have sex to fall pregnant,please help

Hi Sarah,

I would suggest using an ovulation prediction kit. Women tend to ovulate about halfway through their cycle, but each individual is different. You might ovulate early or late. Try using the test to know for sure.


Hello Hope, if a woman has a 28 day cycle, she will typically ovulate around the 14th & 15th day. However, please keep in mind that this varies from individual to individual. For the most accuracy, I highly recommend that you purchase ovulation prediction kits at your local drug store. They help determine when you're ovulating and when the best day is for you to try and conceive. You can also consult with your OB/Gyn.

Best of luck!

Hi i am Alhais age of 24 get married on 14/10/2011, i had operation on 13/4/2014 for opening of my fallopian tube, my doctor tell me that before operation takes place that my fallopian tube is block at right hand side and the left hand side is open but has some wretches. up to now no any changes please can you advise me what to do to see i am pregnant.

Hi there, you should consult your doctor to see if laparoscopic surgery or IVF will help you conceive.

Best of luck!

I hv fibroid and I ovulate regularly, is it possible to get pregnant wt dis fibroid? I need your response

Hi Esther,

It is important for you to ask your doctor to evaluate the size and position of the fibroid. It may need to be removed. If it is small and will not interfere with a pregnancy, you might be in the clear to get pregnant without removing the fibroid.

Best of luck!

Hi. I've read the questions and comments and I'm still kinda confused. My husband and I have decided to have a baby. How many days before Or after my period should we aim for to get pregnant? Is it better to try before Or after my period? Thank you.

MRI - Most women ovulate around the 14th/15th day of their cycle but it depends on how long your cycle is. The first day of your cycle is the first day of your period. You can also buy ovulation prediction kits at your local drug store to best track your own personal ovulation.

Last 7 months we tried for having a baby but it doesn't work. My period is irregular we don't understand whats the problem couldn't happed.As soon as possible i want to get pregnant. Please tell me how its possible fast.

Its being 7 yrs trying to fall preg bt nothing is happeng.I went several time for dr bt even to day nothing is happen .do u thnk I may able to hv one in future bcz I'm old now 34 yrs of age.I even lost hope.pls help

Thank you for your article that i been already read it, we stay for nearly two years,and trying to having babies but we cant,we need your help to show us things which we can understand more, and having babies As soon As possible

When to be pregnant with 34 days cycle

Hi Rama,

I would suggest using an ovulation prediction kit. Women tend to ovulate about halfway through their cycle, but each individual is different. You might ovulate early or late. Try using the test to know for sure.


Hi Ramya,

Have you been diagnosed with an ovarian cyst? You should speak with a doctor about whether it needs to be removed or treated with birth control pills.


Did you discuss the results of your semen analysis with your doctor? He or she can best advise you on whether or not your results are normal or abnormal and provide you with insight and options moving forward. I recommend that you consult with your doctor regarding your test results.

my sperm count is 50/motality is 50/mor is 60 is normal or not

So, I was on birth control due to irregular periods for over two years. I stopped taking birth control over a year ago and I had not had a period since. Well, I just finally had a period(it was a year in January since my last one).... I am assuming that means the birth control is finally out of my system? I bought an ovulation test on the 20th, I have been using it regularly, my period ended yesterday, and the ovulation test says that I am ovulating today already. Is that normal? I am also taking Prenatal pills. Neither one of us drink or smoke or anything. How long should we wait to see if I am pregnant? We want to get pregnant as soon as possible!!

I had got my period on 3/14/14 what would be the best day that I could get pregnant on if there is 32 days in my cycle

I need some advise please!!!!!! My boyfriend and I have been trying to have a baby for FOUR YEARS!! I wait patiently and always end up getting my period. My average cycle is 33 days but it always changes I never have a regular period. Also we have tried almost everything. We have intercourse every other day. This is getting exhausting and stressful. I feel like I will never be able to get pregnant. What should I do?!?!?!

Hi my wife average cylcle is 25 days, when period not came on time we thaught that she is pregnant, after 28 days she started to bleeding, I am confused what was that, was it misscourage or period?

Hi, My cycle is 30-32 days. From 6th day of my period i started checking my ovulation with ovulation kit. Today on 17th day i got +ve. However yesterday night i took Dupheston tablet. I am confused whether i got false +ve due to tablet. Should i continue these tablets for another nine days, please suggest. I had my last period on 3rd feb.

You should check with the doctor who prescribed the Dupheston. Best, Claire

i am a married man, my age is now 31, my wife age is now 30. I do natural physical relation with my wife last 4 months but she not pregnent... how can i do?

If you are trying for a year and your wife is not getting pregnant, or if there are underlying concerns, you should see a fertility doctor. Happy to help with a referral if you need one. Best, Claire

Hi, I am using ovulation kit. Today is my ninth day. After my period today only I had sex, however test was negative. Now when should i have sex? I have read that sperms can last 3-5 days. So even if ovulation test is negative can I have sex every 3rd or 5th day? Thank you.

When you ovulate will depend on the length of your menstrual cycle. If you have a 28 day cycle, you will ovulate approximately day 13 to 15 after your period starts. You should begin having sex every other day a few days before ovulation. There should also be detailed instructions with the ovulation predictor kit. Best, Claire

Hi, I had D&C surgery done due to empty gestational sac in june 2013. In november i was 10 days late of my period and I had positive pregnancy test. 10th day again i got my period. It was very painful, cramps, clots were there. Now just want to know why it might be happening, what kind of tests I should go through and what kind of specialist I should visit? Earlier my cycle was exactly between 28-30 but now 31-32. Thank you.

I am very sorry for your losses. If your period is irregular and/or if you have had multiple miscarriages, you should see a fertility doctor, also known as a reproductive endocrinologist. Our Patient Care Advocates can help you find someone in your area. Please call 855-955-2229 or email Best, Claire

The best time to have sex to get pregnant is when you are ovulating, not when you are getting your period. I would suggest tracking your ovulation so you can better time intercourse. Best, Claire

When to be pregnant with 28 days cycle plz help me we r try to get pregnant last 8 months.thank you

Women with a 28 day menstrual cycle normally ovulate on day 13 to 15. You count starting with the first day of your period. If you are under 35 years old, most doctors would say to not be concerned unless you have been trying for a year - or if you have other underlying problems. If you are over 35, you may want to see a fertility doctor. Let me know if you would like more info. Best, Claire