What is ovulation?
Ovulation occurs when the ovaries release a mature egg. This egg goes down the fallopian tube when ready for fertilization. The presence of sperm in the fallopian tube during the time the egg is released can increase the chances of creating an embryo and, consequently, a baby.
The 6-day window
The chances of getting pregnant are higher during just 6 days of an ovulation cycle. Couples should time sexual intercourse during the 5 days before ovulation and the 24 hours after ovulation. Sperm can stay in the body for up to 5 days, while the ovum lives for up to 24 hours.
Couples have a 6-day time period to increase the chances of conception. Couples can employ a variety of strategies to keep key aspects of ovulation top-of-mind. Consider these 3 tips for timing sexual intercourse and tracking ovulation.
1. Check your temperature
Right after ovulation, a woman’s body temperature increases for several days. A woman’s basal body temperature averages between 97∫F and 97.5∫F. After ovulation, body temperature rises to a range between 97.6∫F and 98.6∫F. A digital thermometer or wearable reader can determine morning body temperatures and sexual intercourse timing.
2. Track menstrual cycle
Women looking to have a baby should keep track of the beginning of each menstrual cycle. Women should check if the cycle lengths are the same every month or if the cycles are irregular. A fertility tracking calendar can be a great tool to predict the start of ovulation and the perfect time to conceive.
3. Ovulation prediction kits
Ovulation prediction kits are available at major drug stores. Prediction kits test a woman’s urine for luteinizing hormone (LH), a hormone that aids the female reproductive system. Kits can detect when luteinizing hormones increase during ovulation. Couples can time sexual activity 3 days after a positive test result.
Aside from monitoring ovulation, couples should take advantage of the 6-day window to increases the chance of conception. Furthermore, women can maintain a healthy body weight to improve the odds of getting pregnant. Cessation of smoking and drinking can also boost fertile conditions. When timing intercourse doesn’t work after a year, couples can consult a fertility specialist to begin a personalized treatment plan.