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Can You Get Pregnant From Intercourse After Ovulation?


There is a lot of confusion among women on whether or not you can get pregnant from intercourse after ovulation. And the correct answer is, yes you can, but only for a very short time.  It is imperative that you understand your menstruation pattern and ovulation timings to understand how and when you may get pregnant.

Understanding Ovulation

Ovulation, simply put, is the release of the mature ovum from the follicle in to the fallopian tubes. Ovulation usually occurs around day 14 of a regular 28-day menstrual cycle.  Once the ovum is thus released, it is available to a mature sperm for fertilization for 12 to 24 hours before it begins to disintegrate. This is the most fertile period of your cycle and during ovulation your chances of conception are highest.

The time of ovulation within the menstrual cycle is determined by the luteal phase, which is usually 12 to 16 days long in most women. You can calculate the time of ovulation within your cycle by subtracting the length of your luteal phase from the length of your cycle. For example, if your cycle is 28 days long and your luteal phase is 12 days long, the ovulation will occur on day 16 of your cycle. The exact time of ovulation may vary within your cycle even if you have religiously regular menstrual cycles. This is because ovulation can be delayed by a number of factors such as stress, illness, diet, or increased physical activity.

How can I get pregnant from intercourse after ovulation?

For women who are trying to get pregnant, it is often advised that they should have intercourse  before ovulation. This helps in conception since the sperm from the man is deposited into the cervix and as soon as the ovum is released, it has the opportunity to be fertilized. But this in no means limits the woman’s ability to get pregnant after ovulation. In fact her chances of getting pregnant only depend on when she ovulates and how that is timed with intercourse. Considering the fact that the ovum starts to disintegrate 12 to 24 hours, there is a small chance that your partner’s sperm can fertilize the egg for a short time after the egg has been released into the fallopian tubes.  Keep in mind that the chances of getting pregnant this way dramatically decreases the further away from ovulation you are.

So if you are trying to get pregnant, cheers, you can try to have intercourse anytime near ovulation to increase your chances of getting pregnant, periods or not! It will greatly help you if you chart your ovulation pattern and also monitor your cervical mucus. In addition maintaining a chart of your basal body temperature will also be very helpful in pin pointing that fertile window which can help you conceive faster. For more information on any of these topics, please feel free to navigate our site.

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Until you get a positive pregnancy test, there is no way to tell.

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    You typically need to have sex about 14 days before you get your period for the possibility of getting pregnant. Once ovulation happens, you have about 24 hours to fertilize it or it will start disintegrating. Having sex the day before your period would not result in pregnancy.

  • anon

    Need help!! Last period was June 13… had intercourse June 21,23,24…. then again on July 1st… is it more likely I got pregnant on one of the June dates or July 1st?? I usually have a normal 28 day cycle

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    If you are pregnant, it would be the June dates that you most likely would have conceived with.

  • anon

    Yes I’m pregnant. How sure are you on that? I know that might not be possible to tell but in July it was a different man so I’m trying to figure out whose it is.

  • MommaOf6

    LMP September 14. I believe I began ovulating October 1 or 2. Had unprotected sex October 4, 5, and 6. My cycles are never the same amount of time between. Some months shorter, other months longer. I am also nursing my 14 month old. This morning I woke with a turning stomach and low back cramps on and off. Could we have possibly hit the tail end of ovulation?

  • Unique

    Hello I want to know if I have a chance this month we really wassnt trying becuz it seems wen u try you get disappointed at the end so we didn’t give it much try but my cycle came on sept 28th the ovulation calendar said I will ovulate on oct 8 thru 11th we started bd this month on oct 5th we skip a day then on the 7th we bd all the way thru the 11th and again on the 13th I just want to know do I have chance in I also used preseed and laid flat for 15mins afterwards.

  • megan

    HI my last period was oct 4th, and my period tracker says i have a 26 day cycle, it also said i would ovulate on oct 16th. I was surprised when I got a smiley positive on my clear blue opk on the 14th. we could not have sex the 14th but dtd on the 15th, 17th and 18th. On the 18th my opk was neg but my CM still looked very fertile. Im so confused now. could I still be pregnant or did I miss my window? thanks!

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    As a positive opk denotes that you will ovulate in 24 to 36 hours, you could have caught you ovulation when you had sex on the 15th. If you ovulated later than than the 15th or 16th, you would have caught ovulation with the 17th or the 18th. Sperm can survive for up to 4 days after ejaculation so you don’t have to dtd right at ovulation.

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Your timing was good, so if you did ovulate there is a chance that you could be pregnant.

  • BLAH87


  • Samantha H

    My period was sept 12 and we had unprotected sex randomly all month. That was my first period off of my iud. Took two pg tests today and neg. waiting til my period decides to show up or not. Thinking about testing in a week again, do you think I could be preggers? I’m hoping so!

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Typically, you will ovulate 14 days after your period starts. So days 12, 13, and 14 would be good days to try to get pregnant.

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    If you have been having sex without protection, there is always the chance you could be pregnant. If you were using the Mirena IUD with the hormones, it could take your system a little longer to get back to normal though so your cycle could be a little wacky for a month or two.

  • tt

    Hey my period came on oct 2 or oct 3 i found out i was pregnant nov 7 so how is it possible i conception on oct 17 and i used a condom with that person but days before i didn’t use a condom with the other guy…so could i have gotten pregnant days before

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Based on the assumption that you have a 28 day cycle, these are the days you were most fertile:

    Sunday 13th October 2013 – A little bit fertile
    Monday 14th October 2013 – Fertile
    Tuesday 15th October 2013 – VERY fertile

    Wednesday 16th October 2013 – Time to ovulate

    Based on those dates, the 17th would have been too late.

  • lily

    My period for this month was November 1-6th and ovulation was the 10-15th.. my boyfriend ejaculated inside me the 16th twice and once today(20th).. my next period is the 28th.. is there a chance I could be pregnant and not have my period the 28th?

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    It really depends on when you actually ovulated. Only one day of the 10th – 15th is the actual ovulation date. If you ovulated late on the 15th there is a possibility you could get pregnant.

  • Tameka taylor

    Hey guys I got my period nov 10-14 I started taking clomid nov 11-15 can u guys help me out when should I ovulate?

  • Francesca

    Had unprotected sex with my partner last night and we have finally decided now is the right time to give our little lady a brother or sister. However this month we assumed we had missed ovulation as my period started early hours 15th Oct. However today I have been cramping a lot on the right side & lots of CM (typical ovulation signs for me) Didn’t have any OPK’s as gave them to my sister who is desperately trying for a baby. Helppppp confused!

  • Kade

    I Ovulated Nov. 27 or 28th .. Most likely the 28th I know because Wednesday late night I noticed my cm being fertile. I have a 31-32 day cycle and my last period was nov. 10th – 16th . I didn’t have intercourse until nov 29, 30 and dec 1 and 2. What are my chances of pregnancy ? First month trying :)

  • Kade

    Vickie, I really need your advise I posted twice.

  • Cass

    Vicki I need help lol. I have a rare auto immune disease that really flares up one week prior to my period and the week after making this “baby dance” almost impossible. I try so hard not to take steroids during these flares so as not to mess with my cycles. My husband and I have been trying for almost two years. If the first day of my last cycle was 20th of Nov .The last day of it was the 26th. We did the baby dance on the 28th, 2nd, and the 4th. I am hoping I hit the ovulation cycle. Any advice?

  • Em

    Hi Vickie, I’m currently 31 + weeks pregnant, shapely not sure of father, my lmp was 3rd of may, with the last 3 being on a 24 day cycle , I had sex on the 7th may n 15th , 7th being just before being fertile and 15th being the day after my last fertile day I am expecting a girl but in your opinion which would more likely be the father 7th or 15th?

  • Em

    Shamefully not shapely

  • Kade

    I believe it belong to the person on the 7th. The days before ovulation are your more fertile days.

  • Kade

    As we both sit are wait for Vicki’s advice I’ll add mine :).
    I’m not too sure when your ovulation date would be because you didn’t stay how long your cycle it? I’d assume 30 days I guess, it that’s so then your fertile days would be between 2 – 5th December.

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    If you are taking Clomid, that would imply that you are not ovulating regularly. The clomid will act differently for every woman and only your doctor will be able to find out how well it is working for you.

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Unfortunately, you can’t be totally sure when you are ovulating unless you are tracking it some how. Ovulation can be delayed by many different factors, including stress or illness. Maybe you ovulated later than expected due to things that you were experiencing in the last month

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Based on our ovulation calendar, these are the dates based on a 32 day cycle.

    Sunday 10th November 2013 – First day of your cycle

    Sunday 24th November 2013 – A little bit fertile
    Monday 25th November 2013 – Fertile
    Tuesday 26th November 2013 – VERY fertile
    Wednesday 27th November 2013 – Time to ovulate

    Unfortunately, it looks like you may have missed ovulation by a bit.

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    It really depends on how long your cycle is, but assuming a 28 day cycle, these are the dates for you based on our ovulation calendar:

    Wednesday 20th November 2013 – First day of your cycle
    Saturday 30th November 2013 – A little bit fertile
    Sunday 1st December 2013 – Fertile
    Monday 2nd December 2013 – VERY fertile
    Tuesday 3rd December 2013 – Time to ovulate
    Friday 13th December 2013 – A home pregnancy test may work now.

    November 2nd looks like it timed very well, so you may want to have a pregnancy test on hand to test :) Good luck!

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Based on your 24 day cycle and starting date of the 3rd of May, these are the dates:

    Friday 3rd May 2013 – First day of your cycle
    Thursday 9th May 2013 – A little bit fertile
    Friday 10th May 2013 – Fertile
    Saturday 11th May 2013 – VERY fertile
    Sunday 12th May 2013 – Time to ovulate

    Unfortunately, unless you know exactly when you ovulated, it is really hard to pinpoint the days. The 7th seems a bit early and the 15th too late. Maybe you ovulate later or earlier that the half way point of your cycle.

  • em88

    Not to sure on ovulation date I track all periods on an app according to the app ovulation occurred on day 11 of my cycle which lands on the 13th of may

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Unfortunately, unless you are confirming the date with either ovulation prediction tests or basal temperature charting, the app is only an educated guess. The 7th of May is the educated guess based on that date. You won’t be able to tell for sure though unless you get a paternity test.

  • Em88

    I’ve tried to do research found the 7th could for for 5-3-1 method or all fertile days for having sex methods but 15th could also fit for the sperm meets egg method, not sure if you are familiar with these methods all very hard to see for sure as you said I’m so disappointed that this has happened I’m so upset at myself others keep saying not to be embarrassed and that this happens to many people but can help but judge myself, and the judging from others that will surely get thrown at me

  • Valerie

    My period started 2 days ago meaning on 17th of this month. So when exactly are the dates I should be having intercourse to get pregnant? And should I be having intercourse After ovulation day too which is whenever you tell me ?

  • fifi diazz

    Hide my I.D im stuck to wether I know for sure who fathered my child my due date was the 18th march but now its the 22nd. I had a period in june the first guy I had intercourse with 5times in two days. Then I met my current partner on the 30th june we got talking and we had sex on the 8th of july im just stuck imto finding out who is it exactly the first one or the second please help me

  • rani

    hi,…for me ovulation happened on 16 th day on the same day we had intercourse after completion of my menstrual period means 28 days i tested on 30 th day there is negative result..waited for 2 more days and gone for hcg test there also negative why this happened can anyone suggest?

  • Jayne

    Wondering if you maybe be able to help me please, im currently 37+ weeks due 7th feb 2014, i am unsure as to father of my child lmp was 3rd may 2013, im on a 24 day cycle with a letal phase of 13 days. I did the deed with No 1 late night between 7th & 8th of may and with No2 on 15th may

  • Kade

    Hey Vicki,
    I ovulated Feb. 3rd my husband and I decided since the day after ovulation isn’t the best we decided the days before ovulation would be a better try. We had intercourse Jan. 31st – Feb. 2nd, My cycles are usually 31 days average but I noticed that I ovulated on cycle day 24 meaning a longer cycle, with my luteal phase being 13-14days long. What are my chances of conceiving this cycle?

  • Kade

    Hey Vicki I posted and would love for your advise again.

  • Kade

    Vickie! I posted for your advise.

    Hey Vicki,
    I ovulated Feb. 3rd my husband and I decided since the day after ovulation isn’t the best we decided the days before ovulation would be a better try. We had intercourse Jan. 31st – Feb. 2nd, My cycles are usually 31 days average but I noticed that I ovulated on cycle day 24 meaning a longer cycle, with my luteal phase being 13-14days long. What are my chances of conceiving this cycle?

  • Kade

    Hey Vicki,
    I ovulated Feb. 3rd my husband and I decided since the day after ovulation isn’t the best we decided the days before ovulation would be a better try. We had intercourse Jan. 31st – Feb. 2nd, My cycles are usually 31 days average but I noticed that I ovulated on cycle day 24 meaning a longer cycle, with my luteal phase being 13-14days long. What are my chances of conceiving this cycle?

  • tink

    hi, my ovulation period is exactly for 28 days, feb 3rd is my 1st ovulation day, i had unprotected sex on 11th feb, what r the chances of getting pregnant, plz let me know wat is safe period and unsafe period, i have little bit tension now,plz do rly me.

  • Glen Victoria

    i am Victoria Glen from USA i want to say hallelujah to lord for using Dr Babaka of babaka.wolf@gmail.com to bless my womb, i have been married for the past 10year without a child i have look for all kind of help that can make me get pregnant but nothing works, but through an insight i came across Dr Babaka profile at the internet when i was searching for help on how i can get a baby, Quickly i contacted him to help me out, he said he will cast a spell that will make me sleep with my partner and get pregnant so he said he need to buy some of the other items he will use in casting the spell from the market that he want me to send him the money he will use in buying the items so i gave him the money and he cast the spell for me and ask me to go and lie with my partner so i did to my greatest surprise i became pregnant after that week so with so much joy in my heart i want to share this out to everyone in need that i have found favor in the hands of Dr Babaka of babaka.wolf@gmail.com, contact him now to via email : babaka.wolf@gmail.com

  • Tnnnnn

    My lmp on 2/28 and my cycle is 28 days. We intercourse on 3/11 and on 3/13 my clear blue said i was fertile. We supposed to have sex on 3/13 but we both were too tired from work so we had sex the next day 3/14. I dont know if i’m coceived and pregnant until my next cycle 3/27 but im taking progesterone to make sure ( my OB told me to do so since i had a mc last Nov at 8 weeks) im crossing my fingers and toes to hope that im preggo this month since 32 :(

  • strawberry

    hi!it is posible im getting pregnant soon?i was having sex with my boyfriend last night,but my last period last march 17

Last modified: February 10, 2013

The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.