How Does Ovulation Affect Conception?
Ovulation is the part of your menstrual cycle when an egg is discharged from the ovaries. As far as the practical matter of getting pregnant is concerned, ovulation is the most opportune time to become pregnant. Some studies have shown that healthy women have as much as a 1 in 3 chance of becoming pregnant during the peak of ovulation. If you and your partner want to have a baby, understanding ovulation can help you conceive.
Fortunately, Mother Nature helps us out somewhat on this one. Even if we didn’t understand anything at all about ovulation and the way it works, a woman’s sex drive goes up completely on its own during ovulation. In a sense, the deck is stacked somewhat, with nature doing its part to help us become pregnant.
Generally speaking, ovulation occurs about 14 days before the start of your next period. If you have regular periods, this is pretty easy to track. If your periods are irregular, or if you want to be more certain of when ovulation is occurring, you can purchase ovulation test kits at most drug stores and pharmacies.
Your best chance to become pregnant is when you have intercourse within 5 days of ovulation. This can be before or after, so you have a pretty wide window. The peak period of fertility is day 14 in your menstrual cycle, but the five days prior to and after ovulation also offer prime opportunities to conceive.
In the past, many have recommended waiting to have intercourse for several days before ovulation to allow the potency of your partner’s sperm to build up. Recent studies have shown, however, that a healthy man’s sperm count is full within 24 hours of having sex. In fact, it was shown that waiting to have sex actually decreases the potency of a man’s sperm.
Having intercourse as often as once per day during the 10 day period surrounding your ovulation improves your chances of becoming pregnant. So, have as much sex as you like. Of course, you will want to make sure that you don’t put so much emphasis on becoming pregnant that sex becomes a chore, as this is likely to discourage both of you and hurt your levels of intimacy.