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Pregnancy is the most awaited time for a couple. While some women experience no problems in getting pregnant, there are others who face immense difficulty in conceiving. Although fertility issues require professional help and treatment, there are some things you can do to increase the chances of pregnancy, if you and your partner are otherwise fertile. The best way is to ensure having sexual intercourse at the right time when there is a higher chance of conception.

And what is the best time? you may ask. Well, you’d need to read this article to know that.

But first, let’s understand pregnancy.

  1. How women get pregnant
  2. What is the best time to get pregnant
  3. What to do to get pregnant
  4. Best position to get pregnant

Fertilisation or conception occurs when the sperm and the ova, the male and female gametes respectively, meet. While sperms are stored in the scrotum of men and are available at all times you have sexual intercourse, it is largely the availability of the ovum that determines the chances of pregnancy.

A women's body stores immature eggs inside ovaries, out of which, one egg matures each month. Once matured, it is released within the fallopian tube and is available for fertilisation for quite some time.

The ovum has a selective affinity for sperms. Most sperms are rejected either by the cervical mucosa or the ovum. The right sperm undergoes a series of maturation before fertilisation occurs at the end of the fallopian tube. Sperm is usually available for a duration of 5 days, during which fertilisation can occur, leading to conception or pregnancy.

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Indubitably, the best time to get pregnant is right after your ovulation occurs. Experts say that the chances of conception are the best if fertilisation occurs within 4 to 6 hours of ovulation. Maybe it is not possible to time intercourse so relative to your ovulation cycle. But, the closer it is to your ovulation, the higher are the chances of fertilisation.

But, how do you know that you are ovulating?

For most women, ovulation occurs 14 days prior to the beginning of the next menstruation cycle. So, if you have a healthy menstrual cycle, you may be able to predict this easily. It will most likely fall in the mid of your two cycles. If you find it hard to guess, you can use an ovulation tracker.

Commercially available trackers determine the time of ovulation by detecting for an upsurge in LH or the luteinising hormone. It is available in the form of 5 to 7 sticks, which you may need to use multiple times to determine the surge before ovulation. Gynaecologists recommend using this kit multiple times, counting 11th day from the beginning of your previous cycle. Checking every day following this period is important so that you not miss the surge. Following the LH surge, ovulation occurs within 24 to 36 hours.

Once you know you are ovulating, it is easy to determine the best time to have sex to favour pregnancy. It is said that 12 to 24 hours after the time of ovulation marks the period of maximum fertility and you must have sex within this duration in order to conceive. The ova is only available for a duration of 12 to 24 hours after it has been released.

Doctors say that the fertility window of a woman is between 10 to 17 days before the beginning of the next cycle. So, if you are unable to track ovulation, it is a great idea to stick to the normal fertility window in order to be pregnant. However, this time period varies from woman to woman, according to their menstruation cycle and hormonal levels, so it is the best to be aware of your ovulatory cycle.

What are the signs of ovulation?

You can be aware of ovulation by noticing the body changes. Since it is the most fertile period of the woman’s cycle, some women often experience mild spotting. This indicates that ovulation has occurred and you can have sex within 12 to 24 hours. However, if you experience heavy vaginal bleeding or often face spotting, it may be a matter of concern and you must see your doctor. Other ways you can know you are ovulating is by an increased sex drive and the presence of sticky white vaginal secretions often resembling egg white. Some women may even face mild abdominal pain.

(Read more: Can you get pregnant before, after or during your period)

Now you know what is the best time to get pregnant but are still doubtful of how to make the best of that crucial time. Well, this section has your answers.

With relation to your ovulatory cycle and fertility window, it is recommended to have sex multiple times. This will inadvertently increase the chances of fertilisation. Since the ovum is available for such a small period, you do not want to miss any chance, right?

But, what if you are unable to track your ovulation?

Experts suggest having sex every 2 to 3 days throughout the month rather than waiting for the time of ovulation if you are looking forward to pregnancy. It is more beneficial to have sex 7 to 20 days after your menstrual cycle. So, enjoy a greater intimacy with your partner during this period.

(Read more: How to get pregnant)

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There is no scientific evidence to prove any single sex position to be superior to another when it comes to chances of pregnancy. The usual missionary (man on top) or doggy style (man entering the woman from behind while she is on her fours) may be helpful. This is because these positions offer a better penetration and increasing the chances of fertilisation. In this missionary position, the tip of the penis enters the front of the cervix and in doggy style, it reaches the back of the cervix. Woman on top or any other position you like may also be equally good. So, enjoy some good unprotected sex with your partner trying a variety of positions you are comfortable with.

(Consult physician online)


  1. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Trying to get pregnant.
  2. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Pregnancy - identifying fertile days
  3. Better health channel. Department of Health and Human Services [internet]. State government of Victoria; If you want to get pregnant, timing is everything
  4. Better health channel. Department of Health and Human Services [internet]. State government of Victoria; Conceiving a baby
  5. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Planning for Pregnancy
  6. Department of Health Planning to get pregnant. Government of Western Australia [Internet]
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