The Conception Calculator estimates a range of days during which a woman is most likely to conceive, as well as a corresponding due date based on a woman’s average menstrual cycle.
The Fertile Window
The fertile window is the three-day window during which the probability of a woman conceiving is highest. Conception is usually defined as the initiation of pregnancy, when an egg is fertilized. This can occur either through in vitro fertilization, or sexual intercourse. In the case of sexual intercourse, sperm remains viable inside a woman’s body for up to 5 days (possibly 7 days in some cases). As such, when attempting to conceive, regular sexual intercourse 5 days before as well as on the day of ovulation, can increase the probability of successfully conceiving. This is known as the fertile window. Furthermore, studies have shown that within this window, the last 3 days are the most fertile days, and sexual intercourse during this period will result in pregnancy in approximately 30% of cases.1
Love and Childbearing
The desire to have a child is all about love for your partner, and for the child you will watch grow up.
Deep as this desire is in most couples, life often gets in the way. We stress and worry as a result work, and spend most of our time dealing with day-to-day distractions and chores. As a result, we do not find time or do not have the desire to make love as much as we might like to.
Yet, the first thing to know when you are trying to have a baby is that regular sex with your partner is the best preparation of all. When you are trying to have a baby, you should make love regularly – at least 2 to 3 times a week – even when you do not necessarily believe you are fertile or are near your= ovulation day.
Regular lovemaking prepares the woman’s body for childbearing, and raises the hormonal level associated with it. Low fertility itself is directly associated with lowered feelings of sexuality. Your lifestyle and relationships all enhance the chances of conception.
Regular lovemaking also creates more favorable conditions in the vagina. The presence of fertile-quality (or egg-white) cervical mucus fosters fertility by creating more favorable vaginal conditions that assist in protecting the sperm and extending sperm life-span, effectively extending the fertile window.
Making the Fertility Window Work for You
With a pattern of regular lovemaking achieved, the next thing to do is identify that handful of days directly prior to, and including the day of ovulation. Identifying this “window” will significantly boost your chances of conception.
The above conception calculator can help with the process of tracking your personal biological cycle, and thereby assist you in determining your fertility window. To use the calculator, note the first day of your last period. Then note the length of the cycle until your next period. Finally, input the numbers into the calculator and get an estimate of the best days for intercourse and conception.
You can help the process along by keeping a basal body temperature chart. Tracking your basal body temperature and your cervical mucus can help you get pregnant. The patterns you see month after month can help you predict ovulation, and once you know when you’re likely to ovulate, you can have sex (or plan insemination) at the best time for conceiving.
Your basal body temperature is the lowest body temperature in a 24-hour period. To get an accurate reading, you must take your temperature when you first wake up in the morning, before you even sit up in bed. And you’ll need to use a basal thermometer (available at most pharmacies) which is sensitive enough to measure minute changes in body temperature. Try to wake up and take a reading at about the same time each morning.
Before ovulation, your basal body temperature will be in normal range – from about 97.2 degrees to about 97.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Two or three days after you ovulate, the temperature will rise by about one-half to one degree, and it will remain at that level until you have your period.
As for your cervical mucus, when your period is over, you’ll most likely be dry for several days. After that, you’ll start to have cloudy mucus that’s a bit like sticky paste.
A few days before ovulation, the mucus will become clear and slippery, very much like raw egg white, and you’ll have more of it. This lasts until the day of ovulation.
As you track these changes in both body temperature and cervical mucus, you’ll begin to make out your own biological pattern. You’ll know, more or less, when to expect these changes. Working with the calculator, and this tracking, you’ll be able to vastly increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
If you’ve been keeping track for a few months and you find that you ovulate on a different day each month of the cycle, (for example, day 14, then day 17, then day 12), you need to make use of a combination of the signals. Perhaps your cervical mucus changes on a certain day before you ovulate. Or you note a particular change in temperature. A pattern of one type or another usually emerges if you track carefully and accurately.
Follow Your Feelings
Many women find the tracking process attractive, as a means to get closer to their own bodies.
But some women find the charting too stressful. With so many things to worry about in life, they may not care to add another.
If stress is an issue, experts say that you should just try to have sex every two days as a minimum. If you can keep that going, you have an excellent chance of hitting a day when your body conditions are favorable. Sperm live up to seven days in the woman’s body, so increased contact can only work in your favor.
After all, feeling good and loving is an essential part of the process, and perhaps the most important part.
- “Women’s guide to getting the timing right”, yourfertility.org.au/for-women/timing-and-conception/