There is more than one best time to conceive: you can choose a time that suits you, allows you to leave work for maternity leave on a high that you can return to, to complete a move to a new home that’s perfect to bring a baby home to, and before you have to, or after you have already recovered from a health issue, but your body may not agree!
Understanding when your body is at the peak of fertility means you make your conception plans with confidence, and pursue them with the best possible chance of success.
The Importance of Ovulation
If you’re trying to tell when you have the best chance of a successful conception, you need to be able to predict when you’re going to ovulate. It’s this event that defines and anchors your fertile window. This is the period of days when intercourse can lead to pregnancy because it’s when the lifespan of sperm (after ejaculation) overlaps with the lifespan of the ovulated egg. It begins before ovulation, because sperm can survive several times longer than the egg can. With sperm lasting around five days to the egg’s single day lifespan, your fertile window is around five to six days. The exact length depends on the health of your sperm and eggs.
Finding out when your fertile window falls means finding out when you’re going to ovulate.
The menstrual cycle can behave very differently from woman to woman, as well as over the course of the same woman’s life. Some women have extremely regular cycles, running like clockwork every 28 or 31 days. All they need to ensure they know the best time to conceive is an ovulation calendar on which they can record their period and menstrual cycle every month. With a regular cycle, you simply need to track the days to know when you’re ovulating!
Getting More Help
If your cycle is at all irregular, you need more help to identify and predict when you’re going to ovulate. Hormone based ovulation tests are convenient to use and widely available from chemists and supermarkets. They are not unlike pregnancy tests, in that they look for hormone levels in your urine.
If you’re experiencing any kind of hormone disruption, these tests will be of limited use for you. They interfere with the levels of the hormones that govern your cycle, not just changing when or even if you’re going to ovulate, but also making it hard for tests to recognise when you have.
Fertility monitors that work with your basal body temperature aren’t subject to disturbance from conditions that affect your hormones. The best examples can take your temperature right through the night for truly accurate results, and link automatically to algorithms that can turn your temperature readings into progressively more accurate predictions that tell you the best time to conceive.