Timing sex to increase chance of pregnancy

One of the commonest questions we have been asked as we tour the country undertaking our fertility seminar evenings is ‘How do I know the right day to have sex?’

To have the best chance of getting pregnant each month, sexual intercourse should take place just before or around the time an egg is released – at ovulation. In order to know when this is happening in your body you need to understand your menstrual cycle (or period cycle).

A 28-day cycle is standard, although it is quite normal for your cycle to be slightly longer or shorter than this. The first day of your period is day one of your menstrual cycle.

  • Someone with a 28-day cycle would ovulate on approximately day 14.
  • Someone with a 30-day cycle would ovulate on approximately day 16 (30 minus 14).
  • Someone with a 25-day cycle would ovulate on approximately day 11 (25 minus 14).

Ovulation kits aim to help you know when you are ovulating by assessing the hormones in your urine. These can be bought, along with other fertility items in the fertility shops in our clinics.

Other ways to figure out when you are ovulating are to look for the signs in your body. Vaginal discharge becomes more profuse and stretchy with ovulation. Also your early morning (basal) body temperature changes with a dip and then a rise after ovulation has taken place.