If you’re trying to have a baby, it’s natural to wonder “When am I most fertile?” Understanding your own reproductive functions can help you gain control of your fertility journey.
From ovulation to your age and reproductive health, there are many factors that can influence your fertility. We’re here to guide you through it all so that you can make informed decisions about family planning.
What is Ovulation?
Ovulation plays a major role in fertility for women. In this process, a mature egg is released from one of your ovaries. The egg then travels through your fallopian tube and into the uterus. During this journey, the egg may or may not be fertilized by sperm. Should the egg not be fertilized, the lining of your uterus will shed during menstruation. However, if the egg is fertilized, it can implant on the uterine lining and grow into a pregnancy.
Women are already born with the eggs that will be released during ovulation. However, they only mature one at a time each month. Usually, during ovulation, only one egg is released from one of your ovaries. In the case of fraternal twins, two eggs ovulate at once.
How to Track Ovulation and Fertility
The few days before and after ovulation are when you are most fertile. So, if you’re hoping to get pregnant, it can be helpful to track your ovulation.
What Part of the Month Am I Most Fertile?
So, how soon are you fertile after your period? There’s a fairly simple answer for that. Generally, ovulation takes place about 11-14 days after you began your last period.
If you have sex within 3 or 4 days before ovulation and within 24 hours after ovulation, you give yourself the best chance to get pregnant. This is because eggs typically live 12-24 hours after ovulation. Sperm, on the other hand, can live up to five days in a woman’s reproductive tract. So, if you have sex in the days leading up to ovulation, the sperm can be waiting for the egg when it is released.
How to Track Ovulation
One way to track your ovulation is by keeping a calendar of your menstrual cycle. Try to keep track of how long your average cycle is over several months. The first day of your cycle is the day your period starts. When you have a sense of how long your cycle is, you can guess that about 12-16 days before you’re due to get your period is when you’ll most likely ovulate.
There are plenty of other tools you can use to track ovulation.
For example, you can:
- Use an ovulation calculator.
- Measure your basal body temperature and track it over time. During ovulation, your temperature will rise.
- Purchase an ovulation kit or fertility monitor. These kits can help you test your hormone levels. When these hormone levels rise, you’re ovulating.
- Observe your vaginal discharge. During your fertile window, the discharge will be either milky white or slippery and clear, similar in consistency to egg whites.
Factors That Affect Ovulation
Ovulation varies depending on how many days your cycle usually lasts. So, if you have a 30-day cycle, you may ovulate later into your cycle than if you have a 28-day cycle.
Other factors that can affect ovulation are stress, weight gain or loss, physical activity, and medications.
At What Age Am I Most Fertile?
Fertility does decline with age in both men and women. While men’s fertility begins to decline in their forties, women experience a decline sooner.
Generally, women are most fertile in their twenties and early thirties. However, after age 35, fertility drops off for most women, primarily due to declining egg quality.
So, how long should you try to conceive before seeing a doctor?
If you’re under the age of 35, see a doctor after trying to get pregnant for a year. However, if you’re over 35, see a doctor if you’ve been trying to conceive for six months with no success. If you’re over 40, we recommend you see a doctor right away for the best shot at pregnancy.
That said, fertility varies for each person depending on their reproductive health and not just age alone. From congenital conditions to ovulation abnormalities, many factors can influence your fertility. With the help of a knowledgeable doctor, you can assess your own fertility so that you can make informed decisions about growing your family.
What to Do If You’re Having Trouble Getting Pregnant
It can be very disheartening to realize month after month that you’re not pregnant. Up to 12% of women in the United States struggle with fertility. However, thanks to modern medicine, there are many cutting-edge treatments available that can help you reach your family goals.
For most people, the best place to get started is with an experienced OB/GYN or an established fertility practice.
Here at Kofinas Fertility Group, we’re thrilled to have played a role in helping many beautiful families grow. We offer a wide range of fertility treatments, ranging from evaluations to medications and surgeries, IVF, and more.
Your Fertility Journey
Now that you know when you're most fertile, you can time sex around ovulation for the best chance at getting pregnant. However, you also know that fertility is complex and many factors may influence your ability to conceive.
If you’re still having trouble getting pregnant, learn more about your fertility with the experts at Kofinas Fertility Group! We’re here to guide you wherever you are on your fertility journey. Contact us to schedule your consultation today.