Timing Sex

How to figure out when you’re ovulating

The first step to boosting your chances of conceiving naturally is to make sure you have a handle on when you are ovulating. Most women typically ovulate 14 days before their next period starts. If you have a regular cycle length of 28 days, you will ovulate mid-cycle or 14 days after day one of your previous period. If your cycle is usually longer, say 34 days, ovulation occurs around 20 days after day one of a period - not mid-cycle.

If you’re unsure of which days in your cycle you ovulate, you can type some key information into our handy ovulation calculator over on the right handside of this page and we’ll tell you the most likely dates you will next ovulate and therefore which are your best days to conceive.

Some women know when they are ovulating from changes in their body and the way they feel. Some typical signs are breast soreness, heavier and more opaque vaginal discharge and a feeling of tightness in your abdomen. However, many women experience no noticeable symptoms.

Basal body temperature (BBT)

If you've been trying for a little while with no success, a slightly more precise way to pinpoint when you're ovulating and therefore your best time to conceive is to track your temperature. Essentially, your temperature rises slightly (just a quarter to half a degree), two days after you ovulate. While that’s obviously not much use to you for that particular cycle, a few months; worth of that information can show if your cycle is regular and therefore help predict your best day for conception.

When should we be having sex?

You may not know this, but sperm can survive inside a woman for three or four days after ejaculation. If you plan to have regular sex (two to three times a week) around ovulation there is a good chance that there will be some sperm there to meet your egg when it arrives (it takes the egg between 12 and 24 hours to make its way through the fallopian tube after ovulation).

The absolute best chance of conception comes when a couple have sex one to two days before ovulation and one day after.

Need more help?

If you have tried tracking your temperature and ovulation and it’s still not happening, a Genea Oxford Fertility Specialist can organise for a more accurate and clinical method of tracking. Just call our Fertility Nurse and she can help you out.