Your family doctor may tell you to have sex two weeks after your menstruation cycle to improve the possibility of pregnancy. While this advice could work for most women, it may not work as some women ovulate around day 10, due to their shorter menstrual cycles.
Despite common belief, some women may ovulate before or after the second week of their cycles. And understanding your ovulation pattern is important to achieve pregnancy because egg and sperm can only meet if they meet. If you miss the ovulation, you may have less chance of success.
It doesn’t necessarily mean we need to have sex at the correct moment, or even the actual day of ovulation, to achieve pregnancy. Pregnancy rates are similar whether if a couple performs sexual activities two days before and after the ovulation, so there are four days on which you have a good chance of achieving pregnancy. Many women religiously mark their calendar at the beginning or the end of their menstruation to accurately determine the periods. They can be surprised when the periods start too early, due to the irregular cycle.
If you tend to have regular period, it should be convenient for you to determine when you’re ovulating. For those who are irregular and/or even disorganized, it could take you one month or sometimes more to determine when you are ovulating. Don’t be afraid, though; our body has ways of giving us a clue when an ovulation draws near, and even women with the most irregular periods have ways to figure it out.
Many women ovulate two weeks before the beginning their menstrual cycle. So with a standard cycle of 28 days, it is likely that you ovulate at day 14; however if the cycles are 24 days long, the ovulation should be around day 10. Women with longer cycles 33 days, may not ovulate until day 20. This is the reason why, we tend to easily miss the peak of our fertility; most women are irregular and they may experience ovulation on different days. To find out when you are most likely to have an ovulation, you should keep track of the monthly menstrual cycles. So you will know when you’re ovulating and when combined with quick observations of fertility signs, you can have greater chance for success.
Luckily, you don’t have to copulate at the exact same day of ovulation to achieve pregnancy, both egg and sperm have a short lifespan but it still allows them to meet despite your bad timing. Eggs have shorter lifespan than sperms; in some part of women body, sperm can last for five days, while three days is more common. So there is a chance that you can get pregnant by having sex before the ovulation, as the sperms are waiting inside the woman body for a fertile egg to appear.
Unfortunately, eggs die rather quickly; they live only one day or so. It means that if you miss it for only a couple of hours, there is no chance for the sperm to fertilize the egg as it already goes bad. A proper timing is essential for pregnancy, but you don’t need to copulate at the right day or even the right hour.
It’s a good idea to let sperm waiting for a mature egg by having sexual activity every two days until the projected ovulation ends, or if you want to improve your chance you can do it all month, if you are feeling particularly energetic! There are no evidences that too much sexual activities decrease your chances of getting pregnant, although it does affect the sperm count. It is important to understand that although timing is a necessary step, you don’t need to spend the whole month staring at the calendar, wondering if you are ovulating today.
You could also observe cervical mucus as it changes consistency when an ovulation is near. Right after the end of your period, cervical mucus becomes very thick and it may prevent sperms to penetrate it. It protects your uterus from bad bacteria that may be present in the vagina. When you about to ovulate, cervical mucus is thinner, stretchy, and more slippery, to help sperm swim easily inside the uterus. Additionally, all the lubrication helps to make sexual activity more enjoyable.
Other than becoming stretchy and thinner, cervical mucus in ovulating women is more alkaline to allow sperms live longer. With a product called TesTape, you can check the alkalinity or acidity of cervical mucus; it is sold as a roll of yellow paper. You can tear it off and put it at the end of the cervix. After awhile you can see whether the paper turns color. If you are four or five days before ovulation, it will turn to olive color and then turn blue or dark green when the cervical mucus is at its most alkaline state, the perfect time for a sexual activity. After the ovulation, you cervical mucus again becomes cloudy or white in color and thicker again.