When Is a Woman Most Fertile?

Most often a woman would like to know when she is most fertile because she is planning on getting pregnant. However, the reverse is often true as well! Sometimes a woman wants to know when she is most fertile in order not to get pregnant. In either case, it is necessary to understand the menstrual cycle in order to answer the question, when is a woman most fertile? Once you understand fertility in terms of menstruation you can take the necessary steps to get pregnant, or avoid getting pregnant, as the case may be. And from there, you can even try to naturally determine the sex of your baby naturally!

The Truth About Menstruation

For a great number of years it was held that because a woman’s menstrual cycle is approximately 28 days long that she was at her most fertile around the 14th day after the onset of her period. Actually, this isn’t always the case, although under ‘normal’ circumstances it should be. The truth about menstruation is that not all women ovulate at the same time in their cycle. Some women’s eggs drop into the fallopian tubes as soon as 8 or 10 days after ovulation while other women ovulate as late as one week prior to the onset of their periods. Because of this vast difference in the time of ovulation among women, it is necessary to accurately determine exactly where in the menstrual cycle you, personally, ovulate to increase your chances (or decrease!) of getting pregnant.

Understanding Ovulation

There are a number of ways to determine when a woman ovulates. Of course, ovulation is when the egg has dropped down from the ovary into the fallopian tube and this is the time when she is most fertile. The egg is sitting there waiting for the sperm to reach it. If this doesn’t happen, it starts dying and the body expels it through menstruation. Unfortunately, the egg won’t sit there for a long time waiting to be fertilized. The egg will live approximately 24 to 48 hours, 72 at best. However, keep in mind that this is not always the time to have intercourse! The sperm would never reach it on time. (This will be discussed in more detail a bit later.)

Best Methods for Determining Ovulation

Now then, many women take their basal temperature over a few months’ time to see when they are most fertile. A slight decrease in body temperature followed by a sharp increase signals ovulation. Basal temperatures should be taken every morning upon awakening and before the woman gets out of bed. There are also a number of OTC test kits on the market that test for increased amounts of luteinizing protein in the urine that can also help to determine when ovulation occurs. Also, there is a change in cervical mucus that comes about during ovulation. There is an increased amount of cervical discharge as well as a change in consistency. Any of these methods can be used, but for the most accurate results it is suggested that women use a combination of as many as possible.

A Woman’s Most Fertile Days

This is a question that seems to confuse the majority of people because the answer isn’t always as simple as determining the day during the month when ovulation occurs. If you are asking “When is a woman most fertile?” you need to understand that the egg is alive in the fallopian tube for just a short period of time. The most fertile days are during ovulation, but only if the sperm can get there in time to fertilize it! Consequently, the most fertile days are determined by coordinating the timing of the sperm cells reaching the egg! When trying to get pregnant, it is imperative to also understand how sperm cells travel and how long it takes them.

Fertility and Determining the Sex of the Baby

If you are trying to get pregnant with a specific gender, then take a moment to consider the journey of the sperm cells through the vagina and uterus to the fallopian tube. Male sperm cells swim much faster and are much stronger. However, they also don’t live as long as female sperm cells. So even though female sperm cells aren’t as strong and can’t swim as fast, they will live longer in the fallopian tube waiting for the egg to drop long after the males have died. Consequently, if you are trying to have a girl, consider the fact that it takes approximately three days for female sperm cells to make their journey whereas it only takes male sperm cells about two days. The end result is, if you want to have a female baby then have intercourse perhaps three to four days prior to ovulation and if you are looking to have a boy then it is best to have intercourse the day before ovulation and/or the day of ovulation. In this way you have the best odds for the sperm cells of the correct gender to reach an egg that is alive and waiting to be fertilized.

Aren’t you glad you asked when is a woman most fertile? It really isn’t as complicated as it sounds; it’s simply a matter of determining when the woman ovulates and from there understanding how long it takes sperm cells to reach the egg. While it isn’t guaranteed that you can predetermine the sex of your baby, and even if fertilization will take place, following the above suggestions can greatly increase the odds.


  1. nice and good article in simple layman's language where no complicated words are used

  2. Great, it helps!

  3. Great article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recommended Articles