If you are trying to conceive, you want to maximize your chances each month. According to an article by Dr. Marjorie Greenfield on DrSpock.com, couples have a 30 percent chance of conceiving each month. There are few things you can do to increase your odds of getting pregnant.
The only time during the month a woman can conceive is around the time of ovulation, which is when the woman's body releases an egg. Knowing when a woman ovulates is key to getting pregnant. Ovulation happens midway through a woman's menstrual cycle, with day one being the first day of the menstruation. To figure out when you ovulate, you first need to know how long your cycle is. Most women have cycles that are 28 to 30 days long, but normal cycles range from 21 to 35 days, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To figure when you ovulate, take the total days of your cycle and subtract 14. For example, if you have a 30-day cycle and subtract 14 you get 16, which means you most likely ovulate on cycle day 16.
Your body also gives you cues to let you know when you are preparing to ovulate. First, changes in cervical mucus signal when your body is preparing to release an egg. When you are approaching ovulation, your cervical mucus becomes slippery and clear, resembling egg whites. This egg white cervical mucus lasts about four days and during that time the woman is the most fertile.
Ovuation can also be detected by tracking the woman's basal body temperature. Basal body temperature is a woman's resting body temperature. To track her basal body temperature, a woman needs to take her temperature at the same time every day before any movement. At ovulation, a woman's basal body temperature rises by 0.4 to 0.8 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Knowing when the woman is ovulating helps you to time intercourse to increase chances of conception. A woman is most fertile two to three days before ovulation and for 12 to 24 hours after ovulation. Sperm can live in a woman's body for three days, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. So sperm can be waiting in the woman's body for the egg to be released. And after an egg is released it lives for about 12 to 24 hours. Dr. Greenfield recommends having sexual intercourse every two days around the time of ovulation so that sperm has had time to replenish and is fresh, according to an article on DrSpock.com.
For the Man
In addition to the egg, the other major component for conception is a man's sperm. To maximize sperm count and health, the man should avoid heat in the testicular region, such as baths, laptops on the lap and tight underwear. The use of alcohol and drugs can also reduce sperm count and health so avoiding these things while trying to conceive can increase your chances.