Men and woman have been having intercourse and reproducing for tens of thousands of years, but until recently, no one was aware that woman are only fertile for three days of their monthly cycle. Woman that want to conceive a child need to know the right time to have intercourse to improve the chances of conception. By paying attention to ovulation symptoms, such as breast tenderness, vaginal discharge, cramping, and possibly night sweats or hot flashes, to determine the days you are most fertile, you can increase or decrease the possibility of getting pregnant. However, beware that timing intercourse should not be a substitute for contraception and safe sex.
The Sperm and The Egg
Male sperm remain viable and capable of fertilizing an egg for up to 48 hours after sexual intercourse. Most women only release a single mature egg each month and it begins to degrade after about 12 hours and disintegrates completely in 24 hours.
Intercourse should take place before ovulation so viable sperm are present when the ovum is released. Since sperm are viable for up to four times longer than an ovum, sexual intercourse is most likely to result in conception during the 2 days before ovulation.
What Are The Signs of Ovulation?
Some women have no overt ovulation symptoms, but about half of all women experience abdominal discomfort or cramps that signal ovulation occurring. Other ovulation signs include light spotting, an increase in vaginal discharge, changes in the sense of taste or smell, breast tenderness and hot flashes and/or night sweats. For those of you who may not know, “spotting” is a term used to describe light bleeding that occurs when your menstrual cycle is not expected.
Some of these symptoms occur after ovulation so they are not reliable predictors of fertility. Keeping an ovulation calendar can help women find the right time to have intercourse if they want to become pregnant. Learn more here.
Basal Body Temperature
One of the ovulation signs that is found in all women of childbearing age is a change in basal body temperature. About two days before ovulation occurs, the basal body temperature drops slightly and then rises sharply after the ovary releases an egg.
The best way to predict a woman’s ovulation cycle is to keep a basal body temperature calendar for three or four months. Even if a woman’s cycle is not regular, a slight drop in basal body temperature may signal ovulation and the right time to have intercourse.
The Best Chance For Conception
Couples that are trying to have a child need to keep an ovulation calendar so they know the right time to have intercourse in order to conceive. The optimum time is the two days just prior to ovulation and the day that ovulation occurs.
It may be wise to refrain from intercourse for a couple of days before this window of fertility since frequent intercourse can deplete a man’s sperm count which, in turn, lowers the odds of a sperm fertilizing the ovum. The more sperm that is released during intercourse, the higher the chances of conception.
While some couples seem to get pregnant without any special effort, others have to plan the right time to have intercourse in order to get pregnant. If a couple has been trying to conceive using an ovulation calendar for more than 4 months, it may be time to see a doctor to find out if there are any physical problems which are interfering with conception, consider in vitro fertilization (IVF) or hormones to improve the chances of conception.