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When is the best time to conceive?
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Yvette Smith, MD, MPH posted:
When am I likely to conceive? What days should I have sex?

These are questions I get asked almost on a daily basis in the office. The quick answer is, the days right before and including the day you ovulate. The natural follow-up question is when do you ovulate?

There are lots of tools you can buy to help you predict ovulation but let's talk about the low tech answer. Most women ovulate 2 weeks before their next period starts. So you have to look backwards every month. If my period starts today, I can be fairly sure I ovulated 2 weeks ago. If my cycles are regular (and I can guess within a couple of days when my next cycle is coming), I can predict when I will ovulate this month as well.

First, you want to look back over your last few month and see how long you cycles last. We count from the beginning of one cycle to the beginning of the next cycle (it's very important to include the number of days you bleed in this number or the count will be wrong). So what did you get? Most of us will get a range, for example: 26-28 days or 28 to 30 days. Now take that number and subtract 14. For example, if I had 26-28 days, I subtracted 14 and now I have 12-14 days. So, most months I will ovulate somewhere between cycle days 12 and 14 (cycle day 1 is always the first day you begin bleeding that month). To summarize, if my cycles are 30 days long, I ovulate on day 16. If 32 days long, then ovulation on day 18. If 24 days long, ovulation on day 10.

Since we are most fertile the days leading up to ovulation, in my example of ovulating between days 12 and 14, I would want to have sex more frequently beginning around cycle day 7 but especially around days 10 through 15. How frequently between days 10 and 15? At least every other day but even daily would be fine. No worries about decreasing fertility by having intercourse too frequently for most men. But be reasonable, we don't want this to become a chore!

So any surprises about the best time to conceive? Are your cycles as regular as you thought? Has your timing been off? Can't wait to hear from you.
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Adayhuff responded:
ive been having my period around the same time every month, but this last month i got it earliy so it messed me all up! and i really want to get pregnant. ive been trying for about 3 months now and its just not working. what should i do????
 
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Lalashine replied to Adayhuff's response:
That happened to me last month also! So frustrating.
 
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Yvette Smith, MD, MPH replied to Adayhuff's response:
It is frustrating. Just when everything seems to be making sense, your period comes a little early or a little late. It happens to everyone so don't get discouraged.

Here are the numbers we use. About 25% of normally fertile couples will conceive during any given month (even if the timing is perfect). About 50% of couples will conceive within 3 months and 70% of couples will conceive within 6 months.

Aren't those numbers crazy? But think about it. If you did not want to be pregnant, would you take a 25% chance of conceiving? Absolutely not, 25% sounds high in that situation, you would use some form of birth control to avoid pregnancy. But once you're ready to try, 25% sounds low doesn't it?

If you are under 35, we generally recommend trying for pregnancy for a year (since 90% of normally fertility couples will conceive within a year). If you are over 35, we recommend trying for a 6 months.

Certainly if you or your partner have medical concerns or health issues that you think may be impacting your fertility, you want to speak with your physician now about your own situation.
 
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Starla_94 responded:
I found charting to work really well.. First of all if helps you keep track, and allow you to have evidence and cycle comparisons to assist not only you but your doc as well..

There are lots of tools out there online or even just printing a paper and manually drawing on it each month..

Since my first M/C i started charting to determine Ovulation and key pin point.. we've been "not preventing for almost a year" but not officially trying till after my M/C

I do all of it.. I temp, i Chart, I check Cervical Mucus (CM) and CP (Cervical Position) as wel as use OPKs (ovulation Preditor Kits)

I would suggest if your first starting off trying.. and want to help determing when your ovulating.. To montior at least your CM and your Temps.. You can get a cheap BBT thermometer just about anywhere for under 10 bucks..

I use Fertility Friends charting tools. See my Charts Below.. you can see i Ovulated around CD 15 each month except this cycle i O'd on the 14th.. Had i NOT been monitoring it.. I would of Missed it..

I love the OPK's cause they tell me my PEAK and then I watch my temp for a Spike to stay up for at least 3 days to confirm when i ovulated..

My first month of OPKS i used the cheapy piac strips until i was closer to the 12th day and theni used Digital ones as the strips were harder to read a positive on.. you can view positive and negatives of varios opks on the Fertiliy Friend site i use as well... Anway.. now theat i know when i just use the digitals around Day 12 13 till i get my positive.. since these are more pricey..

Be prepared to chart and temp for a month to two so you can start seeing patterns several charts are needed.. thisdoesn't mean you can't still "Try to get PG" but in the meantime something to help you key target those Prime Days.

My hubby wasn't up for the every other day all month thing.. or every day on week 2 and 3 of my cycle (i'm a 29/30 day cycle) SO timing the key days for me was what i needed..

Charting can help you determin if your have a Luteal Phase Defect (short Post O cycle)which can cause issues getting or staying PG.. the site i use walks you through all the stuff and information you need for charting.. as well.. even if you chose to do it on paper.. FF is free for the basic so its worth a check out feel free to view my charts below..

http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/bd667
 
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fiannakyn replied to Starla_94's response:
another Fertility friend user here! http://www.fertilityfriend.com/homea141b

Charting helped me show my doc I was not ovulating at all. I only listed the ovaltory charts on my home page, but I have ton more that are annovlatory.

FF.com is also based on the book "Taking Charge of Your Fertility"
 
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Yvette Smith, MD, MPH replied to Starla_94's response:
Lots of great information, thank you for sharing. My one warning would be that most couples want to consider themselves at risk for pregnancy for several days before ovulation. If you plan on having sex a couple of times in those few days, it will not matter if your ovulation is off a day or two, you'll be in the right interval.

All of this depends on having fairly regular cycles. If your cycles vary by more than a couple of days, you really should review this information with your physician.

I rarely recommend the ovulation machine (because of the price) but it can be very helpful if couples that are frequently apart (long distance relationships) or for those who are infrequently sexually active. Even then, we're looking at having at having a precise 2-4 days window.
 
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Yvette Smith, MD, MPH replied to fiannakyn's response:
Women are often surprised to learn that they can be having periods but not be ovulating. The more irregular your periods, the more suspicious we would be that you may be ovulating irregularly or not all.
 
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fiannakyn replied to Starla_94's response:
starla!!!! Congrats!! I just checked your ff chart. HH9 months!!
 
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Yvette Smith, MD, MPH replied to fiannakyn's response:
Congratulations as well.
 
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24sdmm replied to Yvette Smith, MD, MPH's response:
my husband and i have been trying to concieve for over a year now. i've been pregnant twice. the first time was he pased away. 5 years later i had a little healthy girl. now that we are tryng again i havent been getting pregnant. sometimes i get a PO test on day 14 of my cycle. but last month i didnt get PO test till day 21. and i'm day 18 this month and still havent had a PO test. am i less likely to get pregnant if i ovulate late? and is normal?
 
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Yvette Smith, MD, MPH replied to 24sdmm's response:
The answer depends on what else is going on with your cycle. Is your cycle length varying as well or is it staying constant? Are there any other changes in your overall health? Take as much information as possible to your gynecologist and review it together. Take your ovulation test results and your cycle lengths and sit down and put the pieces together.

Most women have a period about 2 weeks after they ovulate. We wonder if shorter intervals indicated a progesterone deficiency. Again, the best answer it to take all of this information you have been gathered and look it over with your gynecologist.
 
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Butterslove responded:
Hello,

Well here is my question. I misscarried my first little angel 3 months into my pregnancy and now me and my husband want to try again. I've been monitoring my cycle and it is allways been 35 days in lenght. I did the math as mosted doctors have told me and it seems as though I ovulate on the 21st day of each cycle.

I'm not sure if I am calculating this correctly? We've been trying for a while now and still nothing.
 
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Yvette Smith, MD, MPH replied to Butterslove's response:
I'm so sorry for your loss. Three months of pregnancy is such a short time to have had your angel in your life.

You have done the math correctly. If your cycles are 45 days in length, then you should be ovulating around day 21. We would anticipate your most fertile time to be beginning around day 14 but peaking closer to day 14 (or so, we don't ever want to get too precise because every month can vary by a little bit).

If you haven't done it already, you might try doing an ovulation kit to confirm this timing. If things don't make sense, take the information to your physician to review. Sometimes we draw a progesterone level about a week before we expect your period to confirm ovulation (if there is a question).

I know I sound like a broken record, but has anything changed since your last pregnancy? Gained weight? Lost weight? Started a medicine or supplement? Stopped a medicine or supplement? How long have you been trying to conceive? More than 6 months? More than 12 months?
 
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sarahjoy128 responded:
Here's my issue. I am the proud mother of 2 healthy boys (6&2) and never had a bit of trouble conceiving. In fact, it was quite the opposite. However, after my 2 yr old, I got a Paraguard IUD and kept it for 1 year. My OBGYN had to remove it using the assistance of an ultrasound (the string went missing) and discovered that I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and said that it may be difficult for me to ever conceive again. This was discovered in June. I had been charting my periods since February anyway because I've never had regular periods for as long as I can remember. I manually draw calenders and fill them in accordingly. It seems that my cycle will go for about 29-31 days for 3 months or so, then go to 40 days for a month- then go back to 29-31 days. Does this mean I'm not ovulating? I keep record of when I menstruate and for how long, when we have sex, cycle dates and all that but I still don't know if I'm ovulating. I feel as though when I wasn't trying, I got pregnant at the mere thought of a baby. But now that I am trying, it's turning into rocket science! Please help!


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