Some women might have misconceptions about getting pregnant, including confusion between ovulation and being fertile. Below, learn more about these two concepts and how you will know when your chances of conceiving are at their highest.
What is ovulation?
Ovulation happens when a mature egg is released from one of the ovaries and moves to the fallopian tube where it can be fertilized by sperm. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), once released, an egg can survive in the fallopian tube for 24 hours.
If fertilized, the egg (embryo) moves to the uterus then attaches itself to the uterine wall or the endometrium. If unfertilized, the egg is reabsorbed into the body, and the womb lining eventually leaves the body as a period. According toTommy’s, it typically takes 10 to 16 days for a menstrual cycle to start after ovulation.
Ovulation doesn’t occur monthly for women who deal with conditions that interfere with ovulation like endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
When are you at your most fertile?
The ACOG says that pregnancy is most possible if you have sex anywhere from five days before ovulation until one day after ovulation since sperm can survive in a woman’s body for up to five days.
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Those days before and after an egg is released are referred to as your ‘fertile window.’ It’s crucial to determine your fertile window because this will help you know when your chances of conceiving are highest.
Contrary to what many women may believe, just because you’re ovulating does not mean it will be easier for you to conceive. Verywell Familypoints out that while ovulation is essential to getting pregnant, some factors can inhibit conception, such as if your fallopian tubes are blocked, which will prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. Unfortunately, women with blocked fallopian tubes typically don’t experience any symptoms.
Fertility problems in both the woman and the man may also hinder conception, but these issues usually need testing to be detected.
Click here to learn more about how to determine your fertile window and when you are ovulating.