9. Question: How can I identify my fertile window – or the best day to conceive?
Answer: Any Ob/Gyn will tell you that to best increase your odds of conceiving, you should make love regularly – at least 2 to 3 times a week – even when you do not necessarily believe you are fertile or near your ovulation day. Two explanations for that: The first is that ovulation can, on occasion, occur somewhat unexpectedly. Secondly, sperm can survive (under ideal conditions) for several days and even up to a week. Once you have that base of regular lovemaking covered, the next thing to do is identify your “fertile window” – that handful of days directly prior to (and the day of) ovulation. If you can isolate these key days, you’ll vastly boost the odds of conception for each discrete cycle.During this window of fertility, make love daily (barring any issues with sperm count). If your partner has sperm count issues, contact a doctor regarding possible solutions or a unique love-making schedule that will not tax sperm production. The timeframe for peak fertility is associated with the 24 hours following the moment you ovulate – and the two to three days anterior to that moment. Using any number of ovulation prediction devices (LH test kits, Monitors, Scopes, etc), you can pinpoint the start date for that baby-making window of opportunity. Because the egg can only live, at most, for a full day, timing intercourse after you ovulate will not help you conceive. Nevertheless, doctors always recommend that, when in doubt, you might as well play it safe and TTC.
Again, because sperm can survive a while in the vagina, it does not hurt to time intercourse on the safe side, so to speak. Even if you believe you are five days or so off from an expected ovulation date, it certainly does not hurt your odds to make love. Also, the presence of fertile-quality (or egg-white) cervical mucus not only tells you that you are nearing fertility, but that the very quality of this “fertile CM” will assist in protecting the sperm and extending sperm life-span. In effect, fertile cervical fluids should extend the fertile window by creating a “sperm-friendly” environment in your vagina. The longer the sperm can linger, the better!
Short of making love every two to three days throughout your cycle, the best way to identify your fertile window is to start a menstrual/ovulation calendar or bbt chart. Calculating when you ovulate is the key, so tracking bodily fertility symptoms (CM), ovulation cramps, bbt thermal shifts, and using OPKs, a fertility monitor, or a Fertile Focus (or an amalgam of testing techniques) offers a constellation of indicators and fertility chart facets for distilling that very best day to conceive.