Lesson 26 – Maximize Your Odds of Conception

Lesson Objectives: 

  • Understand how various techniques can increase your chances of conception.
  • Learn what tools can make it easier to determine ovulation.

Major Points in this Lesson: 

  • Timing intercourse properly can help maximize your odds of conception.
  • Your fertility window is the amount of time in which you are most likely to get pregnant.
  • Tracking your basal body temperature (BBT) and other fertility symptoms can make it easy to target your fertile days.

When you’re finally ready to have a baby, the waiting process can be highly daunting. Not every woman will become pregnant the first month she tries, and for some women it takes months or even years to conceive. While there is no way to guarantee conception, there are ways to increase your odds of becoming pregnant.

Timing of Intercourse

Intercourse timing is one of the most important factors when trying to conceive. Each month, you have a short window of time in which you are fertile. If you fail to get the timing right, you will need to wait until your next cycle before your next window opens. By knowing your most fertile days, as well as your ovulation date, you can ensure that intercourse occurs during your fertile window.

On average, a woman’s fertile window spans from the day of ovulation and the five days preceding it. While every woman’s cycle is unique, ovulation often occurs 12 to 16 days prior to the start of the menstrual cycle. Keeping track of your menstrual cycle can help you determine your unique fertile window. 

You can narrow down your ovulation date even further by tracking your basal body temperature (BBT). Most women have a BBT of between 96 and 98 degrees Fahrenheit. When your temperature rises slightly (usually a four- to eight-tenths of a degree) it generally means that you have ovulated in the past day or two. To get accurate results, take your temperature as soon as you wake up and before getting out of bed in the morning. Use a quality in-ear thermometer that you leave next to your bed.

There are also other ways to increase your odds of conception. Before and during pregnancy, try to remain as healthy as possible. If you have existing health problems, talk to your doctor about how to better control your condition and associated symptoms before trying to get pregnant. Certain lifestyle changes can make it easier to conceive, such as getting to a healthy weight, eliminating alcohol or cigarettes, improving diet and exercise habits, and cutting back on caffeine. Most women will conceive within one year of actively trying. If you don’t get pregnant within a year, consult with your physician.