If a female engages in intercourse around the time that she is ovulating, she is more likely to get pregnant. Therefore, if a couple is having unprotected intercourse, they should be most “careful” during the 5 days leading up to ovulation and the 1 day (24 hours) after it. This is because sperm can live inside the female body for up to 5 days, so even if a woman does not ovulate for another 4 days after having sex, there could still be sperm living inside of her that can fertilize the egg when it is released.
Timing ovulation can be tricky as it may not always happen at the same time each month. When people try to avoid pregnancy by figuring out when they are most fertile, this is known as the fertility awareness method of birth control.
In general, research has shown that for most women who consistently have periods every 26-32 days, conception is most likely to occur during days 8-19. When counting the days of a menstrual cycle, a woman should count the day that her period starts as Day 1.
- Fertility Chart iPhone Apps -- natural family planning and fertility assistance is not far away!