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Fertility: Are There Certain Times To Be More Careful?

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Updated July 02, 2014

Fertility: Are There Certain Times To Be More Careful?
Photo Reprinted with Permission from DELC
Question: Fertility: Are There Certain Times To Be More Careful?
In order to become pregnant, a sperm must meet and fertilize an egg. An egg is only available for fertilization for about a 12-24 hour window each month – this is known as ovulation. Predicting ovulation can help you to figure out when you are most fertile and when are the certain times to be careful.
Answer:

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.

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