Conception: What Point in My Cycle is Best for Conception?

When is the best point in my cycle to conceive a child?


The answer to this is really "it depends." First of all, it would be great to see a provider for a "preconception" visit. At that time, you can get a physical exam, a pap smear, a rubella titer and all the tests for sexually transmitted diseases.

Your provider can look at your calendar and see when you would be most fertile and describe fertile cervical mucus to you. You should also begin taking a folic acid supplement and be instructed in nutrition and hazards such as alcohol and smoking.

A general answer is that if you count the first day of your period as day one and, if you have regular periods every 28 to 30 days (counting from the first day of your period to first day of next), you should try every other day starting on day 12 to 16 or so.

In ideal conditions (ovulatory mucus and non-acidic pH), sperm live about 72 hours in the female, but the fertilizable life of the egg is only about 12 hours. Conception is more likely to result if intercourse takes place in the day or two before ovulation so everything is ready when the egg is in the correct place. In one study published recently in the "New England Journal of Medicine," no pregnancies occurred in the days after ovulation; instead, they resulted from live sperm waiting when ovulation occurred.

Try to read any of the many books out there on achieving a pregnancy, or use the Billings' method of family planning "in reverse." This method teaches you to recognize all the signs of fertility.

I hope all goes well for you.


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