When am I most fertile?

Find out when you are most fertile during your cycle, how your 28-day cycle works, plus how to tell when you're ovulating with our Ovulation Calendar

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When you’re trying to conceive, knowing when you’re most fertile is super important, and helps give you the best chance of getting pregnant.

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You’re most fertile when you’re ovulating, and typically, ovulation usually occurs about 14 days after your period.

If your cycle is longer or shorter than 28 days, the time frame of when you’re fertile will be later or earlier (accordingly). So, to know when YOU are most fertile, it helps to understand your own cycle.

To help you out a bit, in this article, we’ll explain:

Want to know more about when you’re most fertile? Keep going…

How your monthly cycle works

Your cycle is mostly controlled by the hormones oestrogen, progesterone, follicle–stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH). A peak in LH triggers ovulation.

Your body temperature drops and then rises just before ovulation. You are fertile for one day before the temperature drops, and for one day after it remains elevated.

Your cervical secretions go through a cycle of changes, too. As you approach your fertile period the secretions increase and become clearer, stretchy, and slippery ready to receive sperm for getting pregnant.

At ovulation, one follicle ruptures, releases its egg, then becomes a structure called the corpus luteum. This produces the hormone progesterone, which is essential for the development of an embryo. If the egg is not fertilized, however, the corpus luteum shrinks.

After ovulation, under the influence of oestrogen and progesterone, the endometrium (lining of the uterus) becomes thick and spongy to receive the egg. If the egg isn’t fertilized, the endometrium is shed at your next menstrual period.

Your most fertile days during your cycle

Here is an approximate fertility guide based on a 28-day cycle to help you get pregnant.

Don’t forget: there’s a slight chance of pregnancy throughout your cycle as sperm can live inside a woman for as long as 7 days.

Day 1 – 5

Development: Menstrual period
Hormone Levels: Normal, FSH slight increase
Body Temperature: Normal 
Cervical Secretions: Period (usually no secretions)

Day 6 – 9

Development: Relatively infertile phase
Hormone Levels: Normal, Oestrogen begins to rise, FSH dips back
Body Temperature: Normal
Cervical Secretions: Dry, no secretions

Day 10 – 12

Development: Relatively fertile
Hormone Levels: Oestrogen rises steadily
Body Temperature: Begins to drop
Cervical Secretions: Moist, sticky, white, cloudy

Day 13 – 15

Development: FERTILE
Hormone Levels: Strong rise in LH, FSH
Body Temperature: Drops and rises sharply 
Cervical Secretions: Wet, slippery, stretchy, clear

Follicle/Egg Peak fertile period – when the egg is released from the ovary.

Day 16 – 19

Development: Relatively fertile 
Hormone Levels: LH, FSH drops back to normal, oestrogen levels out, progesterone rises
Body Temperature: Remains slightly higher than normal
Cervical Secretions: Moist, sticky, white, cloudy

Day 20 – 28

Development: Infertile phase
Hormone Levels: Oestrogen and Progesterone stay fairly high, eventually drop. 
Body Temperature: Steadily drops back to normal
Cervical Secretions: Dry, few secretions

Try our ovulation calculator

Find out when your next ovulation day is by using our ovulation calculator. Handy for all, but especially nifty if your cycle’s waaaay off 28 days. 

The calculator will show you the 6 days per cycle that give you the best chance of getting pregnant, so do make a note!

All you’ll need to find out is the date of the 1st day of your last period, and record how long your cycle usually is…

Find out when you’re ovulating with our ovulation calculator

Images: Getty Images

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