There is a common misconception that it is easy to become pregnant; people often think that if a woman has regular intercourse without birth control, she will soon conceive. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many couples. For most women, conception takes planning because they can only become pregnant during their fertile window.
What Is My Fertile Window?
The fertile window is a term used to describe the six-day period that ends on the day of ovulation. During this window, oocytes (eggs) and sperm are at their most viable. Studies indicate that women are most likely to become pregnant two to three days before ovulation (the last two to three days of their fertile window). Similar studies also indicate that the likelihood of conception begins to decline in the days following ovulation.
Does Age Impact My Fertile Window?
No; age doesn’t affect or shorten your fertile window (the optimal time in a woman’s cycle to achieve pregnancy), but age does impact your overall fertility. Women over 35 may have a more difficult time becoming pregnant because ovarian reserves decline with age. The viability of your eggs plays the most significant role in your ability to become pregnant. If you are over 35 and are having difficulty becoming pregnant, you may want to consult a fertility specialist.
Optimize Your Fertile Window
Peak fertility can vary significantly among women, even those with regular cycles. Determining your peak fertility by tracking your ovulation cycle has been popularized; ovulation detection kits (which measure the amount of luteinizing hormone in urine) have even become widely used tools for helping couples become pregnant. However, this is not always the most accurate method for determining fertility. Other factors can impact your chances of conceiving, such as the sperm count of your partner as well as the status of your uterus and Fallopian tubes.
The best way to optimize your fertile window is to have regular intercourse. Since peak fertility varies in the fertile window, the more often intercourse occurs during this window, the more likely conception will occur.
When to Be Concerned About Infertility
Determining infertility isn’t something you can do on your own. If you are younger than 35 years old and otherwise healthy, we advise seeing a fertility specialist after a year of trying to conceive. If you are 35 years or older and have been trying to become pregnant for over six months with no success, we advise consulting a fertility specialist. By scheduling a consultation with a fertility specialist, you can gain a better understanding of the cause of your infertility and learn about your options. A specialist can recommend a variety of treatments that can help you become pregnant. Regardless of your age, if your menstrual cycles are not regular, it is best to seek a fertility specialist.