Trying to conceive (TTC)? Work out when you're most fertile and when is the best time to get pregnant, to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.
All you need to do to use our ovulation calendar is put in the first day of your last period.
Then we need to know the average length of your menstrual cycle so we can calculate the window of time when you're most fertile. While the average cycle lasts 28 days, anything from 22 to 36 days is perfectly normal, so pop your number in and press 'submit'.
What does the ovulation calendar mean and when are your most fertile days?
The asterisks show the day you're ovulating. And all those days that are ticked? That's when you're at your most fertile, so this is the best time to get pregnant.
The days shaded blue are the days your period is due – and a great tally for working out when it's time to take a pregnancy test.
Experts give their tips to maximise your chances:
How soon after coming off the pill can you get pregnant?
6 Factors that increase your chance of having twins or multiples
How to get pregnant - FAST
How to boost your chance of conceiving
Now you know when you're most fertile, make the ovulation calculator results work for you and figure out what you need to do to boost your chances of conceiving no matter where you are in your menstrual cycle.
Your period’s due - week one
If you've got your period (when you were really hoping it wouldn't happen) stay positive. Just think, if you do conceive this month, this will be considered week one of your pregnancy. Right now, your body is shedding a combination of the lining of your womb (called the endometrium) and actual blood. You won't know whether your egg has been fertilised for another month, but can still do things to focus on your fertility.
But if you think there could be some bad habits that are stopping you getting pregnant, this is a great week to make those healthy resolutions, including taking folic acid, which has been proven to protect your future baby from spina bifida, and getting your body as healthy as it can be. Focus on eating a balanced diet, with lots of nutrients, including zinc, and avoiding too much caffine (no more than three cups of coffee a day). Now is also the time to shake off those vices - if you smoke, try to quit, and cut down on alcohol.
And if your period isn't showing up? While it's never great to obsess over the early signs of pregnancy and when to take a pregnancy test, being aware of them is a good idea.
You’re almost in your most fertile week - week two
Focusing on what you both eat in this week will help ensure you're on top form as you come into your most fertile time. Find out the foods that boost his sperm count and help your fertility.
Now is the time to turn down the heat, literally! Discourage your partner from taking steamy hot showers or soaking in a hot bath, as this can affect sperm quality. It's also a good idea to turn off your electric blanket, and stop sitting with your laptop on your lap. It might sound crazy, but studies have shown prolonged and excessive heat can actually slow down sperm collection.
Remember, that TTC sex shouldn't just be about that most fertile week. It's important to keep the connection alive all through the month so sex never feels like a chore. We've got some great tips on the best sex positions for getting pregnant. And if your heart's set on having a little girl, it may be an old wive's tale but there is a theory that conceiving before your fertile week could help.
You’re in your most fertile week - week three
You're most fertile, so now's the perfect time to enjoy plenty of baby making sex - this is the best time to get pregnant. And while, yes, you really want to get pregnant right now, remember you want a baby with him, so it's worth making sure TTC doesn't take over your relationship.
This week, hopefully, your partner's sperm will meet your egg and your baby will start to form. Our menstrual cycles really are incredible, and this week, your levels of lutenising hormones (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) will rise, stimulating the production of follicles in your ovaries. Usually one follicle will become larger than the others and will produce the egg. That follicle will also start to produce oestrogen - the clever hormone that tells your body to start thickening the lining of the womb for implantation.
It might sound as simple as egg - meet sperm, but your partner's sperm actually have to make a ten-hour journey from your vagina, through your cervix and up to the fallopian tube where it can hopefully penetrate your egg. If you're having sex on your most fertile days, hopefully in the 24 hours after the egg is released, one of the 250 million sperm your partner will have released will burrow through the egg's outer membrane.
You’re just out of your most fertile week - week four
Obviously trying to conceive is top of your agenda right now, but keep in mind that your life isn't all about getting pregnant – and that you're not the only couple going through this. The 10 things you only know if you're trying to conceive should really ring true.
That said, if you're needing an excuse to have a health overhaul, this could increase your chances of conceiving, too. If you've decided to take your basal temperature to use alongside the ovulation calculator, now's the time you should be seeing a change.
The good news is, if you have had sex on the right days, hopefully, week four could mean you've concieved! Your egg will now travel from the fallopian tube to your uterus and divide into 16 identical cells.
I have irregular periods? How can I work out when I'm ovulating?
Of course, if your periods are not regular, using our ovulation calculator gets a little harder. We recommend going to speak to your GP about your periods if you've been trying for a while, just to be sure this is not affecting your fertility.
For more information and support, visit our dedicated Trying To Conceive channel.
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