How Many Days Does it Take to Get Pregnant During Ovulation?

In order for this to take place, a woman needs to be in the fertile window of her reproductive cycle. This indicates that ovulation is either very close or that she has already reached it. Ovulation is the point in each woman’s menstrual cycle at which an egg is released from the ovary. After being released, an egg has a window of between 12 and 24 hours during which it can be fertilized.

It’s possible, even though the odds aren’t very good. If you don’t use any form of birth control and you have sexual activity at any point during your menstrual cycle, you run the risk of becoming pregnant at any time, even if it’s right in the middle of or right after your period.

It is also possible to become pregnant even if you have never had a period before, even while you are experiencing your very first period, or immediately following your very first sexual encounter.

There is no such thing as a “safe” time of the month during which a person can engage in sexual activity without the use of contraception and not run the risk of becoming pregnant.

However, there are points in your menstrual cycle when you are at your most fertile, and it is during these times that you have the greatest chance of becoming pregnant.

When are you more likely to conceive?

We’re talking about the ‘fertile window’ – the days in a woman’s menstrual cycle when pregnancy is possible. The ‘fertile window’ depends on the length of the menstrual cycle, which varies among women.

The ‘fertile window’ is the day an egg is released from the ovary (ovulation) and the five days beforehand. Having sex (intercourse) during this time gives you the best chance of getting pregnant.

Ovulation Calculator

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  • What is an ovulation calculator and how does it help you get pregnant?This ovulation calculator or ovulation calendar can help you work out your most fertile time. These are the days you are most likely to get pregnant.It can also estimate your due date if you do become pregnant during your next fertile days.Others ways to help you work out when you’re ovulating:
  • Notice changes in vaginal mucusA few days before ovulation, you may notice your vaginal mucus becomes clear, slick and slippery, and feels a bit like egg white.This is a sign that ovulation is about to happen. It’s the best time to have sex, as sperm travel more easily in this kind of mucus.
  • Use an ovulation predictor kit
  • Facts about timingOvulation is when a mature egg is released from the ovary. The egg then moves down the fallopian tube where it can be fertilised. If sperm are in the fallopian tube when the egg is released, there is a good chance that the egg will be fertilised, creating an embryo, which can grow into a baby.Pregnancy is technically only possible if you have sex during the five days before ovulation or on the day of ovulation. But the most fertile days are the three days leading up to and including ovulation. Having sex during this time gives you the best chance of getting pregnant.By 12-24 hours after ovulation, a woman is no longer able to get pregnant during that menstrual cycle because the egg is no longer in the fallopian tube.There’s almost no chance of getting pregnant if you have sex before or after the fertile window (but if you’re not trying to get pregnant, don’t rely on this – contraception is your best option!).
  • How to know when you’re ovulatingKnowing when you ovulate can help you plan for sex at the right time and improve your chance of getting pregnant.  You can keep track of your menstrual cycles on a chart, in a diary, or on a free period-tracker app on your smartphone.  To work out the length of your menstrual cycle, record the first day you start bleeding (first day of your period). This is day 1. The last day of your cycle is the day before your next period begins.

Myth busting


A woman can get pregnant any time of the month.FACT

A woman can only get pregnant on a few days during her menstrual cycle.


Because eggs and sperm only live for a short time:

  • Sperm live for around five days. 
  • Eggs can only be fertilised for around 24 hours (one day) after being released from the ovary. 

Eggs and sperm need to come together at the right time for fertilisation to happen to create an embryo.

Getting the timing right

If you’re trying to get pregnant, timing is everything. Dr Karin Hammarberg explains how to work out when you are ovulating and the right time to have sex to improve your chance of pregnancy.

  • What are the chances?Having sex as close as possible to the time of ovulation increases the chance of pregnancy.If a woman has sex six or more days before she ovulates, the chance she will get pregnant is virtually zero.If she has sex five days before she ovulates, her probability of pregnancy is about 10 percent.If she has sex on the day of ovulation, or the two days before, the chance of getting pregnant is around 30 percent.  These are average figures and depend on a woman’s age.

When does preconception health begin?

Professor Sarah Robertson, Director of Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide, highlights the key time before pregnancy that your health is most important to ensure your child has the best start to life.

How to know you are ovulating

Kerry Hampton, a registered nurse and fertility specialist, discusses the importance of fertility awareness, and how to determine your fertile window to improve your chances of conceiving.

Understanding your menstrual cycle

Your menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period and continues up to the first day of your next period.

You’re most fertile at the time of ovulation (when an egg is released from your ovaries), which usually occurs 12 to 14 days before your next period starts. This is the time of the month when you’re most likely to get pregnant.

It’s unlikely that you’ll get pregnant just after your period, although it can happen. It’s important to remember that sperm can sometimes survive in the body for up to 7 days after you have sex.

This means it may be possible to get pregnant soon after your period finishes if you ovulate early, especially if you have a naturally short menstrual cycle.

You should always use contraception when you have sex if you don’t want to become pregnant.

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