Whether trying to conceive or avoiding an unplanned pregnancy, it is essential to know your menstrual cycle. 

Our body releases an egg during ovulation which can be fertilised by sperm. 

This article will discuss how to improve your chances of having a baby and can you get pregnant before ovulation.

Can Women Get Pregnant Outside The Fertility Window?

The first step to getting pregnant is understanding ovulation.

The “fertile window” refers to the time when pregnancy is possible. In most cases, an average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, and the fertile window lasts six days. 

But, it is vital to keep in mind that a woman’s menstrual cycle varies significantly from woman to woman. 

The timing of the fertile days, even in women with a typical menstrual cycle every month, is highly unpredictable as ovulation can take place on any day. 

The question that arises is whether it is possible to get pregnant when we are not ovulating? 

In short, yes! You can get pregnant before ovulation. 

This is because the timing of ovulation differs from woman to woman, and sperm lasts for several days in the body. 

Therefore, although unlikely, pregnancy can occur from unprotected sex at any time of a woman’s menstrual cycle. 

If you wish to avoid pregnancy, using contraception is a must as there is no “safe” time of the month to have sex without protection.

How To Effectively Calculate The Fertile Window?

Women can calculate their fertile window by tracking their cycles with the help of ovulation tracking applications, measuring their basal body temperature, and observing their cervical fluid, i.e. check out kegg.

Using an ovulation predictor kit and measuring their basal body temperature also helps women gather more accurate results. Let’s take a deep dive into the different phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle.

What Happens Before And After Ovulation?

Ovulation occurs mainly between the 11th and 21st day of the menstrual cycle, which means 14 days before a woman’s next period. 

The first day of the period marks the beginning of a woman’s menstrual cycle. During ovulation, an egg gets released from the ovaries and moves down from the uterine tube towards the uterus. 

An egg survives 1 to 2 days after ovulation, although a sperm lasts in the female reproductive system for more than four days after sex. 

Therefore, having sex one day after or five days before ovulation may result in pregnancy. 

A study conducted in 2019 discovered that women who have sex without protection one day before ovulation have the highest chance of getting pregnant.

What Are The Chances Of Getting Pregnant On Your Period?

As a woman, you must have heard that it is not impossible to get pregnant on your period. 

Although the chances are next to none, there is still a possibility to get pregnant on your period. 

For example, if a woman has a shorter menstrual cycle of around 21 to 24 days, having unprotected sex may lead to pregnancy. 

That’s because sperm lives in the body for several days. Thus, if you ovulate early during the menstrual cycle, there is still a chance for you to conceive from having sex on your period. 

Getting Pregnant Before Your Next Period:

Although it is extremely unlikely to get pregnant right before your next period, it is not impossible. If you have a shorter menstrual cycle or ovulate very early on, there is a chance of pregnancy. 

Cycles With No Ovulation: Can You Conceive Then?

Ovulation, similar to our periods, is not always regular. The day one woman ovulates during her menstrual cycle may vary from cycle to cycle. 

In some cycles, you may not ovulate at all, which is entirely normal. Thus you can at times get pregnant after or before your standard ovulation time. 

Irregular ovulation happens when the pituitary gland, the hormone regulator at the base of the brain and ovaries, can not properly communicate when they should release an egg. 

An Anovulatory Cycle: What Does It Mean?

During an anovulatory cycle, ovulation does not take place. This means that your ovaries do not release an egg. 

In an anovulatory cycle, women may have bleeding caused by uterine lining build-up or a drop in the estrogen hormone without having a proper menstrual period. 

These irregular cycles can make you skip fertile days if you are trying to get pregnant. 

It is also responsible for around 25 percent of female infertility. 

Are Anovulatory Cycles Normal?

It is entirely normal not to ovulate from time to time. 

It usually occurs when a woman starts menstruating or is approaching menopause. 

This occurs because our body has a hormonal imbalance when this transition occurs, disrupting ovulation. 

Is It Physically Possible To Become Pregnant If Ovulation Does Not Occur?

It is impossible to get pregnant without ovulation.  This is due to no egg being released by the ovaries, which are available for the sperm to fertilise.

Are There Treatments For Anovulatory Cycles?

There are plenty of treatments available to cure this problem. 

These medicines work by triggering your brain to release a mature egg. 

We recommend visiting a medical practitioner if you have been trying to conceive for a while and may suspect issues with ovulation.

To Put It All In a Few Words:

A woman is most likely to conceive between the five days of ovulation and one day after it. This period is the fertile window of your cycle. 

The timing of a woman’s fertile window differs month to month as ovulation is not always regular. 

Thus, it is essential always to use protection to avoid a pregnancy. 

If you are trying to conceive, having sex one day before ovulation mainly yields positive results. 

If a woman has anovulatory cycles, there is no chance of pregnancy because if there is no ovulation during a cycle, there will be no egg for the sperm to fertilise. 

This story was reposted, with permission and minor edits, from the Bellabeat website.