Conceiving a baby seems like it should be pretty straightforward. You have sex and you get pregnant, right? If only it were that easy! After conceiving four kids of my own, I know how timing is everything. You can't simply do the deed and expect to see a plus sign on a pregnancy test a short time later. Instead, getting pregnant is all about having intercourse on your most fertile days to increase your chances the egg will meet the sperm at just the right time. But how do you know when that exact "right time" is? Ovulation kits help, but it's also important to understand how your cycle works. POPSUGAR talked to two experts to learn more and find out when the best time is to try and get pregnant.
"Your most fertile day depends on how long your cycle lasts," explained Dr. Christine Greves, an ob-gyn at Orlando Health. For example, if you have a 28-day cycle, you would ovulate 14 days after the first day of your period, or day 14. You want to have intercourse one to two days prior to ovulation, the day you ovulate, and one to two days after you ovulate to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Dr. Zaher Merhi at New Hope Fertility Center recommended having intercourse every other day starting after you finish your period. While the time of day you have sex isn't important, Merhi explained, "The window to get pregnant is 24 hours. Once the egg is ovulated, it lives only [that long]. If this time period is missed, pregnancy will not happen."
Are you thinking what I'm thinking? That the time during the month you can conceive is super short? It's no wonder it can take more than a few cycles to get pregnant. Greves said if you are younger than 35 and have tried to conceive for a year without success, see your doctor. If you are over 35, wait six months before seeing your doctor for a full workup and help conceiving that baby.