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Family Planning

Ovulation and family planningOvulation & Family Planning

Learning about your fertility and ovulation can make an incredible difference to the success of your family planning. Identifying your fertile days (the days possible to get pregnant during each menstrual cycle), enables you to know the best time to conceive and also helps to highlight any fertility issues.

When can you get pregnant?

Approximately 20% of women in the U.K. wrongly believe that they are likely to conceive (get pregnant) just before or just after their period. Others incorrectly believe that it is possible to get pregnant during 21 days or more of every cycle. The truth is you normally have only 5 – 6 fertile days each menstrual cycle.

Your fertile days normally fall around ovulation, when one of your ovaries releases an egg. To help you understand more about fertility and ovulation, this section of our site explains when the best time is to try to have a baby and what happens during the fertilization process. We have identified possible reasons why you might not have fallen pregnant and what you can do to increase your chances of conception.

You’ll find everything you need to know on the right-hand menu. Just click on each topic to learn more.

Timing intercourse for conception

If you have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for a few months, there is probably no need to worry. On average it takes about 3 – 6 months to conceive. Delays in getting pregnant may simply be a result of bad timing.

Don’t panic about infertility if you haven’t been trying for longer than a year. Very few couples are completely infertile. A much higher number are sub-fertile (subfertility), which means that it takes more than a year to conceive. If you are concerned, you can use home health male and female fertility tests to check your levels.

As it is not possible to conceive outside your fertile days each month, it’s important to have intercourse on your most fertile days, to increase your chances of becoming pregnant. You can check when these days are with an ovulation test or calculator.

Improving health for pregnancy

You and your partner can do a great deal to improve your chances of conception by changing a few bad habits and adopting healthy ones, too. Two of the most important factors are improving the nutrition and fitness of the mother. For example:

  • Eat a varied diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and protein-rich food such as fish, poultry, pulses and whole grains
  • Stop smoking or at least try to cut down
  • Decrease alcohol intake or quit altogether
  • Take regular exercise such as walking and swimming, and aim for three 20-minute sessions per week.
  • Learn to relax and breathe, and try to avoid high stress levels.

These are not only important in pregnancy planning – you should also maintain a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy, too.

Further information on pregnancy, fertility, ovulation and sexual health

Do read more on the topics in the right-hand menu or contact your GP who will be able to offer advice on how to increase your chances of falling pregnant.

These articles may also help:

Planning a Pregnancy? These Home Test Kits Can Help. – Read more

How to do a Sperm Test at Home Privately – Read more



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