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Family Planning


familyplanningFinding out a little bit more about fertility and when you are most fertile can make an incredible difference to planning your future. Identifying your fertile days – the days possible to get pregnant during each menstrual cycle, enables you to know the best time to conceive.


Approximately 20% of women in the U.K. wrongly believe that they are likely to conceive just before or just after their period. Others incorrectly believe that it is possible to get pregnant on 21 days or more in every cycle.In fact, you normally have only 5 – 6 fertile days each menstrual cycle. These 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 fertilisation process. We have identified possible reasons why you might not have fallen pregnant and what you can do to increase your chances of conception.

Timing a pregnancy

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.

As it is not possible to conceive outside your fertile days each month, it’s important to time intercourse for your most fertile days, to increase your chances of becoming pregnant.

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. Two of the most important factors are the nutrition and fitness of the mother.

The following points are important not just before deciding to have a baby, but also during your pregnancy:

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

Very few couples are totally infertile. A much higher number are sub fertile- taking more than a year to conceive.

Your G.P. will be happy to discuss any problems you are experiencing and how to maximize your chance of conceiving.