When to have sex to get pregnant?

February 21, 2020 | Bonné

Yes Mom

You know that the easiest you can do is to have sex when you are trying to get pregnant, but when is the right time to actually have sex to get pregnant? You and your partner want to do everything right in bed to maximize your chances of conceiving. There is no surefire method that has been proven to result in pregnancy, yet a few minor changes to the frequency and timing of intercourse might help. This is the only caveat- there is a schedule to it and some of that sex must take place during a certain time. But do not worry, it’s not rocket science. 

When should you have sex to get pregnant?

It’s ideal to have sex on the day you ovulate if you want to get pregnant, but you are also likely to conceive if you start having intercourse a few days prior to ovulation. Viable sperm will still be in your fallopian tubes when the egg is released. 

The best time to have sex to get pregnant would be the most fertile window in your menstrual cycle. This window includes around five days prior to ovulation and the day of ovulation. Having said that, it’s also important to remember that you have the highest probability of conception on the two days before you ovulate and the day of ovulation. Having sex on those days will thus give you great odds of conceiving. 

Tracking your menstrual cycle to know when to have sex to get pregnant

Wanting to conceive makes tracking your cycle imperative to detect when you’ll be ovulating: the time you should have sex to get pregnant. Start by determining the length of your average monthly cycle (there is a wide range of normal although 28 is taken to be the average). You can do this by counting the days between your periods. While the follicular phase or the first half of the cycle varies greatly, but the luteal phase or the second half is usually around 12 to 14 days for all. This implies that if you do have a 28-day cycle, for instance, you will ovulate on day 14 or 16. This method is helpful when your periods are regular. 

Of course, you can go for ovulation predictor kits and fertility monitors that will efficiently predict your most fertile days. But since they are not completely 100 % reliable and accurate you may want to combine them with your own calculations and symptoms.

Cervical Mucus

Your cervical mucus can easily provide a tip-off to when to have sex to get pregnant. You have to look out for vaginal discharge that is white and has a thicker consistency. Ovulation mucus is not plentiful but stretchy and slippery. Incidentally, this texture ensures the sperm make their way to the egg. 

Know your Cervix

Your cervix is likely to undergo various changes over the course of a monthly cycle — from being firm, low and closed in the vagina, to soft, open and higher up (thanks to estrogen) around ovulation. You can easily feel the difference if you pay enough attention. When you feel that your cervix raises higher than usual, it’s the time to have sex to get pregnant!

Know your Vagina

Your vaginal lips may also give out signs for ovulation for instance they tend to become fuller or swollen when you’re fertile. 


Many, although not all, women often experience what is called mid-cycle abdominal pain when they are most fertile. It’s usually mild and happens on one side caused by the release of the egg from the ovary.

Body temperature

Your basal body temperature – the reading you will get when you wake up after having slept for at least four to five hours will change as your hormones fluctuate over the course of the month. It is lower in the first part of your cycle up until the day you ovulate because estrogen is high. It ticks up by half a degree a day after you ovulate as higher progesterone levels prepare your uterus for conception. You can time your sex going forward by knowing when your reading rises. Aim for the overall pattern over two months and you are good to go. 

Changing your sex practices, limiting caffeine and smoking and various other psychosocial factors affect the likelihood of conceiving radically. But a lot ultimately comes down to timing. If you are trying to conceive for a while now but are having no luck it’s time to consult a healthcare specialist. However, do not pressure yourself or your partner. Getting pregnant can take some time especially if you’re over 30. Any type of unprotected sex is great for getting pregnant but timing these encounters and having them at a greater frequency will increase your chances of conceiving successfully. So don’t shy away from springing into (bedroom) action every now and then! 

Take the guesswork out of your menstrual cycle with YesMom’s Android and iOS fertility-tracker app with highly improve accuracy. You can also try Yesmom fertility test to learn more about your fertility and overall health from an in-depth analysis of your own test results!

[1]Rachel Gurevich. When and How Often to Have Sex to Get Pregnant. Available from: https://www.verywellfamily.com/when-and-how-often-to-have-sex-to-get-pregnant-1960289 

[2]Stephenie Watson. Babymaking 101: Ways to Get Pregnant Faster. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/sex-for-pregnancy 

[3]Anna Targonskaya. Best Time to Conceive: When to Have Sex to Get Pregnant. MD — Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Medical Advisor at Flo. Available from: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.flo.health/getting-pregnant/trying-to-conceive/sex-for- 

[4]Lisa Lombardi. When is The Best Time to Have Sex to Get Pregnant. 2019 March. Available from: https://www.whattoexpect.com/getting-pregnant/ovulation/when-is-best-time-have-sex-get-pregnant/ 

[5]Anon. Trying to Get Pregnant. N.H.S. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/getting-pregnant/