Female Fertility: When Is a Woman Most Fertile?

When is a woman most fertile? Read on to learn more about female fertility.

If you're thinking about trying to conceive, you may find yourself asking: When is a woman most fertile?

Female fertility can be a tricky topic. Here are some ways to help you determine when you are most fertile.

The Fertile Window

There are only about 5 days a month when a woman is most likely to conceive. The two to five days before ovulation are the best days of the month to try to get pregnant. Every woman is different, so this number is not exact, but it helps estimate the fertile window.

You can use an ovulation calendar to determine your estimated ovulation date. A woman typically ovulates fourteen days before her period’s start date. The length of a woman's period can vary, but the ovulation is almost always fourteen days prior. This is why an ovulation calendar comes in handy—it will figure the date out for you.

Sperm can live up to five days in the uterus, and an egg only lasts twelve to twenty-four hours after its released. Therefore it’s ideal to try to conceive a few days before your estimated ovulation date.

It’s difficult but not impossible for a woman to get pregnant more than five days before her ovulation date. So if you are not trying to get pregnant, it’s a good idea to use some form of birth control.

Signs You Are Ovulating

Ovulation predictor kits are sold at many pharmacies. Using these kits along with an ovulation calendar will increase the odds of predicting the best fertile window.

There are also some physical signs and symptoms you may notice when you are ovulating. Some people experience signs like lower abdominal cramping, vaginal spotting, increased libido, or breast tenderness.

Your cervical mucus also changes during ovulation. It changes in consistency and starts to resemble egg whites. It becomes clear and slippery, ideal for helping the sperm reach the egg.

The Ideal Age

According to ASRM, "A woman’s best reproductive years are in her 20s. Fertility gradually declines in the 30s, particularly after age 35. This is the ideal age for a woman to get pregnant."

Females are actually born with eggs in their ovaries. These are the only eggs she will ever have. As a woman ages, her eggs age as well. The quality of the eggs and the number of eggs decrease as time goes on.

Women over forty have over a fifty percent lower chance of getting pregnant than a woman under thirty.

Other Factors

There are a few other factors that can affect female fertility. Some things that may decrease fertility include:

  • Having obesity or overweight
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Smoking
  • Environmental toxins
  • Infections
  • Immune system conditions (Autoimmune diseases)

Lifestyle changes may make some of these conditions better. Any healthy change you make may increase your fertility.