Pregnancy Home > How to Get Pregnant

Getting pregnant may seem like the easiest thing in the world, but some women need to know more if they are having trouble conceiving. If you have difficulty getting pregnant, know you're not alone -- some couples can try for months or years. Advice on how to get pregnant includes having intercourse around the time of ovulation (which can be tricky to determine) and fertility testing.

How to Get Pregnant: An Overview

It seems funny -- or sad -- that one couple makes a baby the first time they have sex (whether they want a baby or not), while another couple can try for months -- or even years -- without getting the child they want so badly.

Getting Pregnant Based on the Time of the Month

People trying to have a baby are often advised to aim for the woman's fertile time midway between her periods. They are told to have intercourse on the day the woman ovulates or a couple of days before or after.
Obtaining precise data on more than 200 healthy women trying to have a baby has determined that you're actually most likely to get pregnant if you have sex the day you ovulate or during the five days before. It appears that a man's sperm may be longer-lasting than some people previously believed, while a woman's ovum, or egg, disappears more quickly.
Three days after intercourse, there might still be active sperm swimming around that can impregnate and fertilize a newly released egg. But if the sperm is not introduced until after the day of ovulation, a two- or three-day-old egg would be unlikely to still be in good enough shape to be fertilized, even by the freshest of sperm.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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