Interactive Tool: When Are You Most Fertile?

What does this tool measure?

Interactive Tool: When Are You Most Fertile?

Click here to find out when you are most likely to get pregnant.

This interactive tool estimates your peak fertility period, also known as your "fertile window." This is when you are most likely to get pregnant. Do not use this tool to prevent pregnancy.

To find your peak fertility period, the tool first calculates the day you are most likely to ovulate. This is the day an ovary releases an egg. In the tool, you will enter the typical length of your menstrual cycle, and you will click on the first day of your last menstrual period.

  • To know how long your cycles are, track the number of days on a calendar for 2 or 3 months or cycles. Your menstrual cycle begins with the day your period starts and ends the day before your next period starts.
  • If you do not know the number of days in your menstrual cycle, you can use 28 days. This is the average length of a menstrual cycle. But if your cycle is longer or shorter than that, or if it is not always the same length, this tool will not predict your fertile window very well.

This calculator is meant to give you a rough estimate. Women usually ovulate at day 15, but it's also normal to ovulate well before or after the 15-day mark.

For information about reading your body's signs to tell when you will ovulate, see Fertility Awareness.

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  Peak fertility

What do the results tell me?

Your "fertile window" is up to 6 days long, once a month. It includes:

  • The day you ovulate. This is when you have the best chance of becoming pregnant. (A human egg usually lives for only 12 to 24 hours after ovulation. This is why you are not likely to get pregnant by having sex a day after you ovulate.)
  • The 5 days before ovulation. This is because sperm can live in a woman's body for 3 to 5 days after sex. When an egg is released, one of these sperm is ready to fertilize it.

If you are planning a pregnancy, do not have sex during the 5 days before your 6-day fertile window. (Not ejaculating for a few days helps build up a man's sperm count.) Then have sex once each day of your fertile window, including ovulation day.

What's next?

If your periods are irregular, this calculator is not a good way to predict your ovulation dates. Do not use this tool to prevent pregnancy.

For more information, see the topics Fertility Awareness, Pregnancy, and Fertility Problems. If you are looking for information on birth control, see the topic Birth Control.

Source: Stanford JB, et al. (2002). Timing intercourse to achieve pregnancy: Current evidence. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 100(6): 1333–1341.

Credits

Author Sandy Jocoy, RN
Editor Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Updated October 31, 2008

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