So, you’ve been taking your prenatal vitamins for 3 months, and now you’re looking to start trying for your baby. I’m often asked when is the best time to have intercourse in order to conceive. For a woman with a 28 day cycle, we would expect her to ovulate between days 13 to 15, although this can vary from woman to woman. This egg will only last between 12-24 hours, so it is critical to make sure sperm are present to fertilize the egg when ovulation occurs. Since sperm may live up to 5 days or so within the woman’s body, beginning scheduled intercourse at least every other day (some studies say as frequently as twice a day) from 5 days prior to expected ovulation until 1 day after are the optimal times to be intimate when trying to conceive. Ovulation can be tracked using a phone app like Glow, home ovulation kits and via basal body temperature.
Once pregnancy occurs, your physician will look for three criteria to confirm a successful pregnancy: 1. location within the uterus (womb), 2. presence of the fetal pole (the part that becomes the baby), and 3. the development of a heartbeat within the fetal pole. This generally requires 7-8 weeks of pregnancy to be able to see all 3 criteria well; otherwise, testing has a higher likelihood of being inconclusive for those measurements. After these markers have been confirmed, the real excitement can begin! Whether a long-awaited dream come true or a happy little surprise, come celebrate your pregnancy with Teton Women’s Health Center!