Wait a minute. You can get pregnant after ovulation?
Pregnancy’s a funny thing. When everything goes according to plan, it can look like an exact science (sperm + egg = baby).
But we’re talking about the human body here, and “going according to plan” definitely isn’t a given.
For example, the moment when the sperm and egg find each other doesn’t only happen on the day that you ovulate.
This means that you could get pregnant after ovulation and a few days before, too.
Let’s unpack this a little.
In this article: 📝
- What are your chances of getting pregnant on ovulation day?
- How many days after ovulation can you get pregnant?
- How long after ovulation pain is the egg released?
What are your chances of getting pregnant on ovulation day?
Ovulation is when one of your ovaries releases an egg.
If you have a 28-day cycle, this usually happens right in the middle, on day 14.
But cycles vary from person to person (they can range from 21 days to 40 days) and, within this time, ovulation can change slightly from month to month.
When you’re fertile, therefore, isn’t just one specific day, but more like a fertility window.
A gap in your menstrual calendar when a night between the sheets could result in a positive line on your next pregnancy test.
If you and your partner are both able to have children, your chances of getting pregnant start around five days before you ovulate.
This is because sperm can survive inside your body for about that amount of time, so even though your ovary hasn’t released an egg yet, the sperm might still be there when it does.
As ovulation gets closer, your chances of getting pregnant increases.
Here’s what an older, but often-cited study says your chances of pregnancy are on the days before and after ovulation:
- Five days before ovulation: 10%
- Four days before ovulation: 16%
- Three days before ovulation: 14%
- Two days before ovulation: 27%
- One day days before ovulation: 31%
- Ovulation day: 33%
- One day after ovulation: 12%
Curious to find out more about your fertility window? There are ovulation tests you can take.
How many days after ovulation can you get pregnant?
Getting pregnant after you ovulate is a little less common than getting pregnant before you ovulate, but it’s still possible.
So if you’re wondering if you should still have sex, the answer is yes!
(Having sex shouldn’t just be about making a baby, after all – all that practice can be half the fun.)
The egg you release must be fertilized by sperm within 12 to 24 hours after it’s released, though.
After that, the egg usually isn’t what doctors call “viable”.
This means that, even if it encounters sperm, it won’t be fertilized.
If you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s a good idea to have sex for a few days leading up to ovulation, on the day itself, and on the day after. You just never know which day will be your lucky one!
How long after ovulation pain is the egg released?
Have you ever felt a bit of pain in your lower abdomen or pelvis about two weeks after your period? If so, you’re not alone.
About one in five women feel pain around this time. It’s called ovulation pain or mittelschmerz, and can either feel sharp and sudden or dull and crampy.
There hasn’t really been enough research to know when this pain happens in relation to an egg being released.
Most studies suggest that it happens about a day or so beforehand, but this might not be 100% accurate in every case.
If you do experience some ovulation pain, though, it’s probably a sign that you’re either ovulating or about to ovulate.
Provided you’re in the mood and it doesn’t make you feel sore or uncomfortable, having sex around that time could help you get pregnant.
And remember, if your ovulation pain is severe – or you’re feeling pain at other points in your cycle – have a chat with your doctor.
There might be other abdominal, pelvic or gyne-related problems that you need to check out.
If you’re trying to get pregnant, keep a close eye on your cycle.
There are definitely days that are more likely to give you a baby than others, including the day after you ovulate.
💡 More from The 411:
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Can An Ovulation Test Detect Pregnancy?
Can you Ovulate Twice in a Month?
Do You Ovulate on Birth Control?
What Does Ovulation Feel Like?
9 Possible Ovulation Symptoms
Choosing a Fertility App - Can They Really Help Me?
Ovulation Bleeding: What You Need to Know
Can You Get Pregnant If You’re Not Ovulating?
Bloating During Ovulation: What it is and how to help
What to Know About Late Ovulation
Why Do I Have Pain in My Left Ovary?
Can You Get Pregnant While Pregnant?
What are the Chances of Getting Pregnant from Precum?
Signs of Ovulation While Breastfeeding
Femara vs. Clomid: All You Need to Know
Drinking While Trying to Conceive: Is It Okay?