How to get pregnant: Facts and tips to improve your chances

If you have a health condition, you may have a lot of questions about how to get pregnant. Taking care of your body is a good place to start if you want to be as fertile as possible. But what else can you do to increase your chances of getting pregnant?

Dr. Mary Ellen Pavone, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist and medical director of the in-vitro fertilization program at Northwestern Medicine’s Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility division in Chicago, says that a woman who wants to get pregnant should learn about her body, especially her menstrual cycle.

“It’s important for her to know how long her cycles are,” Pavone said. “That way, she can try to get pregnant at a better time.”

We’ve put together a list of the top ten tips that might help you get pregnant. As always with this kind of information, make sure to talk to a doctor because this advice is very general and you may need specialized care. You should still find this article and the video that goes with it helpful if you want to know how to get pregnant.

Also, pregnant women are more likely to get a severe case of COVID-19 than people who are not pregnant. Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends that you get a COVID-19 vaccine (opens in new tab). In a Sept. 29, 2021, statement, the CDC said, “The CDC health advisory strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccination either before or during pregnancy because the benefits of vaccination for both pregnant people and their fetus or infant outweigh the known or possible risks.”

How to get pregnant: Step-by-step instructions

  1. Write down how often your periods happen.

If a woman wants to have a baby, she should keep an eye on how long it takes between her periods. In other words, she should check to see if the first day of her period happens about the same number of days apart each month, which is considered regular. On the other hand, her periods may be irregular, which means that the length of her cycle changes from month to month. Research in The New England Journal of Medicine says that if a woman keeps track of this information on a calendar, she can better guess when she might be ovulating (opens in new tab). This is the time every month when an egg will be released from her ovaries. There are also apps like GlowOvulation period tracker that can help keep track (see below).

The American Pregnancy Association says that a woman’s egg is only fertile for 12 to 24 hours after it is released, but a man’s sperm can live in a woman’s body for up to five days (opens in new tab).


Pavone said that women who have regular periods ovulate about two weeks before they get their periods. When a woman has an irregular cycle, it’s harder to know when she will ovulate, but it usually happens 12 to 16 days before her next period.

According to a 2019 paper published in the journal  Digital Medicine, the length of a woman’s menstrual cycle can vary a lot, and the time and length of ovulation can change throughout her life. Because of this, it is best to keep track of ovulation to find out when a person is most likely to get pregnant.

There are a few ways women can figure out which days of the month are their most fertile.

Home ovulation-prediction kits can help women figure out when they are going to ovulate with less guesswork. The kits, which can be bought at drug stores, test urine for luteinizing hormone, a chemical whose levels rise each month before ovulation and cause the ovaries to release an egg. The American Pregnancy Association says that couples should have sex in the three days after a positive test result to increase their chances of getting pregnant.

—Another way to figure out when a woman will ovulate is to keep track of her cervical mucus. This means that she should check the amount and appearance of mucus in her vagina regularly. When a woman is most fertile, right before she ovulates, her mucus production goes up and it gets thinner, clearer, and stickier, according to the March of Dimes, a non-profit group that works to improve the health of moms and babies. When the mucus in the cervix gets more slippery, it can help the sperm get to the egg. A 2013 study in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that over six months, women who regularly checked their cervical mucus were 2.3 times more likely to get pregnant.

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