Do You Have to be Ovulating to Get Pregnant?


Ready to embark on the thrilling journey of starting a family? Whether you're just starting out or have been trying for a while, you've probably heard the buzz about ovulation being the golden ticket to pregnancy. But, does a woman have to be ovulating to get pregnant? Buckle up, my fertility enthusiasts, as we dive into the fascinating world of conception and unravel the truth behind this question.

Do you have to ovulate to get pregnant?

Do you have to ovulate to get pregnant?

Ovulation – the magical process that happens each menstrual cycle where an egg is released from the ovary and makes its way down the fallopian tube, eagerly awaiting sperm for fertilization. While ovulation is indeed a crucial event in the baby-making equation, it is not the sole factor that determines pregnancy.

To maximize your chances of conception, it is crucial to time intercourse within the fertile window, which typically includes the five days leading up to and including the day of ovulation. This is when the chances of getting an egg fertilized are highest as sperm can survive in the reproductive tract long enough to meet and fertilize the released egg.

But here's where it gets interesting: Sperm can live inside the female reproductive tract for up to five days, which means you could get pregnant even if you have intercourse a few days before ovulation!

In cycles where ovulation does not occur (anovulation), it is not possible to conceive since there is no egg available for fertilization.  Ovulation is necessary for the release of an egg that can be fertilized by sperm. However, it's important to know that some women with anovulation can still occasionally ovulate unpredictably, making pregnancy possible but less likely. 

Related: When Do You Ovulate?


Learn to pinpoint ovulation to get pregnant

Factors That Can Affect Fertility

While it's possible to conceive outside of the exact moment of ovulation, certain factors can impact fertility and the likelihood of pregnancy:

  1. Sperm Survival: Sperm can survive in the female reproductive tract for several days, but their lifespan is finite. For the best chances of conception, it's ideal to have sperm waiting in the fallopian tubes when the egg is released.
  2. Egg Longevity: After ovulation, an egg can survive for about 12-24 hours. If it isn't fertilized during this window, it will disintegrate. So, timing intercourse closer to ovulation increases the chances of sperm meeting the egg at the right moment.
  3. Cycle Regularity: Having a regular menstrual cycle can make it easier to predict ovulation with ovulation tests and time intercourse effectively. Irregular cycles can pose challenges in determining the fertile window but don't rule out the possibility of pregnancy, it is still absolutely possible.
  4. Sperm Quality: The quality and quantity of sperm play a crucial role in fertilization. Factors such as age, lifestyle choices, and underlying health conditions can affect sperm health and, consequently, the chances of conception.

Can you get pregnant outside of your fertile window?

Yes, it is possible to get pregnant outside of your predicted fertile window, although the chances of conception are significantly lower compared to the days around ovulation, however not impossible. Once the egg has disintegrated and ovulation is complete, the chances of conception drop off until the next cycle. If you are actively trying to conceive, timing intercourse during the fertile window provides the highest probability of pregnancy.

Related: Chances of Getting Pregnant During Each Phase of Your Menstrual Cycle

Premom ovulation test reader and charting

Why use Premom Ovulation Calculator to track your ovulation

Accurate ovulation tracking holds significant importance for the meeting of the sperm and the egg as mentioned above. Premom simplifies the process of determining if and when you ovulate, empowering you to confidently time intercourse. Here’s why using Premom can benefit you in identifying when you will ovulate:

  1. Easy Logging: Start by logging your ovulation tests in the app immediately after your period ends. Premom's user-friendly interface allows you to effortlessly record the results of your test strips.
  2. Automated Analysis: The Premom app goes a step further by automatically reading and analyzing your test strip results. This feature provides you with precise predictions of when you will ovulate, taking the guesswork out of the equation. 
  3. LH Surge Detection: As you continue logging your ovulation tests, Premom accurately identifies your LH surge. It then offers you a predicted ovulation date based on this crucial hormonal pattern.
  4. Timing Tips and Suggestions: Premom goes beyond predictions by offering helpful tips and suggestions on timing intercourse for optimal conception. It also provides insights into your hormonal patterns and general well-being, guiding you towards better reproductive health.
  5. Cycle Tracking and Fertility Monitoring: Utilize the app to conveniently track your menstrual cycles and monitor your fertility. By staying informed about your reproductive health, you can effectively work towards achieving your fertility goals.

Using Premom’s ovulation calculator can streamline and enhance your ovulation tracking journey, increase your understanding of your body's fertility signs, and improve your chances of successful conception.

Seeking Fertility Support

If you're actively trying to conceive and have concerns about ovulation or fertility, it's always wise to seek professional advice. Fertility specialists can evaluate your reproductive health, identify any underlying issues, and offer guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.

In some cases, medical interventions such as fertility medications or assisted reproductive technologies may be recommended to optimize your chances of conception. Remember, fertility support is available for those who need it, and seeking help is a proactive step towards realizing your dream of parenthood.

Ovulation and pregnancy: Key points to remember

In the captivating world of fertility, the myth that ovulation is the sole window for conception has been debunked. While ovulation plays a pivotal role, pregnancy is possible when intercourse occurs before the release of an egg. The fertile window, sperm survival, egg lifespan and unpredictability of ovulation are all factors that contribute to the possibility of getting pregnant outside of your ovulation day. It’s important to remember that while ovulation is a key event in the conception process, there are other factors at play, making the journey to parenthood a fascinating and multifaceted experience. 

Predict your fertile window with Premom


American Pregnancy Association. (2021, January 22). How Pregnancy Happens. Retrieved from

American Society for Reproductive Medicine. (2014). Optimizing natural fertility: a committee opinion. Fertility and Sterility, 101(3), 633-638.

Mayo Clinic. (2021, May 8). Getting Pregnant. Retrieved from

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2013). Fertility: assessment and treatment for people with fertility problems. Retrieved from

World Health Organization. (2019). WHO laboratory manual for the examination and processing of human semen (5th ed.). Retrieved from
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