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Calculate Ovulation with Your Calendar

One low-tech but effective way to get pregnant is to have sex every other day from the 10th to the 18th day of your cycle. Start counting by making the first day of your period Day 1, and days 10-18 should overlap the days when you are ovulating. On the days when you don’t make love, the sperm’s five-day lifespan will ensure a fresh supply of viable sperm.

If your cycles aren’t 28 days long, or if they are very irregular, the 10-18 day plan may not work, because you may be ovulating at other times.

You can start your pregnancy planning by marking your calendar each month with the dates of your periods, then calculate the length of your menstrual cycles. If they tend to be of similar length but aren’t 28 days long, you may want to adjust your sex life so that your sex-every-other-day overlaps the middle of your cycle by 4 days on either side. So, if your cycle tends to be 32 days in length, the midpoint will be Day 16, and you will want to start your lovemaking on day 12 and stop it on day 20.

It isn’t unusual for pregnancy to take several months, but people these days are often in a hurry. If you’ve already started taking folic acid, have made sure you’re in excellent pre-pregnancy health and are ready to blossom into motherhood, delays may feel downright unacceptable. Take heart: there are more scientific ways of getting pregnant:

If you have tried the sex-every-other-day method for three of four months and haven’t gotten pregnant, you may want to get more scientific about it. Fertility monitors or ovulation predictors take the guesswork out of the question, “When am I fertile?” and help you decide whether to attend that late meeting or skip it and get home. Measuring the levels of hormones in your body gives a reading that can tell you when ovulation is approaching, often giving you 24-36 hours advance warning. Some kits measure hormone levels by the old pregnancy-test standard of the “pee stick” (or, more nicely, the “stick tester”. The women holds the monitor in the urine stream, and a readout on the stick shows whether or not she is fertile. These kits are quite reliable and easy to use. They eliminate guesswork! If you’re the kind of person who follows cookbook recipes to the letter, you may want to use fertility monitor kits in planning your pregnancy.

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