Conception Do’s and Don’ts


When you want to get pregnant, the best thing you can do is get yourself ready. Your body is going to have to go through a lot of changes for you to conceive and carry a baby, so it’s important that you take care of your health as much as possible. After all, if you don’t feel good physically or mentally, then how will having a baby be any fun? Follow these steps to increase your chances of conception:

Know your ovulation date

Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovary. On average, this happens once a month, but it can vary between women and even within the same woman from month to month. The two-week period before ovulation is called your fertile window. It’s during these two weeks that you’re most likely to get pregnant if you have intercourse with your partner around this time each month.

The egg travels through the fallopian tube (the narrow passage that connects each ovary to your uterus) where it can be fertilized by sperm for 12-24 hours after being released from the ovary. You may not know when exactly you’re going to release an egg because there are many different factors involved in determining when this happens—genetics being one of them—so it helps to use additional methods like tracking changes in cervical mucus or taking daily basal body temperature readings (BBTs).

Chart your period and ovulation

Knowing the exact date when you ovulate is crucial to overcoming infertility, so it’s important to chart your period and ovulation.

There are two ways to do this:

  • You can chart by hand by noting down your menstrual cycle on a calendar for about 6 months. Calculate the average number of days between each period and look for a consistent pattern in your cycles
  • You can purchase an ovulation predictor kit that measures estrogen levels in urine, which indicates a fertile window (the time when you’re most likely to conceive). It’s sold at most drugstores and online stores like Amazon or Target. If you’re using this method, remember not to use them until after you’ve had at least one regular period following the miscarriage or pregnancy loss.

Count the days since your last period began

  • Count the days from the first day of your last period. If you don’t know when that was, count from the first day of this cycle.
  • The average cycle is 28 days, but it can range from 21 to 35 days.

Track changes in cervical mucus

To track ovulation, you can use the signs of fertile cervical mucus. Cervical mucus changes throughout the menstrual cycle and is a good indicator of fertility. When you are most fertile, your cervix will release a clear, stretchy, and slippery mucus that resembles raw egg whites. This type of cervical mucus is called fertile cervical mucus or egg-white cervical fluid (EWCM).

You may notice this kind of fluid right before or right after ovulation occurs. If you don’t see any EWCM yet, keep checking every few days until it appears!

Use an ovulation kit or fertility monitor

Another option is to use an ovulation kit or fertility monitor. These are relatively inexpensive products that can be purchased at a drugstore or online, and they will tell you when it’s time for you and your partner to try conceiving. Most kits come with one test stick, which has two sides: one side has a sponge with reagents (chemicals) on it, and the other side has paper where results will show up after five minutes of waiting. When using these kits, you should get into the habit of testing twice in one day—once in the morning when urine is more concentrated and again in the afternoon—because hormones fluctuate throughout the day.


If you want to conceive, the most important thing is to be patient. There are no guarantees when it comes to conceiving a child, but you can increase your chances by being aware of your body’s signals and knowing how to interpret them correctly. If it doesn’t happen immediately after following these tips, don’t despair—there are plenty more days left in your cycle!


Jackson Healthcare for Women is Mississippi’s leading provider of health care services for women. With 16 physicians on staff, Jackson Healthcare for Women is one of the largest and most respected women’s healthcare clinics in the area.