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Your fertility

Having a baby is something most people expect to be able to do if and when they want. But it's not always as easy as you may expect.

In order to conceive, women should be producing eggs (ovulating) regularly, and men should have healthy sperm.

You also need to be having intercourse at the right time in the woman’s monthly cycle, so the sperm is ready to fertilise the egg when it is released.

To maximise your chances of getting pregnant, it's useful to start by understanding natural conception, the male and female sex organs and the monthly cycle.

 

On this page:

 

Health and conception

 

How does natural conception work?

www.nhs.uk/condi­tions/pregnancy-and-baby/getting-pregnant/

Comprehensive basic information for anyone trying to get pregnant

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Improving your chances of getting pregnant

www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/how-can-i-increase-my-chances-of-getting-pregnant/

Improve your chances of getting pregnant by optimising your health, improving your lifestyle, and ensuring that you avoid harmful activities such as smoking.

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Conception tips for men and women

www.britishfertility­society.org.uk/quickguides/top-10-conception-tips-for-him-and-her/

The "Top 10" conception tips from the British Fertility Society for men and women – simple suggestions to help you to succeed.

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Time, timing and cycles

 

How can I tell when I am ovulating?

www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/womens-health/how-can-i-tell-when-i-am-ovulating/

Tips on how to tell when you are ovulating (releasing an egg) and when you are most likely to get pregnant.

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When am I most fertile during my cycle?

www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/when-am-i-most-fertile-during-my-cycle/

It is important to understand your monthly "fertility window" to maximize your chances.

NHS logo

 

When are men and women most fertile?

www.britishfertility­society.org.uk/fei/when-are-women-men-most-fertile/

British Fertility Society tips on when men and women are most fertile: your fertility window, increasing the health of your sperm, and optimising the prospects for fertilization and conception.

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When to start trying to get pregnant

www.britishfertility­society.org.uk/fei/when-should-you-start-trying-to-get-pregnant/

There are no guarantees, and it can also depend if you want a family of 2 or 3, or just 1 child.

The larger your desired family size, the earlier you are advised to start trying.

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How many months can it take to get pregnant?

www.britishfertility­society.org.uk/fei/how-many-months-can-it-take-to-get-pregnant/

The monthly chance of conceiving at best is about 25% when you’re in your twenties with a cumulative chance of about 85-90% after 12 months of trying.

These figures go down as you get older, so it is important to understand what your chances are and when to seek help.

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