Ovulation only happens for an approximate 24 hour period, which means you can only, really, conceive during this short window of time, with the exception of something rare happening.
However, ovulation can be like a moving target, being very unpredictable as far as when it is going to happen exactly. And then there is the fact that sperm can live inside of you up to around 7 days before, waiting to be the one that gets to merge with your beautiful egg when she makes her showing. This increases the number of days you are contributing to the conception process. If you do not want a pregnancy at this time and are not on some sort of the Pill, then you need to learn as much as you can about this. If you end up ovulating on Day 11, let’s say, then you’d better start using birth control around Day 4!
In my upcoming book, Four Seasons in Four Weeks, I talk a great deal about the symbolism of ovulation. Some of the best articles on the biology of ovulation and the natural monthly hormonal rhythm of women are found online at fertility sites.
Here’s one that I found today when doing some research on ovulation that helps to explain why ovulation can be difficult to pinpoint.
Thank you to BabyHopes.com for this article.
How Soon After Ovulation Will Conception Occur?
Technically speaking, it is extremely unlikely for conception to occur any time other than during ovulation. Once ovulation is over, there is not generally egg for the sperm to fertilize. Having said that, it is important to understand exactly how the process of conception works, and how it relates to ovulation.
Conception occurs when a sperm meets up with an egg and fertilizes it in a woman’s fallopian tube. That fertilized egg then travels into the uterus, where it implants in the wall of the uterus several days later. The only time during a woman’s monthly cycle that there is an egg in her fallopian tube is, by definition, when she is ovulating. The egg can survive for only about one day when it is in the fallopian tube. For some women, it is possible that an egg could survive as many as three days after ovulation, and thus conception could occur. This is extremely rare. For conception to occur, the sperm has to meet the egg pretty much immediately when you ovulate.
Still, there are things that may make it seem like conception occurs after ovulation. For example, during a given month, it is possible that ovulation would occur later than it usually does. Any number of factors can cause this to happen, including illness, dietary changes, increase in physical activity, and even stress. Ovulation can sometimes occur as much as a week after it normally does.
In some extremely rare cases, it may be possible for it to seem as though you conceived while you are on your period. For example, if you have an extremely short menstrual cycle, it is possible that you could begin ovulating right as you are done menstruating. Another possibility is if you tend to bleed for a long period of time during your period. If this is the case, it could be that you are still bleeding long after you are actually done menstruating, and while you are actually ovulating.
If you are trying to conceive, there are certain times surrounding ovulation that you will want to try to conceive. Sperm can often survive as long as one week in a woman’s body. Thus, trying to conceive on the 10th, 12th, 14th, and 16th days of your monthly cycle are the optimum times for conception to occur. This assumes that you have a regular 28-day cycle, and it allows for later-than-normal ovulation.