All posts

High Fertility vs. Peak Fertility: What You Need to Know

High Fertility vs. Peak Fertility: What You Need to Know

High Fertility vs. Peak Fertility: What You Need to Know

Before you wonder about infertility, it's important to understand how fertility typically works in women. You can't actually get pregnant most days of the month. By understanding your high fertility vs. peak fertility days, you can identify when you're most likely to ovulate and consequently, potentially conceive. While these days vary in each woman, there are several different ways to get a close idea of your ovulation period. 

Here's what's happening throughout these peak times during a woman's cycle to guide you through the beginning of your own fertility journey. We'll also share other factors that can impact the chances of a successful pregnancy. 

What does high fertility mean?

High fertility refers to the portion of a woman's cycle where her fertility window opens. During this time, your ovaries start to produce more estrogen as a dominant egg grows in a follicle that is eventually released during ovulation. 

For many women, the high fertility phase occurs in the five days prior to ovulation, since sperm can live in your body for that number of days. Even if you haven't ovulated yet, you could still get pregnant from having sex during high fertility. That's why this time is also called your fertility window, because there's not just one day when pregnancy can occur — there are a range of days depending on the egg and sperm.

What does peak fertility mean?

When looking at high vs. peak fertility, the latter gets more specific with timing compared to your fertility window. This period refers to the days you're most likely to get pregnant and typically occurs at the tail end of your fertility window. 

Ovulation occurs once your eggs develop each month and one is released into the fallopian tube. You'll most likely ovulate 24 to 36 hours after luteinizing hormone is released, and this is when you're most fertile — also known as peak fertility.

The egg is only viable for 24 hours during your peak fertility window. If you have unprotected sex or get artificially inseminated during this time with healthy sperm, a pregnancy could result. 

What is the difference between ovulation and fertile days?

Ultimately, peak fertility vs. high fertility comes down to when you're actually ovulating versus how long sperm can survive until you ovulate. While an egg can only survive for up to 24 hours, sperm can reside for up to five days.

That means a couple can conceive through sexual contact four to five days before the egg is released. The total fertility window, taking both the sperm and the egg into account, is about six days. Fertile days refer to the days during your menstrual cycle when you have unprotected sex and have the potential to become pregnant.

Chances of Conception at Peak and High Fertility

What are your chances of conception on fertile days? It varies based on a number of factors, including egg and sperm quality. But in general, you can use the assume the following chances on each day leading up to and following ovulation:

27%: 3 days before (high fertility)

33%: 2 days before (high fertility)

41%: 1 day before (peak fertility)

20%: Ovulation day 

Use these days as a guide to determine which days carry your best chance of getting pregnant. There may be some wiggle room, but you at least have an idea of how to maximize your odds of success.

How can you track your fertility?

Tracking your fertility is a smart way to improve your chances of pregnancy. There are many methods you can use, including:

  • Fertility apps and websites: These platforms use algorithms to predict ovulation. 

  • Temperature tracking: By tracking your basal temperature each morning throughout your cycle, you may notice a slight increase when you ovulate.

  • Ovulation prediction kits: There are at-home urine tests that measure the amount of luteinizing hormone in your body.

  • Cervical mucus tracking: Your cervical secretion may increase during ovulation, indicating that you may be at or near your peak day. 

Understanding the difference between high fertility and peak fertility, as well as how to track your own fertility, can help you better understand your body and take control of your reproductive health.

What other factors can interfere with conception?

Understanding your fertility cycle is a great first step to conception. But there are some obstacles that can occur even if you do track your cycle.  Here are some other factors that can affect your ability to conceive.

  • Age: Fertility tends to begin to decline around 30 years old and accelerates in the mid-30s.

  • Partner's fertility: About 10% of men in the U.S. experience infertility issues.

  • Health conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis. PCOS is actually one of the leading causes of ovulation issues. 

  • Lifestyle factors like smoking, drinking, or excessive stress. Try to cut out these factors before you try to get pregnant.

  • Surrounding environmental factors like air or water pollution. Studies also show that pollution can result in premature births.

If you've tried to conceive for several months with no success, you could benefit by seeing a fertility specialist. There are many treatment options available, including low intervention methods that could make a difference. 

Book your consultation with Oma today to benefit from leading fertility specialists and cutting edge technology to maximize your chances of growing your family.

Last Updated: Feb 28, 2023 12:00 AM

If you’d like to know more about IVF treatment at one of our clinics, please book your consultation or take the IVF quiz.