At what time during my menstrual cycle can I get pregnant?

When can I get pregnant?

In theory, during the average woman’s menstrual cycle there are six days when sex can result in pregnancy. This conception risk period, also called the ‘fertile window’ is the five days before egg release (ovulation), plus the day of egg release.


Are you at risk?

You are at risk of conception if you have unprotected sex in the five days before ovulation because sperm can live for about five days, and can be waiting in the fallopian tubes, ready to fertilise your egg. Unless fertilised, an egg only lives for 24 hours.

The highest risk of pregnancy is when ovulation happens shortly after unprotected sex.

Sperm viability declines in the days after sex. This means the risk of conception is highest when ovulation happens during the first three days following unprotected sex.

When am I most fertile? 

You have no way of knowing when your fertile window is – and it can be at a different time every month.


This means you are at risk of pregnancy almost throughout the whole of your menstrual cycle.

  • You might not ovulate on the same day of your cycle from one month to the other
  • Women with a regular cycle can be in their fertile window any time from day 6 to day 21
  • Women with an irregular cycle can be in their fertile window from day 8-28