To get pregnant, a sperm must fertilize the egg, and for this, certain conditions must be met. This can only occur at an exact moment in the female menstrual cycle when the woman is ovulating. Many factors can modify this fertile period, which depends on each one.
On the other hand, sperm can remain fit for a specific time once they enter the female reproductive system. This represents another variable in the fertilization process. If you are looking to get pregnant, it is best to know your cycle very well and know when your fertile period is to plan sexual encounters. At FastlyHealwe, answer the question: Can I get pregnant 4 or 5 days after ovulating?
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How is female ovulation
The menstrual cycle is the process that prepares the female body for conception. On average, female cycles are 28 days, but this is highly variable and can range from 21 to 40 days, depending on the person. Each cycle starts with the first day of bleeding and goes right up to the day before the next menstrual period. Menstrual cycles are determined by hormones that rise and fall at each stage, preparing the female body for pregnancy month by month.
It is a delicate concert of hormones that determines the different stages of the cycle. Five hormones produced in both the brain and the ovaries are involved in this:
Hormones produced in the brain
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone or luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone: is the hormone that stimulates the production of FSH and LH.
- Follicle-stimulating hormone or FSH: this hormone, as its name implies, stimulates the production of follicles in the ovary. Therefore it is secreted at the beginning of the cycle.
- Luteinizing hormone or LH: is responsible for producing ovulation of the follicle that is more advanced in the maturation process.
Hormones produced in the ovaries
- Estrogens: these hormones participate in female sexual development and regulate the menstrual cycle. They are primarily produced in the ovaries, but a small portion is made in the adrenal glands. There are three types: estradiol, estriol, and estrone.
- Progesterone: the function of this hormone is essential for pregnancy to occur as it causes an increase in the endometrium, that is, the tissue where the embryo will be implanted if there is fertilization.
Exact ovulation calculation
The female menstrual cycle includes four phases determined by the concentrations of the different hormones. Then, it is possible to determine in what stage of the process the woman is by the attention of these. Women can only get pregnant during the ovulation period. The following are the phases of the process:
- Menstrual phase: it begins on the first day of menstruation, which is when the bleeding starts. In this phase, the endometrium is expelled as there has been no embryo implantation. The duration is 4 to 7 days.
- Follicular or pre-ovulatory phase: it is the time when follicles grow and range from menstruation to ovulation. FSH will grow several follicles in each menstrual cycle, out of the 500,000 present in each woman, but only one, called the Graafian follicle, will fully mature. The rest degenerate. Estrogen also appears at this stage, responsible for generating the production of cervical mucus that will facilitate the passage of sperm and is one of the visible ways to know that ovulation is approaching.
- Ovulatory phase: in this stage, LH helps to complete the maturation of the ovum, which is released and travels to the fallopian tubes. This is the fertile period during which the egg can be fertilized; it is the best time to get pregnant. In women who have regular 28-day cycles, this occurs on day 14, and usually, the ovum manages to survive for about 24 hours outside the ovary. During this short period, you can be fertilized by a sperm. For their part, the latter arrive en masse, they can survive a maximum of five days, and only one has the possibility of reaching the ovum. If this does not happen, the egg will disintegrate.
- Luteal or post-ovulatory phase: it goes from the end of ovulation to the day before menstruation. During this phase, when fertilization does not occur, estrogens and progesterone decrease causing the endometrium to be shed and bleeding. On the other hand, if the ovum is fertilized, it will seek to stick to the endometrium. At the same time, the follicle that remains in the ovary will produce more estrogen and progesterone to maintain the endometrium until the formation of the placenta. It is advisable to wait until the first day of the next cycle to do a pregnancy test through urine. This will measure the number of hormones present; it is best to do it with the first urine with the highest concentration. In the following article, we explain when to do the pregnancy test.
Can I get pregnant 4 or 5 days after ovulating?
Each woman is very particular when it comes to her menstrual cycle. So, to answer this question, it is essential to know the woman’s cycle in particular. In general, the cycles last between 28 and 32 days, and ovulation usually occurs in the middle of this, that is, on day 14 for those who have a process of 28 or on day 16 for those who have a cycle of 32.
What happens is that, in reality, this is an approximation, and for women with cycles of 28 days, ovulation can occur between day 11 and day 21, a period called the fertility window. Depending on when ovulation occurs throughout this period, it will be the ideal time to get pregnant. The ovulation process implies that the mature ovum is released in the fallopian tube, and there it can be reached by a sperm in the next 24 hours.
So, you can get pregnant after ovulating but up to 24 hours after ovulation has occurred. On the other hand, it takes six hours for sperm to reach the fallopian tube and can live up to five days, helped by cervical mucus. So, if intercourse is held up to five days before ovulation occurs, the sperm will be there when the egg is released. If ovulation occurs, it will be possible to conceive in the next 24 hours maximum.
Understanding and monitoring your cycle is the best way to plan a pregnancy or prevent one. However, each process can be altered by different factors since it is a subtle equilibrium where many interdependent actors intervene.
For example, the hormonal regulation system that ensures the development of the menstrual cycle can be affected by different hereditary and environmental factors, such as stress, diet, and certain chemicals. The latter became quite clear after a study carried out by the National Institutes of Health. It is stated that exposure to certain polluting chemicals causes couples to take longer to conceive. 
Ovulation calculation in irregular cycles
Many women have irregular menstrual cycles, making it difficult to predict when they will ovulate to calculate their fertile period. So it is good to know other signs that you are ovulating that can be taken into account, such as:
- Presence of abundant transparent flow.
- Tenderness in the breasts.
- Mild discomfort in the belly area or lower back.
On the other hand, it is advisable to identify what is causing the irregular cycles. This can be due to different reasons:
- Hormonal alterations: premenopause, hyper or hypothyroidism, polycystic ovaries, and postpartum.
- Certain tumors of the female reproductive system.
- Stress, anorexia nervosa, excessive physical activity, or sudden weight loss.
In any of the cases above, it is essential to consult your doctor to choose the appropriate treatment. It is possible to restore order and achieve a healthy pregnancy in many of these.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.