Can You Get Pregnant after Ovulation?

Every month, women ovulate during their menstrual cycle. Although women can technically get pregnant after ovulation, it is not very likely. Ovulation is the point in the menstrual cycle where you are at your peak level of fertility. After ovulation, you can only get pregnant if the egg is still remaining or if you ovulate again. To gain a better understanding of your chances of getting pregnant, it is important to learn how to calculate your fertile days and your chance from day to day of getting pregnant.can-you-get-pregnant-after-ovulation

Is It Possible to Get Pregnant After Ovulation?

Once you have ovulated, the follicle releases an egg and you have about 12 to 48 hours where you can get pregnant. If male sperm fertilizes the egg during this time, a pregnancy will occur. Sperm are capable of living for up to five days in the female body when cervical mucus is present to give them a comfortable environment. Normally, sperm will travel to the fallopian tubes where they can wait to fertilize the egg as soon as it is released by the follicle. Once the sperm has been ejaculated, it will take six hours to swim from the cervix, through the uterus and into the fallopian tubes if it is in good health. Due to the timing of ovulation and sperm’s ability to remain in the uterus, it is possible to get pregnant for the first one or two days after ovulation.

In this list, we cover your statistical chances of getting pregnant on any day during the menstrual cycle.

5 days prior to ovulation: 0 percent
4 days prior to ovulation: 11 percent
3 days prior to ovulation: 15 percent
2 days prior to ovulation: 20 percent
1 day prior to ovulation: 26 percent
The day of ovulation: 15 percent
1 day after ovulation: 0.09 percent
2 days after ovulation: 0.05 percent
3 days after ovulation: 0 percent

As you can see from this list, your chances of getting pregnant increase up until the day before ovulation and then drop drastically following ovulation.

Calculating Your Fertile Days

If you can learn how to track your cervix height, basal body temperature and cervical mucus, you can predict when ovulation will occur. In addition, there are cheap home tests that you can take that will tell you if you are currently ovulating.

Figuring Out Your Calendar

The average menstrual cycle is 28 days, and women typically ovulate 10 to 14 days before their period starts. This means that the average woman ovulates around day 14 to day 18 of their menstrual cycle. If your menstrual cycle is longer or shorter than average, you can just subtract 10 to 14 from the length to figure out when you are likely to be ovulating. Your egg is only available for fertilization for about 12 to 24 hours, so it is important that sperm is present at or before this time period. For women with a normal menstrual cycle, having sex every other day from day 12 to day 18 can help you to become pregnant. If you are trying not to get pregnant, remember that sperm can live in your body for up to five days, so you do not want to have unprotected sex prior to ovulation or for several days afterward.

Is It Possible to Ovulate Two Times in a Single Menstrual Cycle?

Whenever your FSH hormones increase, the follicles are stimulated to release an egg and you become fertile. This mixture of hormones is designed to push your body through the menstrual cycle and are at their peak for just 24 hours. After ovulation, your hormone levels immediately start to drop and your body begins to prepare for menstruation.

Although it is unlikely, it is possible for two follicles to release an egg during ovulation. If this occurs, then you will have fraternal twins. Roughly 1 to 3 percent of pregnancies that are carried to term have fraternal twins. It is widely thought that one out of eight pregnancies actually have two fertilized eggs, but these pregnancies do not result in twins because one embryo does not last longer than a couple of weeks. When this happens, the body reabsorbs the embryo naturally.

What Happens to Your Body After Ovulation?

If you are pregnant, the egg will have been fertilized by the sperm to make a zygote. This zygote will spend five days traveling down the fallopian tube to reach the uterus. Once there, it will divide into a blastocyst and implant at about eight to ten days post-ovulation. Until the blastocyst implants on the uterine wall, you will have noticed very few changes in the body. At implantation, you may experience some spotting that you may mistake for menstruation. Once it has implanted, the blastocyst will begin to grow and release hormones that seal the cervix while signaling the endometrium to thicken.

If you do not get pregnant during ovulation, the egg will start to move down the fallopian tubes within two days. At this time, it will disintegrate and be reabsorbed by the body. The corpus luteum in your body will keep producing progesterone for 12 to 14 days, but it will ultimately stop and blood will begin flowing from the uterus. As this happens, your period will start.


    • Unless you are using an ovulation predictor kit (and even then, they are not always accurate), there is no way to know for sure the exact day that you ovulated. While ovulation generally occurs at about the same time in your menstrual cycle, it can vary from woman to woman and month to month. While you expected ovulation the day before, it could have occurred late or the egg may have still been waiting to be fertilized. It is possible you are pregnant.

  1. My cycle In april started ( light spots on the 12th) with the normal bleeding starting on the 13th. And it ended around the 16-17th. My next cycle was due to start on the 10th of May. I had unprotected sex on the 5th and 6th of May. We are now the 21st and I still haven’t had my cycle. I am days past ovulation. Could I still be pregnant?

    • If your cycle was supposed to start nearly two weeks ago, then you could be pregnant. While ovulation normally occurs at a set time, it is also possible that you ovulated earlier or later than you expected. You could be pregnant. It is late enough to take a pregnancy test and find out for sure though. Good luck, Catherine!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here