Published by Hera Fertility
October 06, 2023
If you’ve started your fertility journey or you’re thinking about it, you’ve probably heard of peak fertility and high fertility.
Peak fertility is what it sounds like. It’s the point in your cycle when you’re most likely to get pregnant. High fertility is right before peak fertility and marks the beginning of your fertile phase¹.
Everyone’s cycle is different and it can be difficult to determine when you’re most fertile if your cycle isn’t regular.
There are also many different factors that can affect your fertility.
At Hera Fertility, our personalized intake process helps us see the big picture, and the small details, when it comes to you and your fertility.
We want you to be equipped with the right information to make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
So here’s what you need to know to increase your chances of getting pregnant – whether your cycle is normal or not.
The menstrual cycle and fertility
The typical menstrual cycle lasts for twenty-eight days. But don’t worry if this isn’t the case for you. It doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to track your cycle.
Your cycle is split up into two phases.
- The Follicular Phase.
- The Luteal Phase.
The first phase, also known as the proliferative phase, lasts from day one to day fourteen of a normal cycle². The second phase, also called the secretory phase, is from day fourteen to day twenty-eight, the last day of a normal cycle.
A lot of people have misconceptions about when it’s possible to get pregnant during their cycle and the answer is: it depends.
It’s important to note that while twenty-eight days is considered “normal”, many women have cycles that are slightly shorter or longer.
This doesn’t always signal that you have poor menstrual health and you won’t be able to get pregnant.
Plus, although it’s unlikely, it’s possible for conception to occur outside of the fertile window because sperm can survive for several days and ovulation timing can differ.
But it’s most likely you’ll conceive when you have intercourse in the fertile window, which consists of the five or six days before ovulation and the first day you start ovulating.
Peak fertility and high fertility occur during this time in your cycle.
The idea that you absolutely can’t get pregnant outside of this window is a common myth. It can be hard to determine exactly when you’re ovulating, but there are ways to track ovulation that can give you a good idea.
High and peak fertility during ovulation
There are several ways to track your ovulation and detect your high and peak fertility.
High fertility occurs at the beginning of the fertile window. It’s indicated by a surge in estrone-3-glucuronide. Peak fertility is marked by a surge in the luteinizing hormone (LH), which also signals ovulation.
So high fertility typically occurs in the five days leading up to ovulation, while peak fertility is the day before you ovulate and sometimes the day you ovulate.
But of course, this is assuming a normal twenty-eight-day cycle where you ovulate on day fourteen.
This is why we now have better ways of tracking our cycles than the old calendar method.
One study observed participants tracking their cervical mucus or detecting hormonal changes with an electronic fertility monitor. Out of the 124 participants in the study, there were fifty-nine confirmed pregnancies³.
Can you guess how many pregnancies resulted from intercourse on high or peak fertility days?
The results from this study were consistent with other studies on the efficacy of intercourse within the fertile window.
So while you can get pregnant outside of your fertile window, your high fertility and peak fertility days are the best times to try to conceive.
Methods of tracking ovulation and fertility
We recently shared a blog that goes into detail about the different options for ovulation tracking, which include:
- Basal body temperature tracking.
- Cervical mucus tracking.
- Ovulation predictor kits.
- Fertility tracking apps.
Tracking your cycle can help you identify patterns and find out when your high and peak fertility days occur.