How to Get Pregnant Fast: Tips for Trying to Conceive

Can't wait to get that positive test result? These tips can help you on the path to parenthood.
save article
profile picture of Stacey Feintuch
By Stacey Feintuch, Contributing Writer
Updated February 28, 2024
woman looking at contraceptive pills and calendar on phone
Image: Antonio_Diaz | Getty Images

Once you’ve made the big decision to start a family, it’s hard to wait. Luckily, you can begin planning right away. That’s because—as it turns out—there’s more to getting pregnant fast than just having sex at the right time. It’s also about creating the right environment so that when sperm meets egg, a healthy embryo grows into a healthy baby. What’s more, while trying to conceive quickly may be the goal, it’s never a guarantee. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help kick the process into gear. So if you’re wondering how to get pregnant fast, read on for expert-vetted dos and don’ts. From tracking ovulation to changing your diet, we’re sharing expert tips for anyone actively trying to conceive and jump-start their journey to parenthood.

Tips to Get Pregnant Fast

Whether you’re tracking your ovulation or scheduling that all-important preconception appointment, following these steps could help you get pregnant faster.

Track your ovulation

Knowing when you’re going to ovulate—and, therefore, when you’re most fertile—is a key tip for getting pregnant fast. Nailing down the timing isn’t always easy; fortunately, there are several ways to monitor your ovulation. “Keep track of your cycle and try to learn about your body, like when you’re ovulating,” says Christine Greves, MD, FACOG, an ob-gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando. “Using a calendar, apps and ovulation strips are helpful ways of tracking your ovulation period.”

  • Learn when ovulation happens. When trying to conceive, it’s a good idea to understand the basics of how ovulation works and when it occurs. It’s a common misconception that ovulation always occurs on the 14th day after your period starts, but that only happens if your menstrual cycle is consistent and 28 days long. Everyone’s cycle is different. “The average cycle is anywhere from 24 to 35 days, and it doesn’t vary by more than three to four days on any given month,” says Eric D. Levens, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist and fertility specialist at Shady Grove Fertility in Northern Virginia. Depending on how long your cycle is, ovulation can actually happen between 11 to 21 days after the first day of your last period (or even earlier or later, if you have a particularly short or long cycle). But while the timing of ovulation depends on your unique cycle, you should get your period 12 to 14 days after ovulation.
  • Use an ovulation calculator. When you have an important goal, you track what you need to do in a calendar—so it makes sense when you’re planning one of the biggest projects of your life (hello, baby!) to do the same. An ovulation or fertility calculator can help you figure out how to get pregnant fast by determining the length of your cycle. Just record the first day of your period, which is the first day of your menstrual cycle, for several months. Over time you’ll begin to see patterns as to when your period typically starts and when you’re likely to ovulate. Your fertility is highest during the five days leading up to ovulation and 24 hours after. For quick, easy computation, plug the last day of your period and length of your cycle into The Bump ovulation calculator—it’ll do some fast math and highlight the days of the calendar on which you have the highest chance of getting pregnant.
  • Recognize ovulation symptoms. An app can crunch the numbers and give you likelihoods, but one of the simplest ways to get pregnant faster is to listen to your body and monitor it for signs and symptoms of ovulation. According to Cleveland Clinic, the most common symptoms include light spotting, breast sensitivity and tenderness, bloating, increased sex drive, a change in cervical firmness and position, increased sex drive, and a heightened sense of taste, sight or smell.
  • Boost your odds with an ovulation kit. While recognizing ovulation symptoms helps you get more acquainted with your cycle, there’s a chance that, by the time you notice them, you might already be past your most fertile window. So if you’re looking for how to get pregnant fast, ovulation tests can help. These over-the-counter predictor kits track your ovulation by measuring the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), a hormone produced by your pituitary gland, in your urine. Your body is always creating LH, but it makes more of it 24 to 48 hours before you ovulate. For the best results, take the test at the same time each day for several days and refrain from drinking or urinating two hours before testing. Typically, you place the test strip in a cup of your urine or directly in your urine stream, then watch for results on a digital monitor. A certain color or sign will appear to signal an LH surge. When this happens, it means you’ll be ovulating soon and should plan to have sex. Just keep in mind that these tests aren’t 100 percent accurate, since they usually only test for one indicator of ovulation, notes the American Pregnancy Association (APA). Certain health conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or luteinized unruptured follicle syndrome, and some fertility medications can result in an inaccurate reading.
  • Chart your basal body temperature. Charting your basal body temperature (BBT) is another way to find out when you’re ovulating. While your non-ovulating, normal temperature is 96 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit, your BBT changes throughout your cycle, and during ovulation it may be a half-degree higher. To track your BBT, take your temperature every morning before you get out of bed using a special BBT thermometer designed to measure temperature in tenths of degrees. Record your BBT on a chart for several months and look for a pattern to emerge. You can assume you’ve ovulated when you have a slightly higher BBT for three or more days. If you’re having trouble seeing a pattern or change in your BBT, you might want to try taking your BBT rectally or vaginally for more accurate results. Unfortunately, though, you don’t have much time to try to conceive by the time your BBT has risen, the Mayo Clinic notes. This method is more about getting to know your body and figuring out your overall pattern of fertility. When you figure out that monthly pattern, you can plan to have sex a few days before your anticipated BBT spike.

Stop taking birth control

It may seem obvious, but if you want to get pregnant fast, you’ll need to quit your method of birth control. Depending on what form you’re using, fertility doesn’t necessarily return right away. With barrier methods, like condoms, upping your chance of getting pregnant is as easy as leaving them in your nightstand drawer. If you have a non-hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) removed, your body will immediately be ready for pregnancy. But for people who have been using hormonal forms of birth control (the pill or vaginal rings), it can sometimes take a few weeks for your body to regulate and ovulate, experts say. “Especially when women have been on birth control for a very long time, cycles may not occur right away. They may be absent or very irregular for a month or so,” says Levens. Typically with the pill, “after about six to eight weeks, you should start seeing your cycle. If after eight to 10 weeks you’re still not getting a period, it’s wise to seek help from a doctor to figure out what’s going on.”

Related Video

Have strategic sex

Getting pregnant isn’t necessarily as simple as getting busy all the time—and there are some considerations to keep top of mind when it’s time to make a baby:

  • Don’t “overdo” it. Experts say the best way to get pregnant fast is to have sex once a day, every other day, during the fertile window right before and after ovulation. “[Even] if you don’t know the exact time or you’re not using ovulation kits to determine that, I recommend having sex regularly every other day towards the end of your period,” says Greves. “If it’s uncomfortable, or not possible, try to have sex every other day starting eight days after your period until ovulation is predicted.”
  • Don’t worry about specific sex positions. By all means, go ahead and try a variety of sex positions while trying to conceive—some experts may even recommend positions with deeper penetration to help you get pregnant faster. But don’t put too much stock in positions. “The position you have sex in will not prevent you from getting pregnant and will not cause infertility,” says Rachel Gurevich, a fertility expert, doula and oncology nurse at Mayo Clinic Arizona. So it’s okay to experiment and find a sex position that works best for both you and your partner. “One of the things to keep in mind when selecting a position is choosing one where both partners are comfortable and able to enjoy the encounter, as well as orgasm,” says Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, a certified doula.
  • Keep the fun (and intimacy) alive. One of our top tips for getting pregnant: Have fun with it. It’s easy to become so hyper-focused on the end goal that you forget to enjoy yourselves. Trying to get pregnant can sometimes make doing the deed feel like a chore or business transaction, so try not to overthink it. Instead, keep things spontaneous, pleasurable and fun. Moreover, make sure to stay connected outside of the bedroom by sharing your feelings and listening to your partner. Trying to conceive can be a roller-coaster ride, but it’s important to keep the experience positive for you both—and that starts with honesty, intimacy and open communication.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

If you’re wondering how to increase your chances of getting pregnant fast, self-care can go a long way. It’s no secret that your body goes through some major changes and challenges during pregnancy and delivery, so be sure to start your pregnancy journey in tip-top shape by taking important steps toward living a healthy lifestyle:

  • Get some exercise. Be sure to establish healthy exercise habits to prepare your body for pregnancy. Even squeezing in a short daily walk is enough to get your heart rate up and contribute to good health. Just be careful not to overdo it; some studies have suggested that extreme exercise may disrupt ovulation.
  • Aim for a healthy weight. According to the Mayo Clinic, attaining a healthy weight before conception can help set you up for success, both improving the odds of getting pregnant fast and reducing your risk of certain complications. Obesity is associated with irregular ovulation and adverse outcomes for assisted reproduction methods such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). For any questions or concerns, speak to your provider—they’ll work with you to come up with a plan on how to conceive.
  • Eat a healthy diet. When trying to get pregnant, it’s important to eat a nutritious, balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Audrey Gaskins, ScD, an instructor of nutrition and dietetics at Harvard Medical School, explains that healthy foods help increase progesterone levels (a key hormone in maintaining pregnancy), support ovulation and encourage early implantation—three critical factors in conceiving.
  • Start taking prenatal vitamins. It’s never too early to start taking prenatal vitamins, especially if you’re trying to get pregnant. Among other important nutrients, they contain folic acid, which numerous studies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found to be critically important for the development of baby’s brain and spine. Plus, folic acid helps promote ovulation, encourages fertilization and supports early embryo survival, says Gaskins. Your ob-gyn can prescribe a prenatal vitamin or offer recommendations for some good over-the-counter options. Foods like strawberries, spinach, beans and orange juice are also naturally high in folate.
  • Watch your caffeine consumption. You don’t have to cut out caffeine completely, but it’s best to stick to one to two 8-ounce cups a day while trying to conceive. The research is limited and the results are mixed, but some studies suggest that excessive caffeine intake may lead to fertility issues.
  • Cut back on alcohol. While an occasional glass of wine isn’t going to affect your fertility, you might consider avoiding alcohol while you’re trying to conceive. No amount of alcohol is considered safe to drink while pregnant, and since you won’t know the exact moment you conceive, doctors suggest skipping it altogether. Your partner may want to limit their drinking as well: Research has found that heavy alcohol consumption can affect a man’s sperm count and quality.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking is linked to a greater risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies. “Smokers have significantly lower levels of estrogen, which could lower the probability of ovulation in a given menstrual cycle and potentially affect pregnancy maintenance,” Gaskins says. It’s a habit male partners should also kick to the curb—smoking can lower the quality and quantity of their sperm, research says.
  • Reduce outside stress. The key to getting pregnant fast might actually be slowing down. While the research is mixed, many studies have found a link between stress and infertility. Of course, this can be a vicious cycle—if you’re having trouble conceiving, you may find yourself becoming increasingly tense. Hard as it may be, find calming activities that keep you grounded and bring you joy. This could include gentle yoga, meditation or even talk therapy. Taking care of your mental health is an important form of self-care when trying to conceive. If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
  • Avoid heat for increased sperm counts. If you’re wondering how to get pregnant with a male partner, one tip is to ditch anything that generates heat. Hot water can have a negative effect on a man’s sperm count, according to the University of California San Francisco and Cleveland Clinic. If you and your partner are looking for ways to get pregnant quickly, it may be time to cut back on long soaks in the hot tub and sauna. But that’s not the only thing that may be increasing heat and decreasing sperm count: A 2016 study found that laptops may also adversely affect a man’s fertility, as well as heat from wearing tight underwear and pants.

Schedule a preconception appointment

Scheduling a preconception check-up is an important step in your trying-to-conceive journey. Your ob-gyn can talk to you about your overall health and suggest any necessary lifestyle changes to help you get pregnant fast. Be sure to discuss any pre-existing conditions that might affect your pregnancy and medications you’re currently taking. You can also explore your family history to decide if genetic screening is advisable.

It’s also a very good idea to see your dentist when you’re trying to get pregnant: Gum disease during pregnancy has been linked to a lower birth weight and premature birth. Plus, pregnancy is notoriously tough on teeth and gums.

How Long Does It Take to Get Pregnant?

Most healthy couples who have frequent, unprotected sex become pregnant within a year, according to the Mayo Clinic. One study found that 38 percent conceived after one month, 68 percent after three months, 81 percent after six months and 92 percent after 12 months. Still, sometimes you might need some help.

When to Seek Fertility Support

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that if you’re under 35, you seek fertility help after a year of trying to conceive. If you’re between 35 and 40, reach out to your doctor if you haven’t conceived after six months. If you’re over 40, make sure to contact your provider for personalized advice.

The sooner you see a doctor, the more likely you are to get pregnant fast. “Some causes of infertility worsen over time,” Gurevich says. “And by waiting, you may be reducing the odds for success with fertility treatments.”

The key is to not blame yourself if you aren’t getting pregnant. Infertility is common—one in eight couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy, according to a survey by the CDC. Having difficulty conceiving may be linked to a number of factors. If trying to get pregnant is taking a mental toll, reach out to a trusted friend, family member or a therapist. Also consider joining an in-person or online support group, so you can share your feelings with others going through the same experience.

You want to get pregnant fast, but it may take time and patience. Some couples have immediate success, others will have a long journey ahead. The most important thing you can do right now is take control of your physical and mental health, so you can feel empowered as you embark on this path. Be proactive now—and then take it one step at a time together.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.


Audrey Gaskins, ScD, is a research associate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she specializes in male and female fertility. She also currently serves as an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Gaskins received her doctorate of science from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Christine Greves, MD, FACOG, is an ob-gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando. She received her medical degree from the University of South Florida College of Medicine.

Rachel Gurevich, RN, is a fertility expert, doula and oncology nurse at Mayo Clinic Arizona. She’s also the co-author of Birth Plans for Dummies. She earned her associate degree in nursing from Pima Medical Institute-East Valley in Arizona.

Eric D. Levens, MD, FACOG, is an ob-gyn, reproductive endocrinologist and fertility specialist at Shady Grove Fertility in Northern Virginia. He earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Florida.

Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH, LCCE, CLC, is an author, Lamaze-certified childbirth educator, certified doula and doula trainer with DONA International.

Cleveland Clinic, Ovulation, July 2022

American Pregnancy Association, How to Use Ovulation Kits & Fertility Monitors/

Mayo Clinic, Basal Body Temperature for Natural Family Planning, February 2023

Sports Medicine, Effect of Exercise on Ovulation: A Systematic Review, December 2016

Mayo Clinic, Pregnancy and Obesity: Know the Risks, December 2022

Journal of the Turkish-German Gynecological Association, Impact of Obesity on Infertility in Women, 2015

Reviews in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Folic Acid Supplementation and Pregnancy: More Than Just Neural Tube Defect Prevention, 2011

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Folic Acid, June 2022

American Journal of Epidemiology, Caffeine Intake and Delayed Conception: A European Multicenter Study on Infertility and Subfecundity, February 1997

BMC Women’s Health, Relationship Between Caffeine Intake and Infertility: A Systematic Review of Controlled Clinical Studies, June 2020

Cureus, Effects of Stress and Caffeine on Male Infertility, August 2022

Reproductive Biomedicine Online, Semen Quality and Alcohol Intake: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, January 2017

Frontiers in Physiology, Relationship Between Smoking Habit and Sperm Parameters Among Patients Attending an Infertility Clinic, October 2019

Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, The Relationship Between Stress and Infertility, April 2022

University of California San Francisco, Hot Tubs Hurt Fertility, UCSF Study Shows, March 2007

Cleveland Clinic, Are You Unknowingly Lowering Your Sperm Count? When to Worry, September 2019

Journal of Biomedical & Physics Engineering, The Fundamental Reasons Why Laptop Computers Should Not Be Used on Your Lap, December 2016

Human Reproduction, Type of Underwear Worn and Markers of Testicular Function Among Men Attending a Fertility Center, September 2018

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pregnancy and Oral Health, March 2022

Mayo Clinic, How to Get Pregnant, December 2021

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Evaluating Infertility, August 2022

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Infertility FAQs, April 2023

Learn how we ensure the accuracy of our content through our editorial and medical review process.

save article

Next on Your Reading List

illustrative image of a woman's menstrual cycle
Can You Get Pregnant on Your Period?
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
woman taking ovulation test on toilet at home
8 Best Ovulation Tests to Find Your Fertile Days, Based on Our Testing
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
How to Choose the Type of Artificial Insemination That’s Right for You
How to Choose the Type of Artificial Insemination That’s Right for You
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
Serious woman at home in her bedroom.
What to Know About Ovulation Pain When You’re Trying to Conceive
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
doctor talking to patient about fertility process
10 Crazy Fertility Myths—Debunked
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
illustration of sperm moving towards egg
Calculating Your Fertile Window: When Are You Most Fertile?
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
husband hugging worried wife
How to Deal When Everyone Else Is Pregnant (and You’re TTC)
Fact Checked by Denise Porretto
happy young couple eating breakfast at home
10 Things to Avoid When Trying to Get Pregnant
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
Frida Fertility
Frida Launches New Line of No-Nonsense Fertility Products
By Wyndi Kappes
woman tracking her menstrual cycle on calendar
How Long Does It Take to Get Pregnant?
By Korin Miller
young couple enjoying breakfast at home
New Study Suggests Intermittent Fasting Could Have Impact on Fertility
By Wyndi Kappes
10 slides
Now Eat This! the 10 Best Foods for Boosting Fertility
Now Eat This! the 10 Best Foods for Boosting Fertility
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
12 Fertility-Boosting Yoga Moves in GIFs
12 Fertility-Boosting Yoga Moves in GIFs
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
close up of baby bump in black and white
Why I Can’t Be There: an Open Letter to My Pregnant Friends
By Natalie Dale, MD
IUI: Your Guide to Intrauterine Insemination
IUI: Your Guide to Intrauterine Insemination
By Maggie Overfelt
8 Shocking Facts About Trying to Get Pregnant
8 Shocking Facts About Trying to Get Pregnant
By Kylie McConville
young woman smiling coyly and and walking through city streets
8 Signs of Fertility to Look for Each Month
By Temeka Zore, MD
Getting Pregnant Checklist
Getting Pregnant Checklist
By The Bump Editors
couple cooking together in kitchen
9 Common Fertility Mistakes When Trying to Conceive
By Laura Schocker
peanut app launches ttc platform
Peanut App Launches TTC Platform to Help Women Find a Safe Community
By Nehal Aggarwal
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List