Choosing a Time to Conceive

Picking a time to conceive is no easy job. You have to balance the effect it has on the eventual birthdate of the baby in question, when you’ll begin your maternity leave, your fertility and other concerns like health issues, work projects or house moves in order to pick a time frame that gives you the best chance of a trouble free pregnancy and you child the best start in life.

Today we’re taking a look at this issue from several different angles, to ensure you have a grasp of all the factors that go into the decision, and can make a more informed decision.


The first, and perhaps most important thing you have to look at is your own fertility. This goes in peaks and troughs across your menstrual cycle, and of course declines over the course of your life (though possibly not as quickly or dramatically as conventional wisdom might indicate).

As soon as you start thinking about starting a family, you need to start keeping an ovulation calendar, so you know when you’re next going to ovulate, and can try in the days running up to that event, when you’re at peak fertility.

If you don’t have a regular cycle, you might need to use other methods, like BBT tracking, to get an accurate read on when you ovulate, and give yourself the necessary advantage that lets you pick the right time in that cycle to try to conceive.

Life Circumstances

Picking a time in your life to start a family is never easy. You need to consider things like your basic ability to support a new addition to your family, as well as the demands of work and life. If you suffer from an ongoing health issue, for example, you might have good reason to either wait to have children until your health improves, or ensure you’ve started a family before some inevitable treatment or surgery makes the whole process more complicated.

You also have to think about how conception will influence maternity leave. Depending on your job, you may wish to time when you take your maternity leave to coincide with the completion of a big project, to ensure you leave with your reputation at a high watermark. Alternatively, you may wish to allow time for a replacement to be trained for an event you know you won’t be around for. If your plans include returning to your job after you’ve taken your maternity leave, you need to account for you’ll be received and the state of the work you’ll be returning to, and build it into your plans.

Pregnancy and Childbirth

The final set of factors to think about are the physical conditions of pregnancy and childbirth. You may wish to aim for a conception date that means you don’t have to carry a child during the hottest months of the summer, for example.

There’s also evidence to indicate that the relative age of a child compared with their peers can affect their performance in school – though the extent of the effect, the length it lasts in their school career and life is debated – so you may wish to try and aim to be sending an older child to school for the first time by syncing your conception with the school year!

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