What Is the Best Time of Day to Conceive?

Marie-Claire De Villiers
By Marie-Claire De Villiers
Romi Hector
Edited by Romi Hector

Published June 2, 2022.

Couple sitting together holding a pregnancy test

Once you have tracked your body's production of an ovum by following your hormonal patterns in the four phases of the normal menstrual cycle, you will be familiar with the signs of ovulation. These include stretchy, clear cervical mucus and a slightly raised body temperature. You can track this manually or use an ovulation test. The question is whether there is a best time of day to conceive. This might be when conditions in your uterus—the ovum, the sperm, the hormonal balance—are best for conception. However, another factor to consider is the quality and quantity of healthy sperm available to the ovum. This may also vary at different times of the day.

Is It Better to Conceive in the Morning or at Night?

The best time to test your fertility is in the morning with your first urination, and it's best to test your urine using an ovulation test. When you are ovulating, the test will show the release of the luteinizing hormone, indicating a window of 12-36 hours for conception. This tells you your body is ready and that an ovum will be in the uterus available for conception from this point on.

Given that sperm live for up to 72 hours, you may already have sperm in your uterus if you had sex the previous night. However, if that didn't happen, then the morning hours (on days 1 and 2 after a positive ovulation test) are the best time for sex to provide sperm for conception.

Male sperm are at their best for effective conception early in the morning because sperm production is higher, denser, and healthier after a night's sleep. It is also best during cooler weather, namely autumn and winter, because cool conditions encourage sperm production. Having sex on a hot summer night might be more romantic, but it's the cool morning that delivers sperm best. Women also have a clearer indication of ovulation after waking.

Ways to Get Pregnant Faster

Maybe you want to get pregnant as soon as possible, but the fertility window is small. Good quality sperm is only produced once every 24 hours, so having sex more frequently, like twice a day, won't help your chances of conception.

Stay Healthy

The best way is for both you and your partner to stay healthy, take vitamins and supplements like Vitamin B and folic acid to maintain your fertility, and avoid foods that negatively affect ovulation or sperm production. For example, both men and women should avoid high-fat dairy foods like cream and fatty cheese. So, keep up your optimum health and keep track of your hormones to keep ovulating regularly and accurately identify when you are fertile.

Have Sex Often

If you can be sure to have sex daily from the first day of ovulation (identified by the ovulation test) until day 3, then you should have healthy sperm available at all times during the ovulation window period. Also, wait a week to do a pregnancy test, then test your urine first thing in the morning if you want to avoid a false positive or false negative. This timing will give you accurate feedback on whether you have conceived. The most accurate test is a blood test done by a doctor, which is more accurate and can detect pregnancy 6-8 days after ovulation.

Induce Ovulation If You're Not Ovulating Regularly

Another way to get pregnant more quickly is to use hormonal supplements (under prescription from your gynecologist) to help ovulation along when it is clear that your ovulatory cycle is not working effectively. This is called the ovulation induction method. Note that it does come with some risks and side effects.

How to Detect Your Fertile Days

You can detect your fertile days by observing your cervical mucus, taking your basal body temperature as soon as you wake up in the morning, noting the hormonal changes affecting your body, or using an ovulation test.

How Long Does It Take to Get Pregnant After Sex?

Conception can take place within hours or days after sex. That doesn't mean a pregnancy will naturally follow. A pregnancy only starts when the fertilized egg implants itself in the lining of the womb to grow. This implantation happens about a week later. This is the earliest time to have a clear result from a pregnancy test.

Try following the guidelines discussed here, but if you find that your menstrual cycle is irregular and you can't conceive, we recommend consulting your gynecologist.