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Can you get pregnant when you’re not ovulating?

Ask an expert series is a space for you to get answers to all your questions.  Have a question you’ve been wondering about? Ask here.

My biggest question is: can you get pregnant when you’re not ovulating? I’ve done research and thought through my own logic ... I’ve always Been too ashamed, so wanted to ask an expert. I am so grateful for the opportunity!!

I’m so glad that you felt comfortable to ask! So, technically you have to ovulate and release an egg in order for the sperm to meet the egg and create a blastocyst, or beginning stages of the embryo. The more nuanced explanation (and this may be the source of confusion), is that you are more likely to get pregnant if you have sex on the day(s) just before ovulation than on your actual ovulation day. Since sperm can survive for up to 5 days within the uterine cavity, you increase your chances for sperm to meet an egg by having sex on multiple days leading up to ovulation as well as on ovulation day.