Medically reviewed on August 1, 2022 by Amy Harris, MS, RN, CNM. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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If you and your partner have decided that it’s time to start a family, you probably want to know when your chances of getting pregnant are at their highest. Or, perhaps, you’ve struggled to get pregnant and want to ensure that you’re trying on the right days to maximize your fertility.
If you’ve started to do a little research on fertility, you’ve probably seen some terms come up over and over: high fertility vs peak fertility. Maybe you aren’t exactly sure what these terms mean and how they can help or harm your chances of becoming pregnant when you’re ready.
We know that the birds and bees aren’t always as simple as the songs say. Ovulation, your menstrual cycle, and fertility can be a little complex at times—that’s why we’ve put together this guide. We’ll walk you through the basics of understanding your high fertility times and when you should try to get pregnant with the greatest likelihood of success.
Since the term fertility refers to your ability to conceive, then high fertility is a period in which you are more likely to conceive. To help you better understand, let’s review some key terminology related to fertility, including: 
These components define your high fertility period during each of your cycles.
The beginning of high fertility is referred to as the “onset of the fertility window.”  This occurs about five days before ovulation. During this stretch, your fertility levels are high. This is because sperm can live in your body for up to five days.  Suppose you have unprotected sexual intercourse five days before ovulation. In that case, there’s a good possibility that live sperm will still be active in your body and able to fertilize the egg released during ovulation.
High fertility lasts from five days before ovulation until the beginning of peak fertility.
Peak fertility can be defined in two ways:
The age at which individuals reach peak fertility is 22 years old, on average, according to data collected in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. 
However, for the purposes of this guide, we’re going to further discuss peak fertility in terms of when you are most likely to conceive during your monthly cycle. Therefore, peak fertility can be defined as: 
If you wish to become pregnant, you should try to have intercourse on your high fertility and peak fertility days. This provides the best chance of conception.
Peak fertility occurs during the day before ovulation and the day you ovulate.
These two days are thought to be the two days during your cycle when you are most likely to become pregnant if you have unprotected sex. 
However, many individuals don’t have perfectly regular cycles. Those with irregular periods experience cycles of varying lengths. This means that during some months, ovulation may occur on the 10th day of the cycle. Other months it may occur on day twelve or fourteen. Pinning down the exact days of peak fertility is very difficult and can vary from month to month depending on the ebb and flow of your cycle.
Both high fertility and peak fertility are periods in which the likelihood of conception after unprotected intercourse is highest. The most significant difference between high and peak fertility is that peak fertility occurs closer to the time of ovulation—the day before and the day of ovulating.
High fertility encompassesed the few days before ovulation when sperm left behind during intercourse can remain in your body until you ovulate.
So, now that you know there are specific days when you are most likely to get pregnant, how do you use this information to your advantage? There are several ways that you can track your cycle to determine which day ovulation will occur. These include: 
For the best results, you may want to use all three of these methods together. Paying close attention to and tracking your body’s signals can help you understand your cycle’s unique characteristics and pinpoint when you are likely to ovulate.
While understanding your cycle and ovulation can help you conceive, sometimes other factors slide in and prevent you from getting pregnant. Some of these include: 
The one question people ask is, "Does birth control affect fertility?" Thankfully, once you've stopped birth control, it shouldn't interfere with your ability to get pregnant.
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a full year without success, then you may want to seek professional help. A specialist can give you more insight into why you’re having trouble conceiving and provide options that can increase your chances of pregnancy. Although infertility can be really frustrating, there are often treatments and solutions that can help.
We are fortunate to live at a time when technological advances have led to a better understanding of human reproductive health.
We have modern fertility treatment options for individuals who want to get pregnant, ovulation predictor kits for those who want to track their fertility, and pregnancy test options.
Research has provided insights into when those who wish to become pregnant might be best able to conceive. High fertility and peak fertility days are thought to be the best days to try to get pregnant. However, some people still struggle to get pregnant.
If you want to learn more about your fertility levels, then we might be able to help. The Everlywell Women’s Fertility Test measures the levels of five key fertility hormones. All it takes is a simple finger prick, and then you submit your sample to one of our secure labs. Your results will provide you with insights into your hormone levels to help you understand if your fertility is where it needs to be for conception.
Try our fertility test today and take charge of your reproductive health.