Fertilization occurs within 24 hours after ovulation occurs.
More Info: Ovulation occurs mid way through a woman’s monthly cycle. For a woman with a 28 day cycle, ovulation will occur on or around day 14. Once a sperm penetrates the egg, the fertilized egg will remain in the fallopian tube for up to 72 hours after which it will travel to the uterine cavity and begin to divide rapidly into several cells. If fertilization is not achieved, the body will signal hormones to begin the menstruation cycle. An egg that is not fertilized will be shed from the body when menstruation begins.
Couples trying to conceive can maximize their chance of fertilization by trying several techniques. Ovulation is essential to conception. It is important to find out when you ovulate in order to time when you have intercourse. The few days prior to ovulation are when a woman is considered the most fertile. This is because sperm can survive inside the woman for several days. It is recommended to have sex during the days prior to ovulation and the day of ovulation.
Ovulation predictors, fertility monitors and natural family planning are three common ways to predict ovulation. Natural family planning is the most time intensive and requires basal body charting, monitoring cervical position and cervical mucus. Couples are recommended to try to conceive for one year before consulting a doctor. Women with irregular cycles should see a doctor sooner. Irregular cycles indicate that ovulation is not occurring.
“Human Reproduction, Lectures: Fertilization, Early Pregnancy and Its Disorders.” EHSL – Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library Home Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2010. http://library.med.utah.edu/kw/human_reprod/lectures/fertilization/#3.