How Long after Ovulation Is Fertilization?

Author: Staff Writers


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.


Works Cited

Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library
"Human Reproduction, Lectures: Fertilization, Early Pregnancy and Its Disorders"

Pregnancy and conception

Expert Opinion

"If sperm does meet and penetrate a mature egg after ovulation, it will fertilize it. When the sperm penetrates the egg, changes occur in the protein coating around it to prevent other sperm from entering. At the moment of fertilization, your baby's genetic make-up is complete, including its sex. Since the mother can provide only X chromosomes (she's XX), if a Y sperm fertilizes the egg, your baby will be a boy (XY); if an X sperm fertilizes the egg, your baby will be a girl (XX)."

Mayo Clinic

"Following ovulation, the ovum with its cumulus oophorus cells are picked up by the fimbria of the fallopian tube. The ovum has now formed the first polar body. It remains in the ampulla portion of the tube and is viable for about 18 to 24 hours. If fertilization does not occur, the ovum disintegrates and is destroyed by the tube."

Harry H. Hadasaka Department of OB/GYN U of U College of Medicine

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"How Long after Ovulation Is Fertilization?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

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