The odds of a young fertile couple conceiving by having sexual intercourse around the time of ovulation (the release of the egg from the ovary) are approximately one in five every month. Around nine out of 10 couples achieve a pregnancy after one year of unprotected sex. There are various strategies that can improve your odds of conceiving. Identifying the woman’s fertile phase is the most important. The most important factor when trying to conceive is to have sexual intercourse during the woman’s fertile phase - that is, the five days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation itself. New life begins when an egg (ovum) from a woman is fertilised by sperm from a man. Ovulation occurs around 14 days before the start of the menstrual period, when an egg is released from one of the ovaries. Conception occurs when the egg is met by a sperm in the fallopian tube. Having sex in the days prior to ovulation (when the woman is aware of a slippery sensation at the vulva) and on the day of ovulation (usually the last day of the slippery sensation) increases the odds of pregnancy. Couples who have sexual intercourse around the middle or later stages of the woman’s menstrual cycle may have already missed the egg, which has a short lifespan.