Can You Get Pregnant When You Are Not Ovulating?

Updated in February 2024

It is almost impossible to get pregnant when you are not ovulating, however there is still a minimal chance that it can happen, especially if you have sex before ovulation. After ovulation, pregnancy is much more difficult, as the egg has already been released and has passed through the fallopian tubes and cannot be fertilized.

You are most fertile when you are ovulating, and this is the set of days during which it is easier to get pregnant. Therefore, these days can either be tracked by women who want to get pregnant or tracked to avoid pregnancy. 

The days with the highest risk for getting pregnant in the entire cycle are the 3 days before ovulation, including the day of ovulation, as it is during this period that the mature egg is released from the ovaries and can be fertilized.

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Getting pregnant outside the fertile period

The fertile period is considered to be between 3 days before and 3 days after ovulation and, therefore, if a woman has intercourse during these days she has a greater chance of getting pregnant.

However, if intercourse occurs within 5 days before ovulation, fertilization may also occur, as sperm, under ideal conditions, may be able to survive for up to 5 days. However, there are other factors that need to happen for pregnancy to occur, and therefore the risk for pregnancy remains unlikely.

Furthermore, many women do not always ovulate on the same day and, therefore, fertile days can vary between cycles. Therefore, the best tip for those who do not want to get pregnant is to use other forms of contraception in the 5 days before ovulation and in the 3 days following.

For those who want to get pregnant, this is the best time to have sex. Check-out our tips on how to get pregnant fast.

When does ovulation occur?

Normally ovulation occurs 14 days before menstruation, which, in a woman with a regular 28-day cycle, also corresponds to the 14th day of the cycle. In women with a less regular cycle, the ideal way s to calculate the day of ovulation 14 days before the expected date of the menstruation.

In addition, there are also some symptoms that may appear with ovulation, but which may be difficult to identify, such as:

  • Slight increase in body temperature
  • Presence of a small transparent and viscous discharge
  • Increased libido

Women who have an irregular cycle will have a greater difficulty knowing when their fertile period is n advance. Therefore, to prevent pregnancy, they are advised to use other contraceptive methods, such as birth control pills or condoms. Women who take the pill do not ovulate and therefore have no risk of becoming pregnant. 

If you have a regular cycle, use our online calculator to find out when you may be ovulating next:


If you do not have a regular cycle, learn about how to calculate your fertile window.