Besides the wedding night itself, the honeymoon is usually a couple's first chance to get busy as husband and wife. For those looking to start a family ASAP, it's a good time to start trying for a baby. But getting pregnant can be easier said than done.
One great way to prep? Downloading a fertility-tracking app a few months before your wedding, getting to know your cycle, and then using that information to your advantage when it's go time. And there's no shortage of options these days. (Some popular apps include Fertility Friend, Glow, Kindara, Lily, and Woman Calendar.) These digital record-keepers allow users to log pertinent information on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, including menstruation, basal body temperature, cervical fluid, and sexual habits. The idea is to track your period for a few months to determine when you're ovulating, and then use a personal calendar to time intercourse accordingly.
According to Paula Amato, M.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Oregon Health and Science University, a woman's cycle length (or time between periods) is typically anywhere from 24 to 32 days. The first day of her period is considered cycle day one, and ovulation occurs around cycle day 14, which is roughly 14 days (plus or minus one or two) before her next menstrual period. Each woman's cycle is different, but this is what a regular, 28-day cycle is like. For those who are irregular, it's a good idea to consult your doctor well ahead of your honeymoon so you have plenty of time to determine your shortest and longest cycles.
Meet the Expert
Paula Amato, M.D. is an OB/GYN and an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Oregon Health and Science University.
Aside from seeing your gynecologist and getting comfortable using a fertility app, urinary ovulation predictor kits are some of the most accurate and reliable methods for pinpointing the best time to get busy, Amato says. What's more, any bride hoping to get pregnant soon after the wedding should stop taking hormonal contraception one or two cycles before the big event.
Depending upon the timing and the length of your post-wedding vacation, conceiving a baby might be totally doable. You need to ovulate during the time that you're away, so try to plan at least a two-week trip (or more) for a wider window of opportunity.
"Being on vacation also allows more time for sexual activity and presumably reduces stress for most people," Amato says. Although stress itself is rarely the primary cause of fertility problems, reducing any physical, mental, or emotional turmoil can definitely help. The heightened sense of relaxation, extensive time together, and greater privacy during a honeymoon all lend themselves to making a baby.
Once you've tossed your birth control pills, tracked your cycles, said "I do," and arrived at your vacay destination, you know what to do next. Kick back and enjoy your new intimacy as husband and wife. And don't put too much pressure on yourselves because chances of conceiving—even if you've done everything right—are about one in four for each cycle, Amato says. That said, most healthy young couples will make a baby within a year, so try to think about your first 12 months of marriage as one long, love-making honeymoon.