Here's how to make your busy schedule work.
pregnancy test
Credit: Bryan McCay

You might be thinking: It's hard enough for the egg and sperm to meet up when you're living with your partner, so how can you get pregnant if you travel a lot for work and are away from each other? The good news is that with some planning, you can time your meet-ups to coincide with your body's baby-making window of opportunity.

"The best time to get pregnant is the three to five days leading up to ovulation," says Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center, in New York City. Because sperm can live for several days in the uterus, they'll be ready and waiting for the egg when it drops.

To figure out when you ovulate, start tracking your periods. Ovulation -- when the egg is released from the ovary -- usually occurs about halfway through your menstrual cycle, with Day 1 of the cycle being the first day of your period. Most women have 28-day cycles (but they can range from 23 to 35 days). If you can, plan to be home -- or to have your partner visit you -- during that time.

You can further pinpoint the day of ovulation by taking your temperature every morning: A few days before that halfway mark, start taking your basal body temperature (BBT) with a thermometer. Just after ovulation, your temperature spikes about a degree, though you won't feel it. Note the day your temperature spikes; the three to five days prior to this is when you're most fertile, says Dr. Hutcherson. For the following cycle, plan for a romantic rendezvous on this day of the month, even if it's a quickie. "Some couples have flown in to meet their spouse, gotten a hotel room by the airport, then flown back a few hours later," says Dr. Hutcherson. It probably seems like a lot to organize, but the results could be everything you've hoped for.

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