For many, getting pregnant is easy. It just seems to happen for them. For others, those of us who lead busy, sometimes stressful lives, getting pregnant may be more difficult. The following tips and suggestions may help you get your family started.
How you become pregnant
First off though, it is important to understand what is occurring during conception and to understand that it is not one singular event but a combination of several. Each month, you ovulate, or your body’s hormones stimulate the ovaries to release an egg. This generally happens on or around day 14 of your menstrual cycle, although this day can vary among women or even on a month to month basis. After the egg has been released, it will travel to the fallopian tubes. This is the optimum time for fertilization; you only have about 24 hours to unite the egg with a sperm. This does not, however, mean that you have 24 hours to have sex and get pregnant. Sperm can stay in the female reproductive tract for about two days, so it is best to engage in intercourse regularly during the days leading up to ovulation and increase your chances of becoming pregnant. If the egg becomes fertilized, it will travel to the uterus in about two-four days and there it will attach to the uterine lining. Congratulations, you’re pregnant! If this does not occur, the egg will break-down and you will simply have your period as normal.
How to know when is the best time to get pregnant
The key to getting pregnant, is knowing when your ovulation schedule is. This can be difficult for many women, especially if you have an irregular period. Some tools and methods that can be helpful in determining your peak times to get pregnant are the following.
Keep an eye on the calendar and know when your periods are and track them month to month so you can better predict your ovulation.
Look for changes in your cervical mucus. Just before you ovulate, a slippery clear mucus will appear and is it there to help the sperm have a better chance in reaching the egg, when this mucus turns a cloudy color, your chances of becoming pregnant are much more slim.
Monitor your basal body temperature (your body temperature when you are at rest), you will generally become warmer by approximately 0.5-1.6 degrees when you are ovulating, it is best to engage in intercourse for the few days before your temperature rises. There are also ovulation monitoring kits that you can buy over-the- counter for about 30-40 dollars, or more advanced ones that can cost up to 200 dollars. These test the urine for a surge of hormones that generally appears just before you ovulate. Another, more expensive, high-tech option is the ovulation wristwatch that monitors the sodium level in your sweat; these changes also reflect what is happening in your cervical mucus.
How to increase your chances of becoming pregnant
While knowing when you ovulate is the key to getting pregnant, it is also extremely important to make sure you take care of yourself.
Eating healthy, regularly exercising, and keeping your stress level low will help you as well.
Also, take your vitamins, especially your B vitamins, which are good for the baby and can help reduce the chances of them from suffering from neural tube defects.
Having regular sex, 3-4 times weekly, will increase your chances of hitting a fertile time period and for many couples, this is all they need to do. Increasing sexual intercourse to at least once daily during the 2-3 days before you ovulate will also increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
It is important not to smoke, drink alcohol, or uses any other kinds of drugs, prescription included, without first consulting a doctor. These things (especially the tobacco), can and will change the cervical mucus and make it more difficult for the sperm cell to reach the egg. If you are serious about becoming pregnant and becoming a mother, you would have to take these precautions anyway and it is better to make yourself healthier before you take on the responsibility of carrying a child for nine-months and then bringing them into the world.
How your partner can help
It is important to remember that you are not the only factor involved in whether or not you become pregnant. Your partner will also have some things that he should do in order to insure that his sperm have enough motility to reach the egg. While you are trying to have a baby, your partner should avoid wearing briefs and other tight apparel. He should also avoid Jacuzzi and hot baths. He is more likely be less fertile if he does not avoid these things. There are over- the-counter sperm fertility test available as well; these generally test the motility of the sperm rather than the actual count as a sperm analysis will do. These test are basic and if one says that your motility is bad, it’s bad and your partner should go and see their doctor and assess what there options are.
When to see a doctor
If you are under the age of 35 and you and your partner are both healthy and have been trying on your own for a year with no success, then you should see a doctor to see if there is an underlying medical problem that you don’t know about. If you are over the age of 35 you should see your doctor sooner, preferably before you start on your own to see what you can do to increase your ability to have children.