Other Risks Of The Pull Out Method
In addition to having a higher risk of pregnancy than other contraceptive options, the pull out method does not prevent sexually transmitted infections . Before using this method, both partners should know and communicate their STI status. Talk about it and discuss what STI risks you both have before deciding to use the pullout method. Condoms and other barriers like dental dams are more effective at preventing STIs.
How Is Infertility Defined
Infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after one year of unprotected sex for women under 35 and six months for women 35 and older.
The vast majority of people will become pregnant within the first 12 months of trying to conceive with regular unprotected intercourse, says Cross. After six months to a year of trying depending on a womans age we recommend that a couple comes in for an infertility evaluation. At that point, its more likely that theres a problem preventing pregnancy.
Truth: Trying Too Hard Doesn’t Cause Infertility
“Youre trying too hard to get pregnant,” someone may say, “If you stop trying so hard, youll get pregnant.” Thats not true.
Theres no evidence to say that “trying too hard” will make it take longer to get pregnant. In fact, someone who is trying to get pregnant is likely using fertility awareness methods to track ovulation and is more likely to have sex when they are most fertile. If anything, they may be more likely to get pregnant.
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So How Much Semen And Sperm Are Released
According to the , when a penis ejaculates an average of about 1 teaspoon or 4 milliliters of semen is produced.
The World Health Organization has also provided values that estimate each time males ejaculate, they may produce between 23 million and 928 million sperm cells.
Given the right conditions, sperm can live in the uterus for up to 5 days. Sperm can also live up to 72 hours in an incubator, and they may last for years if frozen. Needless to say, sperm has some staying power.
Because of the vast amount of sperm in semen , as well as the need for only one sperm to fertilize the egg cell, its possible for one sperm to travel through the cervix while semen and additional sperm come back out of the vaginal canal.
Even if you notice discharge after sex, plenty of sperm are left inside the vagina to allow for the possible fertilization of an egg.
How Is Anovulation Treated
Anovulation is usually treated with fertility drugs. There are several commonly prescribed fertility drugs, including:
Clomiphene citrate . Around 80% of women will ovulate and 40% will get pregnant using CC. It works by stimulating the hormones that cause your body to release an egg.
Human chorionic gonadotropin . This causes your ovary to release an egg, usually 36 to 72 hours after it’s given. This is the same hormone that pregnancy tests measure. So, if you take a pregnancy test after receiving hCG, you will get a false-positive result.
Follicle stimulating hormone . This is a lab-created version of the hormone that causes the eggs to mature in your ovaries. This may be used on women who don’t get pregnant with CC or who don’t make their own FSH. FSH treatment has a risk of 20% to 30% of pregnancy with multiplies. Use of FSH has to be closely monitored by your doctor.
GnRH agonists and antagonists. These are synthetic hormones that are used to control the release of LH.
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Controlling Inflammation Is Critical
Therapies like biologics can drastically reduce the number of flare-ups a person has and are safe to use during pregnancy, says Jessica Philpott, MD, PhD, a gastroenterologist with Cleveland Clinic’s Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute, who was not involved with the research.
At the earlier point of this 20 years, we werent as sure. But the more data we have, the more comfortable managing disease with medications during pregnancy, she says.
For biologics, which are protein therapies, doctors are extremely comfortable, and they are necessary to manage the disease during pregnancy, Dr. Philpott says, adding that most people do stay on biologics throughout pregnancy, though some do choose to stop treatment.
Theres still this persistently elevated risk of obstetric outcomes in women with IBD despite there being these novel therapies, so we need to start exploring any barriers to biologics use during pregnancy, with the goal of developing targeted interventions to mitigate these outcomes, says Dua. If biologics are being used, then we need to explore if there is another reason besides disease activity that could be causing these adverse outcomes.
Exercise Or Lack Of Body Fat
You may be an athlete who is neither over- nor underweight . However, its not your weight that really impacts your reproductive cycleits the amount of fat.
Athletes may have a high percentage of muscle and a low percentage of body fat. This can cause their menstrual cycles to be irregular or even stop completely. Excessive exercise can also cause your periods to become irregular or stop.
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Youre On Birth Control
Birth controlwhether its the pill, patch, ring, implant, IUD, or the shot greatly decreases your chances of conception. These methods work in various ways for example, IUDs block sperm from reaching the egg, while hormonal contraception prevent the recruitment of a mature egg, explains Dr. Brauer. Even if youre committed to taking your birth control, you still have to use it correctly and consistently.
Also, if you rely on contraceptive pills, take note: Some pill packs contain four to seven days of sugar pills without any hormones. In rare ocassions, this may be long enough to allow for recruitment of a mature egg. This is often referred to as escape ovulation and is one reason for oral hormonal contraception failure, says Dr. Brauer. Missing doses of hormonal contraception could also increase the chances of accidental pregnancy.
How hard is it to get pregnant on birth control? If youre on birth control and following all instructions, then your chances of getting pregnant are generally less than 1 percent. The effectiveness decreases with typical use .
Do Virgin Pregnancies Really Happen
Researchers have studied a phenomenon called virgin pregnancy to understand why it would be reported. In a survey of 7,870 pregnant women, they discovered that 0.8 percent of the women reported becoming pregnant without having vaginal sex.
A study like this has limitations, as it involved self-reporting. The researchers noted various cultural and religious expectations in the mix , as well as varying definitions of what sex meant. As such, these numbers dont represent a true picture of the frequency of fertilization without penetration.
Regardless, its likely that some of these women may have defined sex as penis-in-vagina sex. So, if the virgins in the study had other sexual contact, its possible that sperm somehow made its way up the vaginal tract from other acts.
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You Dont Take It Soon Enough
Morning-after pills like Plan B and Next Choice are effective if you take them within five days of unprotected sex. The major caveat here is that they work best when taken within 72 hours, then the efficacy starts dropping. Within three days after unprotected sex, these kinds of morning-after pills are between 75 and 89 percent effective at preventing pregnancy, according to Planned Parenthood. The sooner you take it, the better its going to work, Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale Medical School, tells SELF. Although levonorgesterel-based options like Plan B and Next Choice prevent pregnancy up to five days after unprotected sex, think of those first 72 hours as prime time.
Ella, the prescription morning-after pill, is also effective for up to five days after unprotected sex, but its equally as effective the entire time, Katharine O’Connell White, M.D., M.P.H., director of fellowship in family planning, Boston University/Boston Medical Center, tells SELF. Ella decreases your risk of getting pregnant by 85 percent if you take it within the appropriate window.
Paragard also needs to be inserted within that five-day window in order to be effective.
Why Cant You Technically Have A Period When Youre Pregnant
Throughout the month, your body prepares for pregnancy. It does this by building up the endometrium, or uterine lining. If you become pregnant, this lining serves to help nourish the fertilized egg at the very early stages of pregnancy. If you dont become pregnant, your body sheds the endometrium, via your period. Therefore, its impossible to be pregnant and have a period, because you dont shed your endometrium while pregnant.
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Chances Of Getting Pregnant On Your Period
In essence, menstruation is the monthly shedding of the endometrium, the inner membrane of the uterus. Menstruation lasts between three and seven days for most women. By the third day, levels of progesterone and estrogen are rising and working to rebuild your endometrium. Around day four, follicle ripening begins to go on the uptick, meaning the ovaries will start preparing eggs for release.
Unless you’re a very early ovulator , there’s little chance your man’s sperm will actually have any eggs to work with during this phase of your cycle.
Your chances of conceiving: Almost zero. It’s not detrimental to have intercourse, though, and some women see menstruation as a breather from the rigors of frequent procreation-oriented sex.
When Am I Most Likely To Get Pregnant
You are at your most fertile from around 7 days before you ovulate until about 2 days afterwards, particularly the day before and the day that you ovulate. This is because sperm can live for around 5 days inside a womans body, so if youve had sex in the days before ovulation, the sperm can wait for the egg to be released. These days before and just after the egg is released is often called the fertile window.
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How Soon After An Abortion Can You Get Pregnant
A woman will typically get her period back within four to six weeks of terminating a pregnancy. However, it’s possible to become pregnant even before that. That makes it crucial to use a reliable form of birth control if you don’t want to conceive again right away.
It’s worth discussing birth control options with your provider before undergoing an abortion.
Most birth control methods can be used right away in some cases, the same day the abortion is performed. These include birth control pills, patches, vaginal rings or birth control implants or injections. Depending on the type of abortion procedure a women has, an intrauterine device can also be placed right away or shortly afterwards.
Truth: Caffeine Does Not Prevent Conception
Its debatable whether you need to completely quit caffeine when youre trying to get pregnant. The research hasnt been clear. For example, a study in Denmark found that tea drinkers were slightly more likely to get pregnant, soda drinkers were slightly less likely to conceive, and coffee seemed to have no impact on fertility.
What does all that mean? We dont know. For now, though, most agree that less than 300 mg of caffeine a day should be fine. One cup of coffee is less than 300 mg.
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Truth: You Can Get Pregnant After 40
All that said, getting pregnant after 40 is entirely possible. Plenty of women have babies after 40 and even 41. Your risk of infertility increases at 40, along with your risks of miscarriage and pregnancy complications. It may also take a little longer for you to get pregnant. But youre not sterile just because you celebrated your 40th birthday. Even if youve started perimenopause, until youve actually completed menopause, you should use contraception if you want to avoid pregnancy.
Truth: It Can Take Multiple Months To Get Pregnant
You may have gotten the impression in your high school sex education class that getting pregnant is almost too easy. One time in bed and thats ityoull be expecting. Years of using birth control can also put you into this mindset. When you spend so much time worrying that you might accidentally get pregnant, you may be surprised when you dont conceive instantly.
The truth is that few couples get pregnant the first month they try. Its completely normal to take up to six months to get pregnant. Some couples take up to a year to conceive, and thats also within the realm of normal.
How quickly can you expect to get pregnant? One study found that after three months of trying, 68% of the couples were pregnant. After a year, 92% conceived. Additionally, these women were using fertility tracking techniques. So, it wasnt hit-or-miss intercourse that got them pregnant.
What if youre not pregnant after a year? Go see your doctor. If youre age 35 or older, go see your doctor after six months.
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Why Have Sex After Ovulation
Theres another reason to have sex even if youve already ovulated: It may improve your odds of implantation. A small but interesting study looked at the effect sexual intercourse has on pregnancy success and IVF. In this study, one group of couples had sexual intercourse around the time of embryo transfer. The other group abstained from sex.
The initial pregnancy rates between the groups were not that different. However, the number of people who were still pregnant at 6 to 8 weeks was significant.
Of the group that had sex around the time of embryo transfer, 11.01% were still pregnant at 6 to 8 weeks. As for those who did not have sex around embryo transfer, only 7.69% were still pregnant at 6 to 8 weeks. The theory is that semen may play a role in embryo health and development.
Truth: Fertility Declines After Age 35
Unfortunately, no matter how good you look, and how healthy you are, your fertility declines with age. Your odds of getting pregnant at 40 are not as good as they are at 30. In fact, female fertility begins a steep downward path around age 35. This is why experts recommend that women who are over age 35 and trying to conceive should seek help for getting pregnant sooner than younger women.
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Chances Of Getting Pregnant After Ovulation
Also known as the luteal phase, this final portion of your cycle lasts a minimum of 12 days and a maximum of 16 days. Progesterone starts to rise, signaling that the ovaries don’t need to release any more eggs this month. Your cervical mucus will dry up and create a plug to prevent any additional sperm from entering the uterus.
It takes about six days for any fertilized eggs to travel to your uterus. If one implants in your endometrium, you’ll start to see the rise in human chorionic gonadotropin , the hormone measured by home pregnancy tests, within a week.
Your chances of conceiving: Low. Once the egg has been released, there’s not much that can be done until next month. But there’s certainly no harm in having sex if you’re in the mood!
Don’t sweat it if it’s time for your cycle to start over again and you’re still not pregnant. You may not have tracked your most fertile days accurately, in which case your guy’s swimmers never had the chance to work their magic. The vast majority of couples who are trying to conceive do so within a year, with only about half achieving their goal by 6 months. Talk to your doctor or a fertility specialist about any concerns regarding your chances of getting pregnant.
Ovulation Predictor Kits Can Help You Identify When Youre Ovulating
36-40 hours before ovulation, there is a brief surge in luteinizing hormone . Ovulation predictor kits detects the presence and concentration of luteinizing hormone in your urine about 12-24 hours before ovulation takes place. Ovulation predictor kits may be especially helpful for women who are trying to conceive and want to improve their chances of getting pregnant.
When used correctly, ovulation predictor kits are approximately 80% accurate in detecting ovulation with 5 days of testing and 95% accurate with 10 days of testing. Typically testing should begin at least 2 days before the expected day of ovulation and continued until the LH surge or through day 20.
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Can You Get Pregnant On Your Period If You Have An Irregular Cycle
Yes. If you have an irregular period, it can be harder to predict when youll be ovulating and that could cause you to get pregnant accidentally, since it can be harder to avoid having sex close to that time.
Here are a few types of irregular menstrual cycles, and how it’s still possible to get pregnant:
- You have a short cycle. Some women have cycles as short as 21 days and still ovulate, which means they dont have as much time between when they finish menstruating and when they next ovulate. And since sperm can live in your reproductive tract for a few days, if you happened to have sex during your period and then ovulated the following cycles egg two to three days later, that egg could encounter viable sperm. And you know what that means.
- Your periods last a long time. While your body is slowly shedding that uterine lining, the clock is ticking on ovulation and your next egg shows up while youre still bleeding from the previous months egg. So youre already fertile again which means you can get pregnant on your period.
- You have breakthrough bleeding, or spotting, when you ovulate. Especially if you have light or irregular periods, it would be easy to mistake this bleeding for a true period even though its happening when youre actually most fertile, since youve just ovulated.
Sometimes, however, an irregular period can be a sign that you’re not ovulating at all, which is one cause of infertility.