How To Know For Sure Whether You Are Pregnant
There is only one way to conclusively tell if you are pregnant. That is to take a pregnancy test
Most pregnancy tests can be taken by two weeks after having sexual intercourse.
Pregnancy tests work by monitoring the HCG in your body. This is a pregnancy hormone that is only present when you are pregnant. For this reason, if you tested positive, it’s fairly certain you are pregnant. If you tested negative, you may still be pregnant if you tested too early or at the wrong time of day, because the concentration of HCG increases slowly as the pregnancy develops.
Most tests work in such a way that either one or two lines or dots should appear. The first line is a control to make sure the test is working and the second line or dot indicates pregnancy.
If you are testing early it’s advisable to take the test first thing in the morning when levels of HCG in the urine are more concentrated. You can take the test at any time of day but in early pregnancy, this may result in a false negative.
Why It’s Key To Prioritize Intimacy Throughout Your Cycle
It’s true that trying to get pregnant can end up feeling more strategic than steamy and taking the planning part too far can backfire as well. “Sometimes focusing on tracking ovulation and trying to conceive on a particular day adds stress and anxiety, which may impact fertility,” acknowledges Dr. Henne. For that reason, she notes that you might just want to track a bit at first to have a better understanding of when you ovulate, and then just aim to have sex once a day or every other day around ovulation.
And during the rest of the month, don’t forget to have plenty of sex for fun and a variety of other benefits. “Maintaining intimacy is important for couples attempting conception,” says Dr. Henne. “Frequent sex decreases the pressures of sex focused around ovulation. And regular sex will also maintain the highest quality of the sperm in the ejaculate.” And if all of that also ends up ultimately leading to a happy, healthy pregnancy and baby, that’s what you’d call a win-win.
Having Sex Getting Pregnant
Here’s another common question from couples trying to conceive: How often should we have sex? In short, the answer is often.
A lot of couples trying to conceive spend a lot of energy timing sex, with mathematical precision, to calculate when a woman is prime for ovulation. Theoretically, the approach makes sense. Recent studies have shown the window of opportunity for a sperm to fertilize an egg is pretty small: Essentially, it’s only 3-5 days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation itself. Your best chances are 1-2 days prior to ovulation. Doctors recommend intercourse every other day starting the week before ovulation or beginning after the end of your period.
But while timing your lovemaking exclusively to those few days makes logical sense, it also has some drawbacks — primarily because your body doesn’t always behave with clockwork regularity. Even if your cycle is regular, ovulation can occur at any time during the cycle. If you’re having sex on the day you think you’re ovulating, and you’re off by a few days, you may be out of luck.
So the expert advice is to hedge your bets: Have sex at least two to three times every week. As long as the man has a normal sperm count, having sex every other day further increases your chances of getting pregnant.
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How Often Should You Have Sex
You might have read that having sex too often reduces sperm quality and quantity. Some research has shown that sperm have better quality when collected after a 2-3 day period of abstinence. Studies have also shown that higher rates of conception are seen in couples who have sex every 1-2 days.
Making love once a day or every other day during your fertile window will increase your odds of getting pregnant.
Try to have sex more often, but dont force yourself into a schedule. It could lead to unnecessary stress. Ultimately, the ideal number of times to have sex is what feels comfortable to you.
If I Only Have Sex During My Fertile Window Am I More Likely To Get Pregnant
Although there are a number of days in the month when you are more fertile, there has not been a lot of high-quality research into whether timing sex around the ‘fertility window’ increases your chances of pregnancy. A review of the research that has been done found that some studies showed that it did help, but it concluded that more research is needed.
Having regular, unprotected sex will give you the best chance of success. 8 out of 10 couples where the woman is under 40 years old will get pregnant within one year if they have regular, unprotected sex. More than 9 out of 10 couples will get pregnant within two years.
If you find that regular sex is too stressful or if you are unable to do it for other reasons, working out the time you are most likely to be fertile in the month makes sense. This is sometimes referred to as your ‘fertile window’ and there are various ways that you can work out when it happens for you.
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How Much Sex Should You Have When Youre Trying To Get Pregnant
Find out the sweet spot.
Kim Kardashian has been pretty open these past several months about how she and husband Kanye are hard at work trying to create a second bundle of joy. She even told sister Khloe that shes having sex 500 times a day in a promo for the new season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which starts on March 15.
Thats obviously an exaggeration, but her comment made us wonder: Will getting it on several times a day increase your odds of conceiving?
The answer, surprisingly, is not exactly. The general guideline for couples with no known fertility issues who are ready to become parents is to have frequent sex, which is defined as sex every day or every other day, says Elizabeth Fino, M.D., assistant professor of ob-gyn and reproductive specialist at the NYU Fertility Center in New York City.
Knocking boots at this rate means that a guys sperm will be fresh and healthy, ideal for fertilization. More frequent than that puts a lot of pressure on couples to get busy, and we dont want to make it too stressful, says Fino.
The advice changes, however, if a couple sees a fertility specialist and the guy is diagnosed with issues . If theres a problem with a mans sperm count or his ejaculate, its advised that the couple only have sex once every two or three days, which gives a man the opportunity to build up the best quality and quantity of sperm, says Fino.
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What Are The Different Ways I Can Get Pregnant
In order to get pregnant, sperm needs to fertilize an egg. Pregnancy officially starts when a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of your uterus, where it grows into a baby over 9 months. There are a few different ways this can happen.
The most common way people get pregnant is from vaginal sex when a person who has a penis ejaculates inside the other persons vagina. Sperm cells in semen swim up the vagina, through the cervix and uterus, and into the fallopian tubes. If theres an egg in the fallopian tube and it meets up with sperm, the fertilized egg moves down into the uterus. If the fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the uterus, pregnancy begins.
Its also possible to get pregnant from other kinds of sexual activity even if the penis doesnt ejaculate inside the vagina but this is way less common. If semen gets ON the vulva or near the vaginal opening, sperm cells can swim into the vagina and cause pregnancy. This can happen if semen drips or is wiped onto the vulva, or if someone touches your vulva or vagina with fingers or sex toys that have wet semen on them. Pre-ejaculate can also have a tiny bit of sperm in it, so pre-cum may cause pregnancy if it gets into the vagina.
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What Positions Are Best
With hundreds of millions of sperm released in each male orgasm, any unprotected sex around the time of ovulation could result in a pregnancy. As long as sperm enter the vagina, you have a chance to conceive.
No certain positions during sex have been proven to increase likelihood of conception. Yet certain positions may be better than others for ensuring those little swimmers find their way up to the egg. The missionary and doggie-style positions allow for deeper penetration bringing sperm in closer proximity to the cervix.
In the standing and woman-on-top positions, gravity works against you. Yet standing up right after sex shouldnt reduce your odds of a pregnancy. Sperm are pretty good swimmers. Once deposited in the vagina, they can reach the cervix within 15 minutes.
Though you dont need to raise your legs in the air after sex, or even lie flat on your back to help them get there, it cant hurt. Placing a pillow under your lower back will also keep the sperm swimming in the right direction.
Is It Better To Have Sex Every Day Or Every Other Day When Youre Ovulating
In other words, your chances of getting pregnant are only very slightly better when youre having sex every day versus every other day of the fertile window.
That means that if its hard for you or your partner to find the motivation for daily sex , you can rest assured that your chances are basically the same when you have sex every other day.
And if youre purposefully having sex more than once during your fertile window, youre already better off than couples who only have sex once per week without any regard for when ovulation occurs. Couples who have untimed sex once per week have only a 10 percent chance of conceiving in a given month.
You can track your fertile window with ovulation tests, vaginal discharge , an ovulation tracker or the Ava bracelet. If you have a hard time tracking your fertile window or just dont feel like it, just have sex roughly every other day all month long. With this schedule, youre guaranteed to have sex at some point during your peak fertile time.**
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Get A Preconception Checkup
Before you officially start trying, get a checkup. Ask your doctor aboutprenatal vitaminsthat havefolic acid, which helps protect against some birth defects, such asspina bifida. Folic acid works during the early stages of pregnancy, so that’s why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough folic acid even before you get pregnant.
“Do this the cycle before you start trying,” says Paula Hillard, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University. “If you have any underlying medical problems, they need to be under control before you can safely become pregnant.”
Planning Sex Can Help You Increase Your Chances Of Becoming Pregnant
Meredith Shur, MD, FACOG, is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, as well as a certified medical examiner.
If you want to get pregnant faster, you might be interested in knowing when you should have sex, how frequently to have sex, and whether there are factors that can increase or decrease your chances of becoming pregnant each month.
It’s important to know that you can get pregnant at any time during your menstrual cycle, even if you are having your period. This is one of the reasons that birth control methods like the “rhythm method” are not very reliable in preventing pregnancy.
While unprotected sex doesn’t lead to pregnancy every time, you can become pregnant if you have sex just one time. In general, fertility declines with age, and teenagers are far more likely to become pregnant with only one or a few sexual encounters than older women are. If you are having a hard time getting pregnant, there are some things to know that can help you maximize your chances.
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Can Oral Sex Delay Periods
Oral sex does not delay periods. During oral sex, a penis and vagina do not come in contact with each other. This means that ejaculation does not happen around the vagina and occurs close to the partner’s mouth or in the partner’s mouth.
Under normal circumstances, the sperm cells do not swim from the mouth to the uterus and fertilize the egg.
This is why a delay in periods is not associated with oral sex.
Dural oral sex, the sperm will only enter inside a woman’s vagina. If the ejaculated semen somehow gets in contact with the vulva, the sperm can enter inside, which might cause periods to delay.
In such a situation, the woman can take a pregnancy test at home or visit a gynaecologist to examine pregnancy. Other than that, oral contact with the penis alone does not cause pregnancy.
Moreover, a delay in periods could be due to many other factors like stress, hormonal imbalance, medication , illness, etc.
How To Get Pregnant Overview
- Healthy lifestyle practices and knowledge of basic sexual reproduction can help couples who may be having difficulty getting pregnant.
- Couples can follow the guidelines for maximizing the potential for pregnancy to see if they can have a child naturally before seeking medical help.
- Getting pregnant depends upon a number of factors for men and women, including age, lifestyle, when theyre having sex and how often.
- Timing intercourse so it coincides with the womans ovulation is a key factor, and there are several ways to predict when ovulation occurs.
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You Use The Pull Out Method
This old-school method of preventing pregnancy is a far cry from a myth. It’s not foolproof and it can certainly result in pregnancy, but it does significantly decrease your chances of getting pregnant. In case you need a refresher course on the pull-out method, also known as withdrawal, it involves the male partner pulling out of the vagina before he ejaculates. The problem, however, is that pre-ejaculate or precum, the bodily fluid that’s released from the penis before an actual ejaculation, very well may contain active and viable sperm.
Additionally, Mark Trolice, M.D., reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist at My Fertility CARE: The IVF Center in Winter Park, Florida, explains that most men aren’t aware of when they release this precum. “Because it’s hard to predict when pre-ejaculation occurs, the withdrawal method is often fraught with peril and certainly not the most reliable method out there,” he says.
How hard is it to get pregnant while using withdrawal? Withdrawal is about 96 percent effective with perfect use and 82 percent effective with typical use. If you really want to avoid pregnancy, choose a different contraceptive method
How Long Is Too Long To Get Pregnant
Just because youve been trying to get pregnant for longer than a year doesnt mean youre infertile. Remember, even for people with average fertility, seven percent of couples wont get pregnant within a year. And if you do discover a condition impacting your fertility, it doesnt necessarily mean you need medical intervention to conceive, Mukherjee says.
When youre trying to get pregnant, the components that matter are quality eggs, regular ovulation, healthy sperm, and a healthy uterus and fallopian tubes, Mukherjee says. If theres a problem with two or more components, the chances are higher that a couple will need medical intervention to make a baby. But if theres a problem with only one of those components, the chances are good that a couple will be able to get pregnant without assistance. Itll just take more time.
For example, polycystic ovarian syndrome is a major cause of irregular periods, impacting 6 to 12 percent of women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People with PCOS often take longer to get pregnant because they tend to ovulate less often. Instead of 13 opportunities per year to conceive, you might be down to six or seven, Mukherjee says. But in the long-term, women with PCOS conceive at the same rate as women without PCOS.
The problem is, not all couples have time. If you start trying to get pregnant at 35, you cant afford to wait, Mukherjee says. But if youre in your 20s or early 30s? It might just take patience.
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Can I Get Pregnant After Sex With A Condom
“A woman can definitely become pregnant after sex even if a condom is used, if the condom outright breaks, has a hole in it, or slips while the partner is exiting the vagina,” says Dr. Tami Prince, a gynecologist at the Women’s Health and Wellness Center in Marietta, Georgia. “Even the slightest opening in the condom that is invisible to the naked eye can allow for sperm to enter the vagina and migrate towards the Fallopian tubes where fertilization occurs. If a woman happens to be ovulating at the time, the risk of pregnancy is increased.”
While the effectiveness of a condom is 85%, that means that out of 100 women who used a condom as birth control for a year, 15 of them may have become pregnant.
When a condom is not put on correctly, an air bubble between the latex and the penis can cause the condom to break or slide off. Be sure that you know how to put a condom on correctly.
Also, condoms can break! When this happens, the birth control method failed and you have had unprotected sex, which means you could become pregnant.