When You Are Most Fertile
The 5 days before ovulation, together with the day you ovulate, are the days when you are most likely to conceive. Sperm can live up to 5 days inside your body, so if you have sex up to 5 days before your egg is released, you can get pregnant. After ovulation, though, your egg can only live for 12 to 24 hours. After this time is up, your time for getting pregnant has gone for now till the following month.
Your chances of getting pregnant are at their highest in the 3 days leading up to and including ovulation.
What To Expect At Your Appointment
During your first visit with a fertility specialist, your doctor will ask a lot of questions about your history, to try to understand factors that may be making it harder to become pregnant. They may order some blood tests to try to understand any irregularities that might be keeping you from getting pregnant, and to make sure you are in the best possible health to become pregnant. Theyll also order a semen analysis on your partner though this wont be performed on the day of your initial appointment. Depending on your medical history, you might also plan an ultrasound and additional imaging to further explore. If you arent ovulating, your doctor may prescribe medications, including ones that can help induce ovulation. The best choice is very personal and your doctor will help you understand all of your options.
Wherever you are on your fertility journey, remember that approximately 85% of healthy women will get pregnant within a year of trying. For those who struggle to conceive, you can increase your chances by mixing love with science and seeing a doctor who specializes in fertility.
We want our patients to feel as comfortable as possible during this emotional and sometimes stressful time. Our team is committed to providing the most caring, compassionate, and leading-edge fertility care available.
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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How Will I Know If I’m Pregnant
If you think youre pregnant, take a home pregnancy test. If its positive, call your provider to get a blood test to confirm that youre pregnant.
If youre having unprotected sex, you can get pregnant if you have sex any time from 5 days before to the day of ovulation.
Use the March of Dimes Ovulation Calendar to find out when you ovulate so you know when to have sex to try to get pregnant.
If youre having trouble getting pregnant, dont give up! It may just take time. Talk to your provider if youre worried that its taking too long.
Taking The Next Steps
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Morning Sickness Nausea And Vomiting During Early Pregnancy
Although its called morning sickness, it can occur anytime during the day or night. Its unclear exactly what causes nausea and morning sickness, but hormones may play a role.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, many women experience mild to severe morning sickness. It may become more intense toward the end of the first trimester, but often becomes less severe as you enter the second trimester.
Buy An Ovulation Predictor Kit
Don’t want to mess around with mucus? You don’t have to. Many women use ovulation predictor kits, which identify the date of ovulation 12 to 24 hours in advance by looking at levels of luteinizing hormone, or LH, the last of the hormones to hit its peak before ovulation. All you have to do is pee on a stick and wait for the indicator to tell you whether you’re about to ovulate. These approaches are more accurate than the use of apps which predict when you should be ovulating, but not necessarily when you are ovulating.
A less precise and rarely used approach is a saliva test, which measures estrogen levels in your saliva as ovulation nears. When you’re ovulating, a look at your saliva under the test’s eyepiece will reveal a microscopic pattern that resembles the leaves of a fern plant or frost on a window pane. Not all women get a good “fern,” but this test, which is reusable, can be cheaper than the kits.
There are also devices that detect the numerous salts in a woman’s sweat, which change during different times of the month. Called the chloride ion surge, this shift happens even before the estrogen and the LH surge, so these tests give a woman a four-day warning of when she may be ovulating, versus the 12-to-24-hour notice that standard ovulation predictors provide. The saliva and chloride ion surge tests have not been well studied and tend to be used much less frequently.
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Getting The Timing Right
Sperm can only survive in the uterus for approximately 5 days, so in order for them to be able to fertilize the egg on the day you ovulate you must be sure to have sex close to the day of ovulation. Having unprotected sex 2 to 3 days before you ovulate, and on the day of ovulation is the best time if you want to get pregnant.
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Pinpointing The Day Of Ovulation
Can any of the ovulation signs listed above give you the exact date you ovulated? Heres the bottom line: It doesnt matter. As long as you have sex every day or every other day within three to four days of your possible ovulation date, youll have had sex at the right time to conceive. In fact, research has found that it may not be possible for you even to know the exact day you ovulated.
Ultrasound can be used to determine when ovulation occurred. Researchers have compared ultrasound results to commonly used methods of ovulation tracking. They found that basal body temperature charting correctly predicted the exact day of ovulation only 43% of the time. Ovulation predictor kits, which detect the LH hormone surge that occurs prior to ovulation, may be accurate just 60% of the time.
All of this is good news. It means you dont need to stress out over having sex on the exact day before ovulation in order to conceive.
As long as you have sexual intercourse when there are possible fertile signs, or have sex frequently all month long, your odds of conceiving are good.
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Get Your Partner Involved
- Stay fit and healthy Your partner should try to be as active as possible, reduce alcohol, stop smoking and eat a healthy diet.
- Use sperm-friendly lubricantMake sure any lubricant you use isn’t ‘spermicidal’ or toxic to sperm. You can buy ‘sperm-friendly’ lubricants that are specially formulated.
- Keep testes coolYour partner should wear loose underwear and avoid hot baths. Consistent or prolonged ‘heating’ of the testes can reduce sperm quality.
Problem Is With Him Not You
Women may carry the baby, but it takes two to tango. Twenty to 30% of infertile couples discover fertility factors on the man’s side. Another 40% find infertility factors on both sides.
Another thing you need to know: male infertility rarely has symptoms that are observable without a semen analysis, which is a test that measures the health of the semen and sperm. When you do see the doctor, make sure you are both tested.
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What If Youre Trying To Get Pregnant But You Don’t Get Pregnant Right Away
If youve been trying to get pregnant for 3 or 4 months, keep trying. It may just take more time.
You may want to think about fertility treatment if:
- Youre younger than 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year.
- Youre older than 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for 6 months.
Your provider can give you and your partner some tests to help find out why youre having trouble getting pregnant. If theres a problem, theres a good chance it can be treated.
How Do People Get Pregnant With Twins
There are 2 ways that twins can happen. Identical twins are made when 1 already-fertilized egg splits into 2 separate embryos. Because identical twins come from the same sperm and egg, they have the same genetic material and look exactly alike.
Non-identical twins , are made when two separate eggs are fertilized by two separate sperm, and both fertilized eggs implant in the uterus. This can happen if your ovaries release more than one egg, or during certain kinds of fertility treatments. Non-identical twins have completely different genetic material , and usually dont look alike. Theyre the most common type of twin.
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Record Menstrual Cycle Frequency
A woman who wants to have a baby should monitor whether the first days of her periods tend to occur the same number of days apart every month, which is considered regular. Conversely, her periods may be irregular, meaning her cycle lengths vary from month to month. By tracking this information on a calendar, a woman can better predict when she might be ovulating, according to research published in The New England Journal of Medicine. This is the time every month when her ovaries will release an egg. There are also some apps that can help with the tracking, such as GlowOvulation period tracker .
First Response Pregnancy Test Accuracy Vs Date
Period is expected.
Test is 99% accurate
As you can see above, roughly one in four pregnant women who take this test will get a false negative when they take it six days before the day of their missed period. Five days before the day of the missed period, however, it will be accurate for 96% of women, and 99% of women will get the correct result if they take it four days or less before the day of the missed period.
In general, the accuracy of home pregnancy tests gets better the longer you wait to take them. If you take a test and it comes out negative and you still think you might be pregnant, wait three days and test again. If you test and it’s positive, you’re pregnant.
Other pregnancy tests are also very reliableâthey just can’t be used as early as First Response. Most brands of pregnancy test are accurate from the day of the missed period.
Be sure to follow the testing instructions of the pregnancy test brand that you bought very closely. Different brands have different instructions.
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Can You Confirm Pregnancy From Changes In The Sleep Pattern
A pregnant womans sleep pattern changes owing to the increased levels of progesterone in her body. However, a woman might lose sleep due to a host of other reasons, so it is wrong to conclude that someone is pregnant just because she is not sleeping well.
A combination of the above-mentioned signs can indicate that you are pregnant if only one or two affect you, you are most likely not pregnant. However, do pay the doctor a visit to confirm that you are going to have a baby if you experience some of these symptoms.
Missed Period During Early Pregnancy
Once implantation is complete, your body will begin making human chorionic gonadotropin . This hormone helps the body maintain the pregnancy. It also tells the ovaries to stop releasing mature eggs each month.
You will likely miss your next period 4 weeks after conception. If you typically have an irregular period, youll want to take a pregnancy test to confirm.
Most home tests can detect hCG as soon as 8 days after a missed period. A pregnancy test will be able to detect hCG levels in your urine and show if you are pregnant.
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Other Reasons For Missing Your Period
Here are some possible reasons for missing your period but having negative pregnancy tests:
- Starting a new birth control method
- Hormone imbalance
If you suspect one of these reasons may be disrupting your normal menstrual cycle, and you have a negative pregnancy, test then you should speak to a health professional.
You Haven’t Missed Your Period Yet
If you haven’t missed your period yet, mark down the day that you think you may have conceived on, and wait at least six days before the day you are expecting your period to take a First Response pregnancy test. If you think you might be pregnant and do not want to be pregnant, there are emergency contraception methods that are effective within five days of having unprotected sex, so you may want to explore those options.
You can also choose to take a pregnancy test after you miss your period. In fact, some recommend not taking one until one week after your missed period in order to ensure accurate results.3 Be sure to follow the instructions of the brand of pregnancy test that you buy.
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How To Track Ovulation Symptoms
Take note of when your period begins and ends and know how long your cycle lasts. Doctors say it’s best to have sex at least every other day, especially during the 5 days before you ovulate. They call this your “fertile window.” Your egg only lives for about 12 to 24 hours. But sperm can survive for a few days inside your body, so it’s ideal to have them already there waiting for your egg.
Watch for body changes
Your hormone levels change throughout your menstrual cycle. During the first half, your ovaries give off the hormone estrogen. When your estrogen levels get high enough, your ovary releases an egg. Then your body starts to make progesterone, another hormone. It makes your body temperature rise slightly.
Your hormones also change the texture of your cervical mucus, the sticky fluid that comes from your cervix, the bottom of your uterus. As your body gets ready to ovulate, you have more of it, and it feels more stretchy and slippery, like raw egg whites. The texture helps sperm swim inside your body. When your mucus feels like this, you should be in your fertile window.
Ovulation predictor kits
These tests, which you can buy at drugstores, give you a more precise idea of when to expect your fertile window. They test your urine to measure your levels of luteinizing hormone , which go up in the 24 to 36 hours before you ovulate. When your LH levels are highest, you’re in the fertile window.
Progesterone ovulation tests
A twinge of pain