Day : Track Your Cycle
Whether youve been on birth control or not, nows the time to get intimate with your menstrual cycle. Narrowing down the window of when youre most fertile will help you get pregnant faster.
Plus, having an understanding of your cycles will help you discover if anything is off and might need addressing .
Start by simply recording when your period starts and ends to see how the length of your cycle changes from month to month. You can note anything like irregular bleeding and spotting, too. The average menstrual cycle length is around 28 days, but it can range from 21 to 35 days and still fall in the normal, healthy range. There are many apps out there to help you with tracking as well.
Kick The Smoking And Drinking Habits
Smoking can lead to fertility problems in both women and men. Chemicals found in cigarette smoke, such as nicotine and carbon monoxide, speed up the loss rate of a woman’s eggs, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine .
Smoking ages a woman’s ovaries and depletes her supply of eggs prematurely, according to the Mayo Clinic. In a study published in 2020 in the journalReproductive Biology and Endocrinology , researchers looked at scientific findings around smoking, alcohol, addiction and fertility they found that smoking is linked to decreased fertility.
It’s also a good idea for women to stay away from secondhand smoke, which may affect their chances of becoming pregnant, according to a 2009 study published in BMJ Journals
Taking or attempting to conceive should also be avoided.
It’s safest for a woman to avoid alcohol entirely when she is hoping to become pregnant. A woman should also stop consuming alcohol if she stops using birth control because she wants to get pregnant.
However, a 2017 study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that in the United States, half of all pregnant women drink alcohol around the time they conceive or during early pregnancy, usually before they know they are expecting. And alcohol consumption has long been known to cause birth defects.
Drinking alcohol at moderate or heavy levels can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant, according toThe American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists .
Ohio Legislative Effort To Support Pregnancy Doulas Has Bipartisan Support
Maternal and infant health advocates and certified doulas alike expressed their support Monday for a bill currently awaiting consideration by the Ohio Senate to bring doula services into the states Medicaid program.
Participants in a meeting of the Ohio Legislative Childrens Caucus met with organizations employing and promoting the use of doulas as part of the childbirth process in Ohio, before, during and after a baby is born.
Caucus co-vice chair, state Rep. Susan Manchester, R-Waynesville, brought up a 2022 March of Dimes report card which gave Ohio a D+ in the area of preterm birth. Ohio has a 10.6% preterm birth rate, according to the report.
Further opportunities to ensure access to appropriate health care services before, during, and after child birth cannot be left on the table when the 134th General Assembly ends, Manchester told the caucus at their Monday meeting.
Doulas are individuals with non-medical training, who are there to act as educators, resource coordinators, and advocates for their patients as they go through pregnancy and postpartum life. They work alongside a medical team, including a midwife, the medical professional who serves as complement to a doula.
Doulas are there to provide everything from sex education to postpartum depression screening, and everything in between, to provide emotional and physical support.
Under the bill, doulas would have to hold a certificate from the Ohio Board of Nursing, and a valid provider agreement.
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Day : Start A Multivitamin
Pregnancy is taxing on the bodys nutritional stores. Give yourself a boost by taking a multivitamin to bridge any gaps. Better yet, prenatal vitamins are specifically formulated to give your body what it needs during pregnancy.
Starting a prenatal now will help you avoid any nutritional deficiencies during early pregnancy. Youll also have time to try out a few brands to see what works for your body.
Get A General Health Check
Planning a pregnancy is a good chance for both parents to get a full health check. If your doctor plans to prescribe you new medications or antibiotics, remind them that you are planning a pregnancy.
If there is a family history of medical conditions on either side, such as cystic fibrosis or diabetes, let your doctor know. You may need genetic counselling with a trained specialist or referral for diabetic specialist preparation to pregnancy.
Some sexually transmitted infections can be passed on to your baby during pregnancy, so make sure you have both been treated for any infections before planning to conceive.
If the mother has a medical condition such as diabetes or epilepsy, or is being treated for depression or other mental illness, medications for these will need to be checked before conceiving to make sure they will not affect the baby.
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Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Research shows that consuming too much caffeine while you are trying to conceive can increase the risk of miscarriage. The research shows that this applies to both women and men. Too much caffeine in pregnancy has also been shown to be harmful to the developing baby.
If youre planning to conceive, you and your partner should consider limiting your caffeine intake to 200mg a day.
Book An Appointment Now
Before you toss your birth control and break out the scented candles, you should see your family physician for a preconception checkup. As a rule of thumb, if you are thinking about having a baby, you need to see your doctor about six months before you start trying, says Tejal Patel, the physician director of the Maternity Centre of Hamilton. Six months before you even want to start trying may sound terribly pro-active, but its important to make sure everything is in working order.
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Avoid Making Love During Periods
It might just prove to be disastrous to make out during menstruation. Many feel that having sex during periods is safest, but this is not the case. Avoid having unprotected sex during menstrual cycle if you want to be safe.
Also this is the time when you are most open to infections and things can also get messy. So its best to avoid sex during your periods.
When Should I See A Fertility Specialist About Getting Pregnant
The timing depends largely on your age and overall health.
- If you’re younger than 35 and haven’t gotten pregnant after trying for a year, you may want to see a fertility specialist.
- If you’re between the ages of 35 and 40, talk to a specialist after you’ve tried for six months with no luck.
- People who are older than 40 should speak with an OBGYN as soon as they decide they would like to conceive.
If you or your partner have a known health issue that could lead to a fertility problem, you may want to see a specialist even before you start trying.
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Do I Need Infertility Treatment
If youre having trouble conceiving, an infertility specialist may be able to help. The first step after 12 months of trying to conceive is to schedule an infertility evaluation. This multipart assessment includes:
- Physical examination
- Evaluation of the uterus and fallopian tubes
If you or your partner have a known medical condition that affects the uterus, fallopian tubes, sperm or ovulation, talk to your doctor to see if you should be evaluated sooner. For example, if you know that both of your fallopian tubes are blocked, youll need to see an infertility specialist even before trying to get pregnant.
How To Use An Ovulation Test
Clinically reviewed by Cindy Richardson, CMPE.
An ovulation test is a test you perform at home to determine when youre most likely to be fertile. It detects an increase in luteinizing hormone that occurs before ovulation. For people trying to get pregnant, having sex at the right time in the menstrual cycle can increase their chances of conceiving.
Also referred to as ovulation predictor tests, ovulation kits, or OPK, these tests are available at most drugstores. They typically come with test sticks or paper strips.
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Getting The Timing Right
The best way to increase your odds of getting pregnant quickly is to make sure that youre having sex at the right time in your cycle.
If you have regular cycles, you will ovulate around two weeks before your period. This means your fertile window will be the seven days before your expected ovulation.
If you have irregular cycles, it can be a little more difficult to predict when you will ovulate and when your fertile window will be.
There are a number of techniques that you can use to more precisely pinpoint your ovulation and fertile window.
Learn When Ovulation Happens
Its a good idea to understand the basics of how ovulation works so you can monitor your body for signs and symptoms. Its a common misconception that ovulation always occurs on the 14th day after your period starts, but that only happens if your menstrual cycle is consistent and 28 days long. Every womans cycle is different. The average cycle is anywhere from 24 to 35 days, and it doesnt vary by more than three to four days on any given month, Levens says. Depending on how long your cycle is, ovulation can actually happen between 11 to 21 days after the first day of your last period . But while the timing of ovulation depends on the womans unique cycle, all healthy women will get their periods 12 to 14 days after ovulation.
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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 .
Have Sex During Your Fertile Window
The “fertile window” is the 3 to 5 five days before you ovulate, plus the day you actually release an egg. Once you know your window for ovulation, plan to have sex during this time frame.
If you’re not sure when you’ll be most fertile, aim to have sex every other day during the middle two weeks of your cycle. For example, if your whole menstrual cycle lasts four weeks have sex often during the second and third week. That way, you’re likely to have healthy sperm in your fallopian tubes whenever your body releases an egg.
Take our quiz to test your knowledge about timing sex for conception!
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Third Trimester Weeks 28
Third trimester changes in the mother:
During the third trimester, as the mother’s enlarged uterus pushes against her diaphragm, a major muscle involved in breathing. Because of this, she may feel short of breath because the lungs have less room to expand, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. A pregnant person’s ankles, hands, feet and face may swell due to fluid retention and slower blood circulation.
A mother-to-be will need to urinate more frequently because of the pressure on her bladder. She may also have more backaches and more pain in the hips and pelvis, as these joints expand in preparation for delivery. Changes in body shape can also make a pregnant person more unstable on their feet and more likely to fall, according to a 2006 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Her face may develop dark patches of skin, and stretch marks may appear on her belly, thighs, breasts and backside. She may also notice varicose veins on her legs.
In the third trimester, the breasts may start to leak colostrum, a yellow liquid, as they get ready for breastfeeding, according to the OWH. The baby will start to drop lower in the mother’s abdomen.
False labor, known as Braxton-Hicks contractions, may begin to occur as the due date gets closer. A “nesting instinct,” behavior exhibited in many mammals, may kick in as expecting parents work on baby-proofing their home, shop for baby items, prepare the nursery and await their new arrival.
We Are Planning To Try For A Baby Are There Any Dietary Supplements That My Partner Should Be Taking
Monica Moore, founder of Fertile Health, LLC
We always recommend that our patients obtain their nutrients from food, whenever possible, instead of relying on supplements. Although some studies have shown that men’s sperm parameters might be improved by supplementing with a combination of certain minerals and anti-oxidants, whether or not this improvement translates into increased pregnancy rates is unclear in the literature at this point. What is known, though, is that lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, stopping smoking or any recreational drugs, and minimizing alcohol intake can improve the quality of sperm.
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Skin Changes During Pregnancy
First, lets face it: Pregnancy-related skin changes happen to many people. Hormones can take the blame or you can chalk it up to just another one of those normal quirks that come with the mama-to-be gig.
While some lucky ladies experience 9 months of pure complexion perfection, others experience at least one less favorable new or worsening skin issue at some point. The most common are:
People with preexisting skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea may also experience a change in their symptoms .
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.
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How Long Does It Normally Take To Get Pregnant
No one can say exactly how long it will take to become pregnant, since so many factors come into play. Some people may conceive immediately, while others may need fertility treatments. In general, it may take more time if you’re older, have lifestyle habits that can affect fertility , or have a health condition that impairs fertility.
Of all people trying to conceive meaning they aren’t using contraception it’s estimated that about 85 percent will become pregnant within the first year. By two years, it’s over 90 percent.
Maternal age plays a big role in the speed of conception. The older you are, the longer it may take you to become pregnant. This is largely because egg quality declines over time especially after age 35. As years pass, fewer eggs are able to join with sperm to grow into a healthy embryo.
Male fertility also dips with age. Though some men can father children into their 60s, 70s, and even their 80s, sperm quality generally starts deteriorating in middle age, with a pronounced drop around age 50.
People have the greatest statistical odds of conceiving naturally during their 20s. Most women in their 30s have no issues, either. At age 30, a healthy person has about a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant each month. By the time you’re 40, that likelihood drops to around 5 to 10 percent. By age 45, very few people get pregnant without the help of a specialist.
Are Any Drugs Safe During Pregnancy
While a few prescription and over-the-counter medications are considered “safe” during pregnancy, most drugs are not. If you are taking medications for medical purposes, here are some safety tips to follow when you are pregnant:
- Always read the medication label. Many of the products will tell you on the label if they are safe for use while pregnant. If you are unsure about taking an OTC product, call your doctor.
- Natural dietary supplements — herbs, amino acids, minerals, mega-vitamins — might be considered natural, but that does not mean they are safe. Talk with your health care provider before taking any unproven or “natural” remedy.
- According to the FDA, aspirin and ibuprofen should not be taken during the last 3 months of your pregnancy unless you are instructed by your doctor to take it. And if you feel like you need either of these medicines at any time during pregnancy, makeÃ sure you check with your doctor before taking it. These drugs can cause problems for your baby or cause problems when you are in labor.
- Talk with your doctor about special prenatal vitamins that are safe for mom and baby. OTC vitamins may have doses that are too high.
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