How To Track Your Fertile Window
The following method will help you find out your fertile window.
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.
Truth: Any Sexual Position Can Result In Pregnancy
Any sexual position that results in semen getting near the cervix can lead to pregnancy. For that matter, even if semen gets near the vaginal opening, pregnancy can occur.
The so-called “missionary position” of man on top, woman on bottom, is assumed to be the best position for conception. However, theres no evidence that youre more likely to get pregnant having sex this way.
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Fertility Does Not Equal Pregnancy
You may not get pregnant right away even after your fertility returns. Some people become pregnant within a month. Others may try to get pregnant for a long time.
At this point, your ability to get pregnant has nothing to do with previous birth control use. Your age, health, and lifestyle can all make it harder to get pregnant. You may also experience infertility.
You may have concerns after you stop birth control. Talk to your healthcare provider if:
- Your period doesnt come back after three months
- The number of days you have your period changes
- Your cycle is irregular
- There is a major change in how heavy your bleeding is
- You are younger than 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for 12 months
- You are over 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for six months
Truth: Having Sex Every Day Doesn’t Get You Pregnant Faster
You certainty could have sex every day if you wanted to. But theres no evidence that it will help you get pregnant faster. Its much more likely to lead to burnout and frustration, especially if you dont get pregnant in the first month.
Sex every other day, or sex during your most fertile days, is all you need to conceive. In fact, if you had sex three times a week, youd still be likely to hit your most fertile time.
The reason why more sex doesnt necessarily mean youll get pregnant faster is that conception is about much more than timing. There are a variety of physiological factors that impact whether you get pregnant in any given month. If timing were all it took, more people would conceive the first month they tried.
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Blockage Of The Fallopian Tubes
Dr Nandi says that in connection with ovulation, blockage of the Fallopian tubes, which could be due to pelvic inflammatory disease, previous chlamydia infection or previous abdominal surgery, is another main issued faced by those struggling to get pregnant.
If your fallopian tubes have become blocked or scarred through these incidences, then surgery might be required to break up the scar tissue in the fallopian tubes, making it easier for eggs to pass through.
However, the success of this is very much dependent on the damage to the fallopian tubes and, following surgery, there can be some complications including an ectopic pregnancy so its always important to fully understand the risks before undertaking any fertility procedures.
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
- Semen analysis
- 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.
The Johns Hopkins Fertility Center
Our fertility specialists will work with you to identify the unique causes of your infertility and help you realize your dream of parenthood.
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Fertility In The Aging Male
Unlike the early fertility decline seen in women, a mans decrease in sperm characteristics occurs much later. Sperm quality deteriorates somewhat as men get older, but it generally does not become a problem before a man is in his 60s. Though not as abrupt or noticeable as the changes in women, changes in fertility and sexual functioning do occur in men as they grow older. Despite these changes, there is no maximum age at which a man cannot father a child, as evidenced by men in their 60s and 70s conceiving with younger partners. As men age, their testes tend to get smaller and softer, and sperm morphology and motility tend to decline. In addition, there is a slightly higher risk of gene defects in their sperm. Aging men may develop medical illnesses that adversely affect their sexual and reproductive function. Not all men experience significant changes in reproductive or sexual functioning as they age, especially men who maintain good health over the years. If a man does have problems with libido or erections, he should seek treatment through his primary care provider and/or urologist. Decreased libido may be related to low levels of testosterone.
Using Barrier Methods Of Birth Control
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Trying For Pregnancy After 35
Many women try for a baby after 35. Almost one in four pregnant Australian women are aged 35 and over. But there are risks and challenges you need to know about.
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for six months or more, you should see a doctor to discuss your fertility.
It can be harder to get pregnant than when you were younger. You’re at your most fertile in your early 20s. In general, fertility starts to decline faster after the age of 30, and declines more significantly after the age of 35.
The older you are, and your partner is, the more likely it is to take a long time to conceive.
If You Have Sex During Your Period You Can’t Get Pregnant
It’s unlikely that you’ll get pregnant, but not impossible. You are fertile on the days leading up to and around the time of ovulation due to the lifespan of sperm and if you have a short cycle you could be ovulating just after your period. So you could be fertile very early in your cycle when you are still bleeding.
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Diminished Ovarian Reserve Or Premature Ovarian Insufficiency
Diminished ovarian reserve means that the number of eggs or their quality has started to dwindle. Its something that happens to every woman as she gets older, and is a completely normal part of aging. If the issue occurs sooner than it should, typically before age 40, its called premature ovarian insufficiency or premature ovarian failure.
Who Cannot Use The Safe Period Calculator
Applying the same rule as aboveif you are in the regular 26-day to 32-day cycle and the variation between your longest and your shortest cycle is more than eight days, then it would be risky to use this method.
Do remember that because of hormonal changes, it would be wiser to wait for six months after childbirth to use this method.
Also, because of erratic cycles, this method is not suitable for teenagers or women on the verge of menopause. This method might not work for women who have erratic cycles because of conditions like PCOS and hormonal imbalance.
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.
Are Heavy Periods A Sign Of Fertility
Heavy periods are not a sign of fertility, and sometimes could indicate a different problem. You may feel fatigued and worn out. In the process of losing more blood, you will lose the essential body resources built over time. If you get sudden, heavy periods, you should immediately discuss with your doctor .
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Your Fertility Questions Answered
Can I get pregnant at any time of my cycle?
Yes, although the chances of getting pregnant at the beginning or end of your cycle are very low. The problem is, if you don’t want to be pregnant, you can’t take chances.
While it will vary from woman to woman, you are usually most fertile around 2 weeks before your next period is due. This is when an egg is released from your ovaries .
Sperm can live for up to 5 days inside you, so even if you have sex early on in your cycle there is a possibility sperm will still be there when you ovulate and the egg will be fertilised. If you ovulate early, it would be possible to get pregnant shortly after your period finishes.
Some women think if they’ve had unprotected sex a few times and not become pregnant that they may be infertile, but all this suggests is they probably weren’t having sex at their fertile time.
If you’ve had unprotected sex and don’t want to be pregnant, use emergency contraception as soon as possible after it’s happened.
I’ve had chlamydia – will that make it more difficult for me to conceive?
Most women who have had chlamydia won’t have any difficulties conceiving that are related to the infection.
If you are under 25, the NHS recommends you are tested every year or when you change partners. You can also request a free postal self-test kit on line in your local area. Find out more information online from NHS Choices
Does it become harder to conceive the older I get?
Does abortion lead to infertility?
Why Might You Think You’re Pregnant When You’re Not
You haven’t had access to accurate sex information, so don’t know what is and isn’t a real pregnancy risk, or how pregnancy actually happens and works.
If we don’t know how pregnancy really happens, and what the real risks are and aren’t, then it’s going to be easy to panic everytime we’re near the vicinity of the most general thing — sex — we understand it to be related to.
Your next steps are: Reread the text above. Look at pieces like this, this or this. Try this one at Planned Parenthood, or this one at Teen Health Source. Check your local library for books like Our Bodies, Ourselves: look up the facts in sound resources. You can talk to an obstetrician/gynecologist and ask them to explain how pregnancy really does and doesn’t happen. If you have been given misinformation growing up, or recently, in a way that felt so compelling you believed it, you can take some time to fact-check that with less emotional, more accurate information like I’ve suggested above. You can also take some time to figure out why you believed misinformation and learn about how to figure out when information is and isn’t likely to be credible, like looking into what someone’s agenda is who is giving it to you, what their education and other credentials are, and reminding yourself that just because someone says something is true doesn’t mean that it is.
You feel guilty, ashamed or scared about some kind of sex you took part in, or being the victim of a sexual abuse or assault.
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What If You Want To Get Pregnant After You’ve Hit Menopause
Okay, so let’s say you’ve already hit menopausemeaning you haven’t had a period in 12 months or morebut you would still like to get pregnant. Luckily, if that’s your choice, science is on your side through a process called in vitro fertilization .
According to the US National Library of Medicine , IVF is essentially the joining of a woman’s egg with a man’s sperm, outside of the woman’s body . In women who are of childbearing age, there are five steps to IVF: stimulation, egg retrieval, insemination and fertilization, embryo culture, and embryo transfer. However, because women who have already gone through menopause are not producing eggs, they do not need to go through the first two steps, and will instead have to use eggs from a donor.
From there, it’s like any other IVF pregnancy: Once a fertilized egg divides and become an embryo outside of the body, per the NLM, it’s placed inside the woman’s womb, where she can carry the embryo, then fetus, to term.
The bottom line: If you havent yet reached menopause but are perimenopausal, you can definitely still get pregnant. But if youve already hit menopause when you decide you want to consider motherhood, its not necessarily too late” for that, either.
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How Can You Be Pregnant And Not Know It
Here are some astonishing statistics: Among pregnant women, 1 in 450 doesn’t know her status until week 20 or later , and 1 in 2,500 is oblivious until she actually goes into labor.
I know what you’re thinking because I’ve thought it too: it’s denial. On some level, these women must know they’re pregnant but can’t deal with the reality.
Yet when I explored the origins of cryptic pregnancy — the clinical name for this condition — I realized that denial or mental illness doesn’t fully explain the phenomenon.
Only a minority of cryptic pregnancy cases has been attributed to personality disturbances or schizophrenia . It appears that most unexpectedly expectant mothers are perfectly sane and educated. Quite simply, they do not know they’re pregnant because they have no symptoms — no weight gain, no nausea, and little to no abdominal swelling. They may still have their periods, or have always had irregular periods. If they have symptoms, they’re so subtle as to be easily mistaken for something else. Indigestion, perhaps.
There’s a very real and perfectly valid reason for this, according to Marco Del Giudice, a cognitive scientist at the University of Turin. And it’s linked to an expectant mother’s stress-levels.
Sometimes, though, under some conditions, mom gets a lot of rope — at the fetus’s expense.
There are a few factors that contribute to a fetus not producing enough of the pregnancy hormone:
1. Chromosomal anomalies: That is, the fetus has a birth defect.
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