Fertility And Your Menstrual Cycle
The most fertile time of your menstrual cycle occurs around ovulation, when your ovaries release a mature egg for fertilization. This window varies from woman to woman, depending on the length and regularity of her menstrual cycles. For those with a 28-day menstrual cycles, ovulation usually occurs between days 13 to 15.
Once an egg is released, it has 12 to 24 hours to be fertilized before it dissolves. Sperm, on the other hand, can stay alive in the body for 3 to 5 days, making a woman fertile for about 5 to 7 days.
Easiest Time Of The Month To Get Pregnant
September 28, 2010 by ModernMom Staff
Though it may seem like everyone around you gets pregnant the minute they decide to have a baby, theres actually only a small amount of time that you can get pregnant each monthless than 24 hours. If you are trying to get pregnantor want to use natural methods to avoid pregnancyyou need to learn how to pinpoint the time when you are most likely to get pregnant.
How Long Should I Try For Before Seeking Specialist Advice
Conception is a complicated sequence of events because all of the following need to be in place for it to occur:
- Regular egg production by the ovaries
- Healthy sperm, with the ability to move and the correct shape
- Unblocked and healthy fallopian tubes and uterus
The number one factor affecting a couples chances of conceiving is the womans age. The number of healthy eggs a womans ovaries contain will dramatically decline with age and especially for women over 35. Most people start to consider seeking professional advice after six months of trying to conceive naturally without success. This is even more important if youre over 35.
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Stay In Bed Right After Intercourse
You have probably heard this one — lie in bed with your feet in the air after having sex to increase your chances of getting pregnant. The verdict? Not true.
“It’s good advice to lay in bed for 10 to 15 minutes after intercourse, but you don’t need your feet in the air,” Goldfarb says. “Your pelvis does not move when you put your legs in the air.” Don’t go the bathroom during this time either, he says. “If you wait 10 to 15 minutes, the sperm that is going to get into the cervix will be in the cervix.”
Calculate Your Fertile Window
To calculate your Fertile Window, you need to determine what day you ovulate.To do this, you need to know the length of your menstrual cycle . To calculate this you should note how many days have passed from the first day of bleeding in your last period, to the first day of bleeding in your next.From this figure, subtract 14 days from the end of your current cycle to determine the day you ovulate.If you have irregular menstrual cycles, or your cycle length varies from month to month, it will be difficult to calculate your ovulation date. Ovulation urine tests may be useful, and you should consider seeking further advice from your GP or a Fertility Specialist.
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Other Tips For Getting Pregnant
Changing your sex practices isnt the only way to improve your likelihood of conceiving. Here are a few other things you can do to boost your fertility:
- Orgasm. For a man, ejaculating is essential to getting his partner pregnant. Though a woman doesnt have to climax to get pregnant, the movement of her orgasm can help propel sperm closer to their destination.
- Control your weight. Being too heavy or too thin could lower your fertility.
- Dont smoke. Smoking increases the odds of infertility and miscarriage, and reduces sperm motility.
- Limit caffeine. In large amounts more than five cups of coffee a day caffeine can lower fertility.
How To Calculate The Time Of Ovulation
Safe period and ovulation are related because safe days are calculated based on ovulation. According to the popular Safe Period Calculator method, day 1 to day 7 are safe and unfertile in a regular menstrual cycle which lasts 26 to 32 days. This takes into account the premise that the lifespan of the sperm in the reproductive canal is 3 to 5 days. This method calculates that ovulation occurs onthe 19th day. Therefore, fertilisation can occur until the 20th day of the cycle. Since all these calculations are an approximation, and the results can vary from woman to woman.
This calculation is adjusted to reflect WHO data that shows that approximately 80% of menstrual cycles range between 26 to 32 days.
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How Common Is Infertility
According to RESOLVE, 1 out of every 8 couples, or 12 percent of women, have trouble getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.
When should you see a doctor about infertility?
- if youre 35 or younger and youve been trying to get pregnant for a year
- if youre over age 35 and youve been trying for more than 6 months
If you know you have a health condition that affects your fertility, see your doctor sooner.
Get An Ovulation Predictor Kit
If you’re looking for a higher-tech method for knowing when you should have sex to get pregnant, pick up an ovulation tester online or at a drugstore. There are a few types to consider. Ovulation predictor kits test your level of luteinizing hormone to suss out your O day. All you do is pee on a stick and wait for it to reveal if your level of luteinizing hormone is high, suggesting ovulation. You’ll see a line that is the same or darker than the control line.
A next-level option is a fertility monitor. This device lets you check LH and estrogen levels in your urine. You turn on the monitor when you get your period and it alerts you when it’s time to start using the urine strips. Then you pee on a strip and insert it into the monitor to find out whether you’re having a low, high or peak fertility day.
There are also saliva tests that check electrolytes in your spit to predict when your estrogen is high. First thing in the morning, you put saliva on a lens. Then, five minutes later, you play scientist and look at it under an eyepiece. Most of the month you’ll just see random dots, but a day to three days before you ovulate, you should notice a pattern like a fern or frost on a window. The downside to saliva tests: Some women have trouble distinguishing the patterns.
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Are Fams Effective For Birth Control
According to the National Health Service , FAMs can be up to 99% effective if people follow them carefully.
However, Planned Parenthood estimates that FAMs are around 7688% effective. These numbers mean that 1224 couples out of 100 who use FAMs may still conceive.
Other forms of contraception, such as intrauterine devices and implants, are typically more effective than FAMs.
It is possible to increase the effectiveness of FAMs by:
- taking advice from a healthcare professional who has expert knowledge of using FAMs
- checking ones body temperature, cervical mucus, menstrual cycle length, and other fertility signs every day
- avoiding vaginal sex or using another form of birth control on ones most fertile days
Certain factors can affect fertility signals, such as:
- illness, stress, and travel in different time zones
- irregular periods
- using hormonal contraception in the months before using FAMs
It is also important that people check their temperature at the same time each day. If a person forgets or records their temperature at a different time of day, their readings will not be accurate.
The NHS says that it can take 36 months to become familiar with ones menstrual cycle, so FAMs are not an easy, quick, or completely reliable way to prevent pregnancy.
Also, FAMs do not offer any protection against STIs.
With typical use, the levels of effectiveness for each form of birth control are as follows:
|Form of birth control|
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.
Sometimes Getting Pregnant Is Difficult
No matter how healthy you are, or what age you are, sometimes it is difficult to get pregnant.
If you have tried for 12 months or more , its time to talk to your doctor about your options. The best place to start is to see your general practitioner . You might like to complete the Healthy conception tool, and take your results, and your partners results , with you to discuss with your doctor.
What About Ovulation Predictor Kits Or Fertility Apps
Many couples choose to use ovulation predictor kits or fertility apps to help them work out the best time to get pregnant.
Ovulation predictor kits are designed to test urine or saliva and they work by detecting the changes in certain hormone levels that occur just prior to ovulation. In contrast, fertility apps or ovulation calculators rely on the input of your menstrual cycle statistics .
Although these options can be useful if youre trying to get pregnant, they are NOT fool proof and have a number of pitfalls. To find out more, check out the following articles:
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What Are The Advantages Of Using Fertility Awareness Methods To Avoid Pregnancy
If used correctly, FAMs can give you reasonable protection from an unwanted pregnancy.
Some advantages of using FAMs are:
- No expense
- No medication, therefore no side effects
- Greater understanding between a couple
- Some religious beliefs do not allow artificial contraception, so safe days method is a preferred option
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How Can You Detect Fertile Days
After ovulation, your basal body temperature increases by 0.51.0°F . While this temperature rise is usually too small to notice, you can detect it with an accurate thermometer.
As you approach ovulation, your body will produce increasing amounts of estrogen. The high estrogen levels in your body will trigger an increase in luteinizing hormone . This LH surge will cause the release of mature eggs from your ovary, which is ovulation. Since ovulation usually occurs about 24-48 hours following the LH surge, this hormone is often an excellent predictor of peak fertility.
Changes in saliva
Research has shown that a womans saliva also changes considerably depending on the bodys estrogen level. During your monthly cycle, you will experience a large increase in estrogen a couple of days before ovulation and another minor increase a few days before your period is due.
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Don’t Worry About The Best Positions For Getting Pregnant
Myths abound about the best positions for getting pregnant, but they are just that — myths. There is really no scientific evidence saying that the missionary position is better than the woman being on top when it comes to maximizing your chances of making a baby.
“Very rarely, a woman’s cervix is in an unusual position where certain positions can make a difference,” Goldfarb tells WebMD.
Certain gravity-defying positions, such as sitting or standing during intercourse, however, may discourage sperm from traveling upstream. “It’s a matter of gravity you don’t want all the semen to run out — and semen are quick little critters,” Hillard says.
The Best Time To Conceive: When To Have Sex To Get Pregnant
Lets unpack what you need to know to maximize your chance of getting pregnant. Well explore when youre most fertile, how frequently to have sex, and which factors may impact conception.
Do you want to know the best time to try for a baby? You have come to the right place. Did you know you could get pregnant even during your period?
Getting pregnant happens when a male sperm fertilizes a female’s egg. For some people, this can happen quickly for others, it may take longer.
Out of every hundred couples actively trying to become pregnant, about 80 percent will do so within the year. The remaining 20 percent will take longer or may need medical help to conceive.
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Best Time To Get Pregnant
There are only a few days each cycle when a woman is fertile. Because many people dont know when their fertile window is, one in two couples may be trying to get pregnant at the wrong time by having sex on the wrong days. Knowing your menstrual cycle and knowing when you ovulate can maximize your chances of conceiving. If youd like to know more and have other questions about the best time to get pregnant, then read on.
Track Your Basal Body Temperature
This is your temperature when you first wake up in the morning. When you ovulate, it goes up slightly and stays up until your next period.
To track it, you’ll need a basal body thermometer, which measures small changes. You can get one at most drugstores and supermarkets.
Take your temperature before you get out of bed every morning. Note the first day it goes up.
“Once you identify the day you ovulated, you can predict that ovulation will happen on or close to that day in future cycles,” Manglani says.
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How Long Should A Normal Menstrual Cycle Last
An average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, defined from the first day of menstrual bleeding to the first day of bleeding of the next period. However, irregular periods are very common. An irregular period is defined as a cycle that varies by more than seven to nine days.
There are several reasons why women may have abnormal periods, which can include fibroids, ovarian cysts, polyps, and even something as common as stress.
If youve constantly had an irregular period, please contact us for an appointment to determine the underlying cause and initiate treatment, said Dr. Martinelli.
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Causes Of Male Infertility
Male infertility is a factor for about 8 percent of couples who are trying to conceive.
Causes of male infertility include:
- enlarged veins on the testicles, called varicocele
- abnormally shaped sperm
- injury to the testes that reduces sperm production
- heavy drinking, smoking, or drug use
- chemotherapy or radiation to treat cancer
- problems with the glands that produce the hormones needed to make sperm
- more rarely, genetic disorders such as Klinefelter syndrome
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Think You Know When You Ovulate
Many women feel confident that they just know when ovulation is occurring. For some, its because they experience mittelschmerz or they notice other signs such as sore breasts or an increased libido. For others theres just a gut sense that they are ovulating.
While feeling in tune with your body can help you time sex correctly, it isnt a fail proof method. Over the years, Ive met numerous women in my clinic who were confident they knew when they were ovulating, and certain theyd been timing sex correctly. But after learning fertility awareness and charting their fertility , they soon discovered that in fact they werent ovulating when they thought they were and had missed valuable opportunities to conceive.
And research backs this up. One study found that only 12.7% of trying-to-conceive women estimated their day of ovulation correctly and only 27% predicted it for when they were actually most fertile!
Another recent study found similar results, with only 13% of women, being able to correctly identify their fertile window. And this was despite the fact that a THIRD of these women reported that they monitor their ovulation!
So while this method works reliably for some, its easy to get it wrong. And unfortunately this can lead to an unnecessary delay in getting pregnant.
When To Have Sex
“Timing sex as close to ovulation as possible is important,” Manglani says. Your best bet is to have sex often. Try doing it every day starting 5 days before ovulation. Keep going one day after ovulation.
Another option: Try the “sperm meets egg plan.” Have sex every other day starting on day eight of your cycle. Start an OPK on day 10. “Once you have a positive result on your OPK, have sex every day for three days,” Manglani says.
If you don’t get pregnant in 6 months, see a doctor. “Most regular OB/GYN offices can start a fertility workup,” Manglani says. Or reach out to a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist.
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