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:
What Is The Best Time Of The Day To Have Sex To Get Pregnant
So, now that you know the middle of your cycle is the time youre most likely to conceive, you might be curious if theres a best time of the day to have sex to get pregnant. Sadly, its difficult to be that specific.
While some studies have suggested that sex in the morning is the best for conception, research is really limited.
Is It Easier To Get Pregnant The Second Time
The answer is that it depends.
On one hand, you may have heard that having a baby can reset a couples fertility. A 2013 study conducted at Boston University appears to support this claim. The study found that couples who had already had children were more likely to conceive than couples who had not.
However, this implies correlation, rather than causation. There is a possibility that selection bias could have influenced the results of the study: as a cohort, couples who have already had children tend to be more fertile than those who have not.
The study also excluded couples with a history of infertility. Unfortunately, many couples struggle to have a second child, especially if they have struggled with infertility due to conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome in the past.
On the other hand, approximately half of all infertility cases are due to secondary infertility. Factors influencing secondary infertility include aging, sperm count, breastfeeding, weight gain, and medications.
So, yes, plenty of women are able to get pregnant a second time without issue , but if youre one of the few dealing with infertility then there is 50% chance it could be due to your pursuit of a second child.
You May Like: What Foods And Drinks To Avoid While Pregnant
What If I Have Irregular Periods
If you have irregular periods, meaning that your periods are outside of the 2135-day window or if your cycle intervals vary by more than seven days each month , you should speak with your Gyn/OB or a fertility specialist. This irregularity may be due to a hormone imbalance and could make it more challenging to get pregnant using natural family planning methods.
When Is The Best Time To Get Pregnant
So what does this all mean?
These precious few days of sperm and egg survival combine to form your fertile window. And its during this fertile window, and ONLY during this time, that sex can result in pregnancy.
The fertile window is a maximum of 6 days long composed of the 5 days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation itself. In practice however, the fertile window is typically shorter than this often just 2 3 days long.
So the best time to have sex to get pregnant is during the 2 3 days leading up to ovulation the time when sperm are most likely to survive. Ideally, you want to have sperm ready and waiting in your reproductive tract, so that they can do their thing as soon as your egg is released at ovulation .
Because the egg survives for a maximum of only 24 hours, any sex you have after ovulation day will NOT result in pregnancy. And actually, even having intercourse on the day of ovulation itself can sometimes be too late research has shown that ovulation day is typically a less fertile day.
Want to know the secrets of Baby-making Sex? Grab the fertility guide here.
Read Also: How To Treat Back Pain During Pregnancy
Your Personal Cycle Is Controlled By Your Individual Hormone Levels
The is controlled by hormones which change throughout the menstrual cycle and, amongst other things, control ovulation. Particularly important for understanding when you can get pregnant are:
- Estrogen: this gradually rises in the early stage of the womans cycle in the days leading up to ovulation. This increase also changes the cervical mucus, which creates a favourable environment for sperm.
- Luteinising Hormone surges 24-36 hours before ovulation , making it the best predictor of ovulation.
Read Also: Accidentally Donated Plasma While Pregnant
Plot Your Menstrual Cycle
To establish when you are most likely to get pregnant, you will need to understand your menstrual cycle. Make a note in your diary of when your period starts this is referred to as day one. Count the days until your period arrives again the end of your cycle is the day before your next period begins. Cycles range in length from about 21 to 40 days, with only about 10 per cent being precisely 28 days. If your cycle is generally 28 days long, then you know that you are likely to ovulate on day 14.
Keep in mind, though, that fertilisation can take place at different times after the last period as some women do not ovulate consistently. If your menstrual cycle varies every month, it is difficult to predict the date of ovulation. In this case, you can conduct tests that determine the day you ovulate, such as keeping a temperature chart or using a home ovulation kit. Tests should be conducted over a number of cycles so as to determine a pattern of ovulation.
Smoking Drinking And Use Of Recreational Drugs
Basically, dont do any of the above, especially the last one. Aside from affecting your overall health and well being, smoking, drugs, and excessive drinking can affect hormones, which can, in turn, affect ovulation.
Without ovulation, there is no baby.
In order to carry a baby healthily through pregnancy, you also need to be as healthy beforehand as possible, so quit smoking, keep your alcohol intake low, and if you do any drugs, ditch them.
Things To Consider When Trying For A Second Child
Ultimately, the decision to have a second child is an intensely personal one that should be made by a couple and their OB/GYN. However, its important to take all factors into consideration when weighing the pros and cons of having baby #2.
If youre thinking about TTC for the second time, make sure to discuss the following concerns with your partner and your doctor:
- Is your body fully recovered from your first pregnancy?
- How close together do you want your children to be in age?
- Do you want to take care of two young children at the same time?
- Are you ready to take care of an infant again?
- Will yours or your partners age impact your fertility?
- Did you have any complications with your previous pregnancy?
- Can you afford to have another child?
Read Also: What To Do When You Get Pregnant
When Should You See A Doctor
If youve been trying to get pregnant but are having no luck, see your primary care doctor or a fertility specialist.
How long should you wait before seeing a doctor? That depends on your age.
- Women younger than 35 should try for at least 1 year before seeking medical help.
- Women 35 or older should see a healthcare provider after 6 months of trying.
Make an appointment sooner if you have any of these issues, which could affect fertility:
When Should You Have Sex To Get Pregnant
Your best bet is still to simply have sex at least every other day of your fertile window. As soon as you start seeing signs that your fertile window is beginning , you should plan to have sex over the next several days. Dont wait for a positive ovulation test to have sex, because by the time your test turns positive, you may have already missed some of your most fertile days.
And for any readers who want to really geek out about this stuff, this free journal article provides a detailed perspective on the optimization of natural fertility.
*Why might the chances of chemical pregnancy be higher from sex on the day of ovulation? The authors of the study hypothesize that the difference is because the egg has aged by the time its fertilized if sperm are not introduced until ovulation day .
You May Like: How Much Is Genetic Testing During Pregnancy
How Long Does It Usually Take To Get Pregnant Again
For women under 37 years old with no known fertility problems, 85 percent will become pregnant after a year of trying to conceive . Almost half of those women will have conceived within three months, and more than half will have conceived within six months.
Try not to compare the timing of your second pregnancy to the timing of your first. Some couples find it easier to get pregnant the second time around , but for many couples, it takes longer to get pregnant the second time.
In fact, secondary infertility is more common than primary infertility. Its unclear exactly why this happens, but experts think it may have something to do with couples being older during the second pregnancy.
How To Tell When You’re Ovulating
Since it’s such a small window, pinning down when you start to ovulate can be tricky. Here are some tips:
- Track your cycle: To start, try tracking your cycle. Ovulation takes place around 14 days before your period begins. Count back from when your period is expected to arrive to find out when you should ovulate. If you have a 29-day cycle, you’ll ovulate around day 15, but if you have a longer cycle of 35 days, you’ll ovulate around day 21, says Minkin.
- Monitor your cervical fluid: When the texture is creamy and the color is white, that indicates that you’re approaching ovulation, and when the fluid becomes slippery, stretchy, and clear, it’s a sign that you may be ovulating.
- Take your temperature: Another strategy is to take your basal body temperature, which is your body temperature at rest. Measure it in the morning, when you’re still in bed, before eating or doing any activity. During ovulation, your temperature will rise slightly, by about 0.5 to 1 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Ovulation predictor kit: The most accurate way to predict ovulation is with an ovulation predictor kit, says Minkin. These urine tests are available over-the-counter at drugstores and detect the presence of hormones that indicate ovulation. Minkin recommends the First Response ovulation test for its accuracy and ease of use.
Don’t Miss: When Pregnant With Girl Symptoms
Pregnancy And Birth Risks
Because of the changes that happen in eggs and sperm as we age, including damage to genetic material, children of older parents have a slightly higher risk of birth defects and genetic abnormalities. The risk of mental health problems and autism spectrum disorder is marginally higher in children of fathers older than 40 than in those with younger fathers.
It is estimated that the risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality is approximately one in 400 for a woman aged 30 and one in 100 for a woman aged 40.
The risks of miscarriage and complications in pregnancy and childbirth are higher for older women than for younger women.
Its important to remember that although the risk of health problems increases with age, most babies are born healthy, whatever their parents age.
How Can You Tell When Youre In Your Fertile Window
While you can track your cycle using an app like Flo to see the days that you might be ovulating, there are also some other signs associated with the fertile window that you can look out for. They include:
However, Dr. Charlsie Celestine, obstetrician and gynecologist, New Jersey, US, warns that not everyone experiences these symptoms.
Also Check: How To Tell If She’s Pregnant
Using An Ovulation Test
If you get your period on the same day every month , you can use an over-the-counter ovulation kit, which works by detecting the hormone LH in your urine. As LH levels spike, or surge, you are about to ovulate. To predict ovulation, count 17-18 days backwards from when you would get a period in your shortest cycles. Then use an ovulation kit to test your LH levels beginning on that day. For example, if you usually have a 30-day cycle, start testing day 12 or 13, and test once a day, around the same time, until your kit shows a positive. A good rule of thumb is to purchase the most affordable kit with the least bells and whistlesno need to overcomplicate the process.
Are There Things I Can Do To Get Pregnant Faster
There are some steps you can take that help give you the best chance of conceiving, but keep in mind: The amount of time it takes to get pregnant differs from person to person. Some people conceive quickly, while others can try for years with little success.
Before trying for a baby, it’s a good idea to prepare. Here are some ways to get started:
- Schedule a preconception checkup with a doctor or midwife.
- Kick unhealthy habits like drinking, smoking cigarettes or marijuana, or using illicit drugs.
- Maintain or work towards a healthy weight.
- Take at least 400 mcg of folic acid daily at least one month before you start trying to conceive. This nutrient can dramatically reduce the risk of certain birth defects.
Once you’re ready to begin, these tips may boost your chances of getting pregnant fast:
When Is The Best Time To Get Pregnant What Age
The best time to get pregnant is when you are physically, mentally and financially ready to be pregnant and become a parent.
Women are most fertile between the ages of 20 and 24. After this, fertility gradually decreases with age, with a gradual decline into the 30s and a sharper decrease after the age of 35.
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 ovulation 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.
Recommended Reading: How Folic Acid Helps In Getting Pregnant
Aim For A Healthy Weight
According to the Mayo Clinic, attaining a healthy weight before conception can help set you up for success, both improving your odds of getting pregnant fast and reducing your risk of certain complications. Obesity is associated with irregular ovulation, so it may take longer to conceive if your body mass index is 30 or higher.
Learn Methods To Control Stress
Well-meaning folks like to advise that if you just stress about it less, youll instantly conceive. Easier said than done. To put the level of stress into perspective, according to Noyes, studies have shown that finding out you may not be able to have a baby garners the same stress response as being told you have cancer.
Focus on what you have right now, versus going into the stories in your mind about potentially never being able to conceive, says Lippman-Barile. Mindfulness works differently for everyone , but one easy place to start is by focusing on your breathing. Lippman-Barile also suggests alleviating stress through activities like yoga and physical movement, taking up a hobby, and spending time with those you care about.
Recommended Reading: How Much Dha And Epa During Pregnancy
Find Your Fertile Window
Now that you’ve stopped using birth control, you may be wondering, “When is the best time to try to get pregnant?” The answer is during your “fertile window,” or the days leading up to and just after ovulation.
No matter how often you have sex, if you skip the most fertile days of the month, you won’t conceive. “The biggest mistake my patients make is not knowing exactly when they ovulate,” says Dr. Williams.
Some doctors recommend using ovulation predictor kits to detect ovulation. These at-home tests work by detecting a surge in luteinizing hormone in your urine, which occurs about 36 to 48 hours before you ovulate. OPKs help you plan baby-making sex for when you’re the most fertile.
Other ways to track ovulation include charting your basal body temperature , monitoring your cervical mucus, and tracking your menstrual cycle.