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Posts Tagged ‘ovulation’
Many couples who want to have a baby get frustrated if they don’t get pregnant right away once they start trying. If that’s you, make an effort to relax and learn more about how everything works. There are many steps you can take to help you get pregnant. For example:
• Learn how ovulation works and calculate when you’re most likely to ovulate.
• Be on the lookout for signs that you’re pregnant.
• Learn more about your and your partner’s family health history.
Don’t worry if you don’t get pregnant right away. Most couples who try to get pregnant do so within one year. It may not happen immediately, but chances are it’ll happen soon. If you’ve been trying for more than a year (or six months if you’re older than 35), talk to your health care provider. You can get tests to find out why you’re having problems getting pregnant. Many couples can overcome these problems without needing fertility treatments.
If you’re thinking about fertility treatment to help you get pregnant, talk to your provider about how to get safe treatment while lowering your chance of having multiples (twins, triplets or more). Having multiples can increase the likelihood that you’ll have a premature birth. Babies born prematurely can face many serious health complications, some that can last a lifetime.
You might see ads for at-home genetic tests that provide information like if you’re a carrier of certain genetic diseases that can be passed on to a child. It’s too soon to know if and how these tests can help you during pregnancy. Talk to your health provider if you have questions.
The best time to get pregnant is a few days before ovulation or the day of ovulation. This is because a man’s sperm can live up to 72 hours after intercourse and a woman’s egg is fertile for 12 to 24 hours after its release. If your periods are regular, use an ovulation calculator to get an idea of when you’re most fertile. If your periods are irregular, use one of the following methods. Talk to your health care provider to learn more about the most effective way to use these.
• Purchase a basal body thermometer. Use it to take your temperature before you get out of bed every day. Your temperature goes up by 1 degree when you ovulate.
• Check the mucus in your vagina. It may become thinner, more slippery, clearer and more plentiful just before ovulation.
• Purchase an ovulation prediction kit. Use it to test your urine for a substance called luteinizing hormone (LH). LH increases each month during ovulation.
Having sex as close as possible to ovulation can improve your chance of getting pregnant. Watch our video on ovulation to learn more.
Don’t worry if you don’t get pregnant right away. Most couples who try to get pregnant do so within one year. It may not happen immediately, but chances are it’ll happen before too long. If you’ve been trying for more than a year (or six months if you’re older than 35), talk to your health care provider. You can get tests to find out why you’re having problems getting pregnant. Many couples can overcome these problems without needing fertility treatments.
My daughter has endometriosis and it has caused her a bunch of problems over the years. She went through horribly uncomfortable periods, painful ovulation, bouts of diarrhea contrasted with constipation… For years she was not a happy camper.
Endometriosis, aside from making one feel lousy, can interfere with fertility and make having a child difficult. Read more about endometriosis in our previous post.
My daughter ultimately had surgery to “clean up” as much unwanted tissue in her abdomen as possible. Happily, she now has two daughters and far fewer discomforts every month. If you have symptoms and think you may have endometriosis, talk to your doc about it. Don’t suffer in silence. Although you can’t get rid of it all together, there are ways of treating it.
I was reading today about someone’s “absolutely reliable” way of conceiving. She said you need to have sex for ten days straight – five days before and five days after ovulation. And positively no cheating with “I’m too tired tonight!”
Absolutely reliable? Well… there’s good reason to think it couldn’t hurt. Since most of us don’t know exactly when we ovulate, the five days before and after the date you think you’ll ovulate covers most bases. A woman’s egg is fertile for only 12 to 24 hours after its release from the ovary. A man’s sperm can live up to 72 hours after intercourse. So the best time to have sex if you’re trying to conceive is a few days before ovulation (ovaries release an egg every month, about 14 days before the first day of a woman’s period) and the day of ovulation. The closer intercourse is to ovulation, the more likely it is you’ll get pregnant.
Check out our ovulation calculator to get an idea of your most fertile days. You also can check your basal body temperature to try to better pinpoint your ovulation date. Once you have a good idea of when that is, make a pact to act like rabbits for ten days. No guarantees, but it’s worth a try. And it might be fun… or exhausting!
Assuming your preconception visit with your health care provider shows you’re in good shape physically, conception may depend on the type of birth control you have been using.
• If you have an IUD (intrauterine device), you can start trying to get pregnant as soon as you have the device removed.
• Barrier methods (such as condoms, diaphragms and spermicides) stop working as soon as you stop using them.
• If you’ve been on birth control pills, you may not have regular periods for a month or two after stopping the pills.
• If you take Depo-Provera, it can take from three months to one year to ovulate regularly after your last injection.
Check out our ovulation calculator to get an idea of your most fertile days. If you have irregular periods, it may be more difficult to determine the best time to conceive, so talk with your doc or midwife about what’s best for you.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition that can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, hormones, ability to have children, heart, blood vessels, and appearance (especially excessive hair growth). Although women do produce small levels of androgens, sometimes called male hormones, women with PCOS typically have high levels of androgens. They usually have missed or irregular periods and their ovaries can be swollen with many small cysts. It is estimated that 6 to 10% of all women of reproductive age have PCOS, and evidence suggests that it may run in some families.
A woman’s ovaries have follicles, which are tiny sacs filled with liquid that hold her eggs. These sacs also are called cysts. For most women, approximately 20 eggs start to mature every month, with only one maturing fully. As this one egg grows, the follicle accumulates fluid in it. When the egg is mature, the follicle breaks open and releases it. The egg then travels through the fallopian tube for fertilization. When the single egg leaves the follicle, ovulation takes place.
In women with PCOS, the ovary doesn’t produce all of the hormones it needs for any of the eggs to fully mature. Follicles may start to grow and build up fluid, but no one follicle becomes large enough. Instead, in some but not all women, some follicles may remain as cysts. Since no follicle becomes large enough and no egg matures or is released, ovulation does not occur and the hormone progesterone is not made. Without progesterone, a woman’s menstrual cycle is irregular or absent. Additionally, the cysts make male hormones, which also prevent ovulation.
Lack of ovulation is usually the reason for fertility problems in women with PCOS. Several medications that stimulate ovulation can help women with PCOS become pregnant. Even so, other reasons for infertility in both the woman and man should be ruled out before fertility medications are used. Diet and weight loss are essential for overweight women.
Charting your basal body temperature can help you get a good handle on how your body operates, when you ovulate and when the chances are greatest for conceiving. To do this, use a basal body thermometer that measures very small changes in temperature. (You can buy one at your local drug store.) Take your temp at the same time everyday before you get out of bed. Don’t move around much as that can elevate your temp and give you an inaccurate reading. You can take it orally, vaginally or rectally – doesn’t matter. Choose a method and then stick to the same method everyday. Enter your temp reading on a chart everyday. Your temperature will rise by at least .2 but probably less than 1 degree (compared to the previous 6 days) just as you ovulate. Having sex as close as possible to this temperature rise improves your chances of getting pregnant.
After your cycle ends, take a good look at your chart and see if you notice any patterns. Look for other signs of ovulation, too. Pay attention to the mucus in your vagina. It gets thinner, slippery, clearer and more plentiful just before ovulation. These two things combined should help increase your odds of conceiving when you want.
You’ve thought carefully about having a baby and decided you’re ready. You stopped smoking and drinking alcohol. You’re eating a healthy diet and taking a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. You’ve visited your health care provider, and you’re putting money in your savings account each month. You’re ready to start trying to get pregnant.
A woman’s egg is fertile for only 12 to 24 hours after its release, ovulation. Ovaries release an egg every month, about 14 days before the first day of a woman’s period. A man’s sperm can live up to 72 hours after intercourse. So the best time to have sex if you’re trying to conceive is:
• A few days before ovulation
• The day of ovulation
The closer intercourse is to ovulation, the more likely it is you’ll get pregnant. You can track your ovulation using different methods. And the more often you have sex, the more likely you are to get pregnant. But don’t get too anxious if it doesn’t happen right away. On average, there is a 15-25% chance of conceiving each month. Studies have shown that roughly half of couples trying to get pregnant conceive within four months, 75% of couples by six months, and 85% within a year.
It may seem like you have been trying for a baby forever. How are you supposed to know if you should see a fertility specialist? Start by taking it one step at a time.
Here are some things you and your partner can do to find out if you need treatment:
• Talk to your health care provider about whether or not you need treatment.
• Learn about how things like smoking and weight affect fertility. You may be able to make changes in your life that will help you get pregnant without fertility treatment. Talk to your health care provider about what you can do on your own, without fertility treatment.
• Tell your health care provider about diseases and other health problems in your family.
• Keep a monthly diary of your periods. Write down the date you start and end your period each month. This will help you figure out when you ovulate.
• Have your partner get his sperm tested to make sure it’s healthy.
• Have a test to make sure your fallopian tubes are open and your uterus (womb) is a normal shape. (When your ovary releases an egg, it travels down the fallopian tube to your uterus. A blockage in a tube can interfere with pregnancy.)
Still thinking about fertility treatment? Read a little more about it on our website.