Falling pregnant | Problems in conceiving | Signs of Pregnancy | Alternative methods of conceiving | In vitro | Artificial insemination

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THE RIGHT TIME

How to fall pregnant

 

Your menstrual cycle.

You need to keep track of your menstrual cycle. The average is 28 days, but this varies greatly from woman to woman.

You can predict your menstrual cycle (to varying degrees),  by taking these steps:

  • watch your symptoms
  • chart your temperatures
  • consider using an ovulation prediction kit (OPKs) or other fertility aid.

 

Have well timed sex.

Its amazing how easy it is to fall pregnant when you don't want to!

However, if you are trying to fall pregnant, then sex once a month is probably not enough !!!.

While you may get lucky, chances of pregnancy are increased if you have sex multiple times, particularly near ovulation.

There are high tech fertility monitors that can check both saliva and vaginal secretions, with different wands. This can help predict when you are more fertile.  This works without purchasing test strips.

 

Your partner.

His fertility counts too. So often we get focused on our bodies and forget that his fertility plays into this as well. Perhaps he needs a check up or a look at his habits. Make a pact to be healthy together.

 

If you have been following these suggestions for one year and you are under 35 and you have not yet fallen pregnant, it is time to seek the help of a reproductive endocrinologist (RE), or fertility specialist. You can get a recommendation from your midwife, OB or family physician. If you are over 35, the recommendation is to seek support after six months. This evaluation for infertility will help you identify any problems.

 

Be healthy

Give up smoking and drinking now as these habits impede fertility.

 

MENSTRUAL CYCLES

Your due date is typically calculated based on the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). Pregnancy is 266 days from conception, or about 280 from your LMP. This is 40 weeks or 9 months (give or take a few weeks).

PREGNANCY CALCULATOR

 

Due date calculator

When did your last periods begin:






Your approximate due date is:

OVULATION

Ovulation occurs when a mature egg is released from the ovary, pushed down the fallopian tube, and is available to be fertilized. The lining of the uterus has thickened to prepare for a fertilized egg. If no conception occurs, the uterine lining as well as blood will be shed. The shedding of an unfertilized egg and the uterine wall is the time of menstruation.

 

In humans, the few days near ovulation constitute the fertile phase. The time from the beginning of the last menstrual period (LMP) until ovulation is, on average, 14.6 days, but with substantial variation both between women and between cycles in any single woman, with an overall 95% prediction interval of 8.2 to 20.5 days.

 

Cycle length alone is not a reliable indicator of the day of ovulation. While in general an earlier ovulation will result in a shorter menstrual cycle, and vice versa, the luteal (post-ovulatory) phase of the menstrual cycle may vary by up to a week between women.

WHEN TO HAVE INTERCOURSE

Ovulation usually takes place at around 14 days from the first day of your monthly cycle - and the average cycle is 28 days.

 

The first day of your cycle is taken as the first day on which you begin to menstruate.

You will begin to become more fertile from about 4 days before you actually ovulate and will last for up to 48 hours after you ovulate.

 

You will be at your most fertile on the day prior to and on the day you do actually ovulate.

 

There is a slight increase in body temperature when you ovulate, and because of this, ovulation itself is easiest to calculate by measuring your body temperature. If you are unable to calculate your ovulation date, then just work around the average of 14 days from the first day of your monthly cycle.

 

Working on a 28 day cycle :

 

Days 1-5:
Your first day of the cycle is when you first start to menstruate. It is very important to record this date

 

Days 6-11:
These days are called 'dry days', as you are not menstruating nor are you fertile. Your body at this stage is simply preparing to release the egg.

 

Days 12-18:
These are the days when you will be at your most fertile. Your body will release the egg during the course of these 6 days, so this is the best time to be having sex if you are trying to conceive

 

Days 19-28:
It is highly unlikely that you will fall pregnant during this time. However, this is not always true, and some woman have fallen pregnant during this cycle.

 

PROBLEMS IN CONCEIVING

There are a variety of fertility conditions and fertility problems that can affect your chances of getting pregnant. Here are some common reasons:

 

WOMEN

Ovulatory problems

  • Approximately 25% of all infertile women have problems with ovulation
  • In most cases, hormonal imbalances are the cause of the problem.
  • Extremely low body weight, being overweight, or any significant change in weight Loss or gain can also cause imbalances

Age

  • A woman's fertility naturally declines as she gets older.

Anatomical problems   - A variety of anatomical issues can cause female infertility.

  • Blocked fallopian tubes - a woman's fallopian tubes may become blocked because of past infections such as pelvic inflammatory disease or abdominal surgery. Often women with blocked fallopian tubes don't experience any symptoms.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases can also scar or damage the fallopian tubes, causing blockages.
  • Blockages can interfere with the sperm and egg uniting. If they do fuse, blockages can prevent the embryo from implanting itself in the uterus.
  • Treatment of tubal problems or pelvic scarring may require surgery.

 

Cervical disorders

  • Sometimes cervical problems can prevent the sperm from entering.

 

Polycystic ovarian syndrome

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the leading causes of infertility and is a condition in which cysts develop in the ovaries due to abnormal hormone levels.
    • Symptoms may include irregular or absent periods, high blood pressure, acne, elevated insulin levels, excess hair on the face and body, and weight problems

 

Cancer treatments

  • Depending upon the location of treatment and the drug and dosage used, chemotherapy and radiation can contribute to difficulty conceiving

 

Endometriosis

  • A disease where cells lining the uterus (or endometrium) get outside of the uterus and stick to other organs, causing pain. This is one of the most common causes of infertility and is treatable.

MEN

Sperm disorders

  • A major cause of male infertility is a sperm disorder.
  • Sperm count (total number of sperm in a sample)
  • Sperm concentration (number of sperm per milliliter of semen)
  • Volume of semen the man produces
  • Sperm motility (number of sperm with the ability to move)
  • Sperm shape
    • a deficiency in any of these factors may cause male infertility. Although sperm count is important, sperm motility and forward progression appear to be even more importnt in determining the likelihood of whether or not the sperm will succeed in fertilizing the egg.
    • Despite a low sperm count, many men with high-quality sperm may still be fertile.

Age

  • usually a man's fertility starts declining at around the age of 35 as the quality of a man's sperm diminishes. In addition, sperm motility can also decline with age.

 

Immune disorders.

  • Problems with the immune system can cause a man's body to treat sperm as if it were a foreign matter. As a result, the immune system may produce antibodies to fight and destroy the sperm

 

Cancer treatments.

  • Chemotherapy and radiation may contribute to male infertility.

 

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

  • STDs may damage the parts of the body that transport sperm through the reproductive tract.

 

Anatomical issues

  • A variety of possible anatomical problems can influence fertility: Scrotal varicocele. Varicocele is one of the most commonly identifiable causes of male infertility. Varicocele is a varicose vein around a testicle that may hinder sperm production, movement and shape by raising the testicle's temperature.6 Scrotal varicoceles are found in about 15% of males and in approximately 40% of infertile men, most often on the left side or simultaneously on both sides.3 Retrograde ejaculation. Retrograde ejaculation involves the ejaculate flowing backward into the bladder instead of leaving the penis.7 Undescended testis. An undescended testicle is one that has failed to complete its passage from within the abdomen to reach its normal position in the scrotum. This condition is present in about 3% of newborns, with fewer than 1% needing treatment. Testicles that don't descend into the scrotum are not likely to function normally. Because they may not make sperm, they can cause fertility difficulties.7 Erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or maintain an erection. An erection is essential for ejaculation.

 

ALTERNATIVE METHODS TO CONCEIVE

DONOR INSEMINATION

Either the partner's sperm or donor sperm can be used. The sperm is injected near the woman's cervix or inside the uterus at the time of ovulation.A couple with a sperm or cervical mucus incompatibility could opt for this technique, which also allows a gay female couple to have a baby.

The pregnancy rate is high: 70 to 80% of couples who choose DI eventually have a child by this method.

 

IN VITRO FERTILIZATION (IVF)

In Vitro Fertilisation involves removing an egg or eggs from the woman's ovary and fertilizing it or them in a special solution outside of the body using a semen speciman.The semen speciman can be from the partner or from a sperm donor.

After the fertilized egg reaches a certain number of cell divisions, it is placed into the uterus.

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) demonstrate that the chances of a successful live birth following IVF therapy range between 65 and 86 percent in younger women and between 23 and 42 percent in women aged 40 and older.

 

GAMETE INTRAFALLOPIAN TRANSFER GIFT)

Gamete Intra Fallopian Transfer involves removing an egg from the woman's ovary, mixing it with sperm and placing the mixture into the fallopian tube where fertilization will hopefully take place.

 

ZYGOTE INTRAFALLOPIAN TRANSFER (ZIFT)

Zygote Intra FallopianTransfer is similar to IVF. The fertilized egg is placed at an earlier stage into the fallopian tube.

 

DONOR EGG PREGNANCIES

The egg is donated from a woman who will not carry the foetus.Uses IVF technique.

 

SURROGACY

Uses artificial insemination of the father's sperm into a woman who WILL carry the fetus. After birth, the baby is adopted by the couple who contracted for the surrogate mother.

SIGNS OF PREGNANCY

Missed period

A missed period can be a sign that you are pregnant.

 

However, there are other causes for missed periuods, such as :

  • Stress
  • Illness
  • Change in Schedules can really throw off your body clock. This is particularly true if you go from days to nights at work or vice versa.
  • Change in Medications
  • Being Overweight
  • Being Underweight
  • Miscalculation The menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman. While we say that the average menstrual cycle is 28 days long, that is not true for everyone. Sometimes our period is believed to be late when in all actuality we have simply miscalculated
  • Peri-Menopause Peri-menopause is the period of time where you are transitioning from reproductive age to a non-reproductive age.
  • Menopause Menopause is when you have reached the point in your life where you will no longer ovulate or menstruate.

 

Unusual or abnormal period

An unusual or abnormal period means a menstrual cycle that is different in some way from your typical, normal period.either it may lasts longer or ishorter, comes earlier or later than usual or a difference in the amount of flow

 

"Feeling" Pregnant

  • Often women in the early days of their pregnancy feel as if they are about to begin menstruating, but do not.
  • Their stomach feels bloated and swollen
  • Breasts remain sore and "full"

 

Breast Tenderness

In addition to breast tenderness and swelling, your nipples may feel sore or extra sensitive. Some women notice their nipples darken in color. This is because your body begins preparing your breasts for producing milk and breastfeeding. Hormones start increasing.

 

Nausea and Vomiting

Morning sickness can sometimes be the first pregnancy symptom most women experience. It can start nearly as soon as the pregnancy test is positive.

Many women will not notice morning sickness until about the sixth week of pregnancy. Some lucky women do not experience any morning sickness throught pregnancy.

There are many things that women can do to help alleviate this annoying pregnancy symptom:

  • Avoid foods such as high fat or spicy foods
  • Keep blood sugar levels high throughtout the day by eating small, frequent meals
  • Try suckers or hard candy, particularly sour stuff like lemon
  • your doctor can prescribe suitable medications if nausea is so severe that it causes dehydration

 

Frequent Urination

A sign of early pregnancy is the need to urinate frequently.This pregnancy symptom can start in early pregnancy and continue through the third trimester. The need to urinate often is caused by extra blood and fluid used in pregnancy that is excreted through your kidneys. As your pregnancy progresses the baby will actually grow large enough to put pressure on your bladder, causing you to feel the need to go more often. This is usually a symptom htroughout the entire pregnancy.

 

Fatigue

Pregnancy fatigue can manifest very early in the preganact - around the same time that you would take a pregnancy test.

 

Food Cravings, or Aversions to Foods

A well-known cliché is the pregnancy sign-symptom of craving certain foods or unusual combinations of foods. For example, one woman said she craved midnight snacks of warm peach pie topped with vanilla ice cream. Everyone has a funny story about food cravings.

Taking a good pre-natal vitamin supplement and a pure fish oil capsule may ease some cravings and help prevent extra weight gain ... and of course prenatal vitamins and fish oil are often doctor recommended for the health of your baby.

Less well known but equally common pregnancy signs are aversions to certain foods. You may find that some foods you previously enjoyed are no longer appetizing. One woman told us she had always liked pizza, but couldn't stand it at all while she was expecting. Just the smell of it made her feel nausea. This problem may come and go for some women. For others it could last throughout pregnancy.

Sensitivity to Aromas

The newly pregnant woman may notice a heightened sensitivity to aromas. Even familiar and smelss that you normally fine pleasant, such as the smell of a food or perfume, can make you nauseous. This is thought to be yet another side effect of the estrogen that is flooding your body.

Morning Sickness

This can occur in the early weeks of pregnancy and may last for a short time, or continue late into the pregnancy. Morning Sickness does not only happen in the mornings, despite the name.

 

Ofter, morning sickness will be triggered when the blood sugar drops, so it is wise to keep energy levels up by eating protein rich meals rather than starches and sugars.

 

Try to eat a protein rich breakfast rather than just cereals with lots of sugar. Try eating smaller meals, more often during the day.

 

Some women swear by dry toast and tea, others claim that soda water and ice will settle the stomach. Each woman is different, and you need to experiment and find what works for you

Mood Swings and Irritability

Changing and increased hormone levels can drastically affect your moods. This can be confusing for both you and your partner.

 

Discharge

Some women may notice a little discharge in their underwear due to increased hormone levels. This is one of the first signs you might experience.This is a watery white or golden secretion and is perfectly normal.

 

A Positive Pregnancy Test

Pregnancy tests work best if you wait to take them until at least a day or two after you miss your period. Even if the pregnancy test result is negative you should try it again a few days later to be sure. The best pregnancy tests are the ones done by your doctor or medical clinic. However there are some very high quality at home tests available too.

 

Montgomery's Tubercules

A sign of possible pregnancy is the appearance of small raised areas similar to "goose bumps", on the areola of your breast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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