Operation Get Pregnant

Get Pregnant

While the prospect of getting pregnant may be exciting, it’s more involved than you think,

For most of your sexual life, your focus has probably been on avoiding pregnancy, so it can be a bit of a mindshift to suddenly find yourself engaged in the baby-making business. Before you even consider conceiving, you need to think about other issues such as getting your body into the best possible condition to support a growing baby, including looking at your weight, your diet, how much physical activity you do and avoiding substances that could be harmful to your developing baby.

WHEN YOU’RE MOST FERTILE
Getting pregnant is all about timing. You must chart and plan out your most fertile days and find out how to recognise those times when your “lady egg” is starting to make her appearance and embark on her journey to the womb.

Your menstrual cycle can give you clues about when your body is ready to start the process, and your first priority is to determine which days you’re most fertile.

For many of us, the most fertile period is the two weeks after your period starts. However, this rule only holds true if your menstrual cycle happens to be 28 days. If your cycle is 28 days long, you have about six days each month when you can conceive. That is the day you ovulate and the five days preceding that. Ovulation occurs when one or more eggs from your ovary are released. Between 15 and 20 eggs mature inside one of your ovaries. The largest is released and swept into the Fallopian tube.

The egg only has a life span of between 12 and 24 hours if it doesn’t become fertilised. This is a very small window of opportunity. Having sex in the two days leading up to ovulation increases your chances of getting pregnant as this is when you’re most fertile.

WORKING OUT YOUR OVULATION
Some women have cycles that are longer or shorter than 28 days or periods that are irregular. Then working out your fertile days may not be as simple. The length of your cycle is measured from the time between the first day of your last period to the first day of your next. Ovulation occurs about 14 days before the onset of your next period. If your period is longer, say about 35 days, you can expect to ovulate on or around day 21. If your periods are irregular, things become a little trickier and being able to read your body’s signs will enable you to recognise when you’re ovulating.

Start keeping a note of your menstrual cycle and record when it starts, how long it lasts, and when it finishes. The day your menstruation starts is considered day one.

Track your period over a few months, as your cycle may vary from month to month. Once you have this information, your next step would be to subtract 18 days from the length of your shortest cycle: this is the first day you’re likely to be fertile.

Then, subtract 11 days from the length of your longest cycle – this is the last day you’re likely to be fertile. Having sex between these two dates will increase your chances of getting pregnant.

An ovulation predictor kit (OPK) is a quick, easy and accurate way to predict ovulation in advance. It allows you to pinpoint your fertile window from the very first month. Kits are available online, and at most pharmacies and supermarkets. You can usually find them in the same section as pregnancy tests.

There are a few ways to determine your fertile window. You could record your menstrual cycle, chart the monthly cycles of your basal body temperature, or study changes in your cervical mucus. Or, you could try all three.

However, it can be tricky to pinpoint ovulation using these methods, especially if your menstrual cycles are irregular. This is where OPKs can help.

WHEN TO TAKE A PREGNANCY TEST
Pregnancy tests can be done at home or through your doctor’s rooms. All pregnancy tests, including home tests, measure the amount of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), the pregnancy hormone, in your body. The more sensitive tests may be able to detect low levels of hCG as early as four days before your period is due, or seven days after conception.

Most home pregnancy tests will give accurate results if you test at the time your period would normally be due, about two weeks after you ovulate.

Although there are many theories on how to conceive a boy or a girl, there is no scientific evidence to prove that timing when you conceive, what you eat and what position you adopt during sex will ensure your chances of getting what you want. However, there’s no harm in trying and your chances are 50/50 either way.

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