Family Planning: How to get Pregnant
Know the basics of getting pregnant and ease the difficulties of starting a family. How to adopt a healthy lifestyle and when to get professional help.
- Write down the date your period commences every month.
- Keep your stress levels under control as it can affect ovulation.
- Do away with vices such as smoking and alcohol in both partners.
- Exercise everyday and get your sleep to maintain good health.
While mostly couples worry about an unwanted pregnancy and take all contraceptive measures to avoid it whereas some couples find it difficult to start a family.
Knowing certain basics of “getting pregnant” will aid you do things the right way, in being patient, and will help you avoid being obsessive about your bodily changes. However, professional help is of prime importance at every stage of your pregnancy.
Track your fertility cycle or detect your ovulation time using
- A planner or calendar: Write down the date your period commences every month and keep a tab on the number of days menstruation continues. A constant twenty-eight day cycle will mean ovulation is likely to occur from fourteen days after the date of your last menstrual cycle had commenced. This method can be inaccurate in women who have erratic menstrual cycle and other factors such as stress and illness can affect timing of ovulation.
- Observing changes in cervical mucus: When ovulation is about to approach there is a noticeable change seen in the cervical mucus in its volume and consistency. The fertile phase is marked by clear mucus which is seen in abundance, is slippery and stretchy to touch. When ovulation is not happening there might not be any presence of mucus or it may be gluey and creamy in texture.
- Measuring basal body temperature: Basal body temperature is to be recorded first thing in the morning while awaking from sleep. A basal thermometer needs to be used and not a regular thermometer. Ovulation triggers hormonal change which in turn increases body temperature. Elevated body temperature is a sign of ovulation and charting it every day can help you time your intercourse whenever there is an increased observation of body temperature. The previous two or three days before the elevated temperature are fertile phase and you need to know the pattern of temperature rise to time your intercourse.
- Ovulation detector kits: These kits need no prescription and are available over-the-counter. They help in predicting ovulation by checking the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. An elevated level of LH can help you detect ovulation twelve to twenty-four hours before it happens helping you time your conception. Follow the instructions on the label for an accurate reading.
Stop all contraceptive methods: All methods of birth control should be stopped if you are planning a pregnancy. Certain birth control methods which alter the hormonal levels of the body such as oral pills and hormonal injections, patches need to be discontinued much before you plan a pregnancy. The body needs about six months to a year to come back to its natural form so as to aid pregnancy.
Switch over to healthy habits and lifestyle changes such as
- A balanced diet for both the partners along with health supplements will make up for any vitamin deficiencies and will also help you have a healthy pregnancy. Folic acid supplements before conception helps reduce the chances of neural tube defects in the baby.
- Avoid stress. Keep your stress levels under control as it can affect ovulation and hamper fertility.
- Do away with vices such as smoking and alcohol as it affects fertility in both men and women. Tobacco alters the cervical mucus and prevents sperms from reaching the egg. It also ups the risk of a miscarriage and may result in abnormalities in the baby.
- Exercise everyday and get your optimum sleep to maintain good health. Excess weight may be related with infertility and may cause problems in carrying a pregnancy therefore shed extra pounds by being active. Cut down or limit caffeine as it causes problems in pregnancy.
Consulting a doctor is a must
Consult a doctor for pre-conception planning including talking about any medication you or your partner may be taking which might impair fertility. Also certain drugs may not go well with pregnancy and would need to be discontinued, seek professional advice. Clear your doubts regarding conception and pregnancy.
Having sex more often
Having sex more often and specially near the time of ovulation will increase your chances of conceiving. Do not get bogged down by the thought of making babies instead just enjoy the time together and it will happen!
When to get professional help
If you have been indulging in unprotected sex with your partner quite often you can get lucky in a year or less. Couples who are healthy can keep trying to conceive for a year before seeking professional help. Individuals older than thirty-five years need to consult a doctor early as age related infertility is a looming threat.
Due to medical advances various fertility treatments are available for couples which are very effective. Infertility can happen in both men and women; none should be blamed for it instead mutual support is necessary.
Read more articles on Conceiving.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Feb 04, 2013
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