All the sitcoms and movies that showcase women being obsessed with having sex during a certain time and day of the month to get pregnant wasn’t just comic relief. And all the jazz about having a baby as early in life as possible might have something to do with how a woman’s body changes with age. Though today, women have the option of choosing a variety of medical procedures and treatments to assist with pregnancy, it’s key to know how you can aid it naturally.
TC46 connected with Reproductive Medicine and Infertility Specialist, Dr Apurva Satish Amarnath of Nova IVF Fertility, Bangalore to answer all your burning questions about conceiving at the right time. Here she shares 10 must-know facts for all women looking forward to getting pregnant.
1. A woman’s fertility window helps determine the best time for her to get pregnant
Age is an important factor to consider when attempting to get pregnant. It has been seen that as age advances, the chances of pregnancy per cycle reduces. Hence, younger age is better. In any given month, the best time to try for pregnancy/have sex is the day before ovulation. Since the day of ovulation is variable in women in every cycle, the fertility window would need to be calculated and to cover those days for the best chance for pregnancy.
2. After 35, the number and quality of a woman’s eggs start to decline
Right from puberty, there is a gradual decline in egg number and quality which becomes more pronounced after the age of 35. With increasing age, conception becomes more and more difficult. This is due to both egg quantity and quality. Every month from puberty to menopause, an egg is released from the ovaries and if intercourse happens at that time, the sperm binds with the egg to form an embryo which in turn implants into the uterus.
3. Every woman’s fertility window is based on the length of her menstrual cycle
The fertile window is believed to be five days before and after the day an egg is released from the ovary. It is determined by the length of the menstrual cycle, which differs between women. This is the best time as it increases your chances of becoming pregnant. Ovulation happens approximately 14 days prior to the next expected date of the cycle. It is to be noted that the fertile window can only be calculated in women with regular cycles since irregular cycles are a sign that ovulation isn’t happening regularly and would require a consultation with a fertility specialist.
4. There are a few common signs of ovulation you can look out for
Knowing when you’re ovulating can enable you to become pregnant. Ovulation occurs halfway through your cycle. Because each woman’s cycle is unique, you must pay attention to the signs. There are numerous ways to determine if the time is right.
Some of the signs of ovulation are:
- A positive Ovulation Test result
- Fertile Cervical Mucus
- Sexual desire has increased
- Basal Body Temperature
- Tenderness of the breast
- Pain during ovulation
5. Track your ovulation cycle in 3 ways to plan a pregnancy
The Calendar Method: If you have regular cycles (21-35 days, approximately 14 days prior to the next date is the expected day of ovulation. Begin to have intercourse 4-5 days prior to that and continue 4-5 days after the date of ovulation to cover the variations in cycles.
Ovulation Predictor Kits: These are urine tests that, like home pregnancy tests, show a specific colour pattern when your luteinising hormone (LH) levels rise. An LH surge usually means you’ll ovulate within 12 to 36 hours.
Keeping Track Of Your Basal Body Temperature: By keeping a chart throughout your cycle, you can determine when a sustained temperature increase indicates that you have ovulated.
6. Having sex during the days leading up to ovulation helps optimise the chances of getting pregnant
Try to have sex more frequently, but don’t put yourself on a strict schedule. It may cause unnecessary stress. Every month, you have one week when sex is most likely to result in pregnancy. This is known as your fertile window, and it starts two to three days before you ovulate. The days leading up to ovulation offer the best chance of becoming pregnant. Alternate-day intercourse would cover all potential days.
7. Positions that offer deeper penetration are considered to be the best to increase the chances of pregnancy
There is no evidence that certain sex positions increase the likelihood of conception. However, certain positions may be superior to others in terms of ensuring that those tiny swimmers make their way up to the egg. The position of the missionary or male on the top and doggy style or the back of the male allows deeper penetration and brings the sperm closer to the cervix. Gravity works against you in the standing and woman-on-top positions. However, standing up immediately after sex should not reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. Sperm are excellent swimmers. They can reach the cervix in 15 minutes after being deposited in the vagina.
8. Adopt these 8 tips to improve the chances of getting pregnant
- Keep track of the menstrual cycle’s frequency.
- Keep an eye on ovulation.
- During the fertile window, have sex every other day.
- Aim for healthy body weight.
- Take a prenatal vitamin.
- Consume nutritious foods.
- Reduce the intensity of your workouts.
- Exercise regularly.
9. Keep an eye out for conditions that can affect your fertility
Consult a doctor immediately if you have any of the following issues that could affect your fertility:
- Irregular periods
- A history of miscarriage
- Hernia surgery, or a testicular problem
- Medications, assisted fertility techniques, and surgery can all help people who are having difficulty conceiving
10. Seeking the intervention of fertility treatments at the right time can help
- You are below the age of 35 years and have been trying to get pregnant for at least a year
- You must be 35 or older and have been trying to conceive for at least 6 months
- You’re trying to conceive but your periods are irregular, painful, or non-existent
When you meet a fertility specialist, a thorough evaluation of the causes will be done and appropriate treatment is advised depending on your condition and age.