How to Get Pregnant – Fertility and Infertility Basics
Once a woman decides to have a baby she might wonder what could help her conceive. Being aware of certain facts can increase the chances of getting pregnant. Today we will focus briefly on how to get pregnant. Tracking Ovulation, Timing for sex and Preparing one’s body with a healthy diet and exercise are something that can be helpful to a great extent.
How to get Pregnant? Here are some of the simple ways in which a woman can prepare herself for pregnancy:
Tracking your Ovulation
One should be aware when she is Ovulating as that is the time a woman is most fertile. One can determine the time of Ovulation by keeping track of body temperature and the changes in the cervical mucus.
Chart the Basal Body temperature, and during the most fertile days, the body temperature does go up. But this is true only when a woman has a regular menstrual cycle of 28 days. During the time of ovulation, the cervical mucus becomes elastic and transparent.
One can use our Ovulation Calculator. This will ease the task of charting, instead, just key in the date of the last period and length of the menstrual cycle (number of days) and the precise date of ovulation will come up.
Another gadget that is available in the market which can ease your task is Ovulation Kit. This kit is especially very useful for those who have irregular periods. There are two types of Ovulation Kits available in the market – Urine Based Ovulation Kit and Saliva Based Ovulation Kit.
Having Regular Sex
There are better chances of getting pregnant for a woman who has regular sex throughout the cycle even when she is not ovulating. This way sperm will be available in the right place when one ovulates. Also, there are fewer chances of missing the opportunity of conceiving for one who has an irregular menstrual cycle.
The best way to increase your chances of getting pregnant is to enjoy your love life without any stress.
Healthy Diet and Exercise
A woman’s diet has a direct effect on her chances to conceive. Having a balanced diet increases the chances of conceive. A woman needs to include the proper mix of Whole grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits, and dairy products in their food in order to get the required vitamins and minerals.
Include food items that are rich in calcium like milk and iron-rich food like meat, pulse green vegetables, etc. In addition to the balanced diet mostly doctors do recommend a woman to take Folic Acid supplements, Calcium, and Prenatal Vitamins.
Apart from these, there is something a woman who is trying for a baby should stay away from which includes Caffeine, Alcohol, Fish containing mercury and Peanuts. Avoid having too much Vitamin A as this could harm the baby.
It is always better than the woman’s weight is close to the recommended body weight. Being overweight or underweight can affect her chances of conceiving. It is a good idea to consult the doctor for the diet and exercise plan before one gets started. As extreme dieting to lose weight may not be a good idea.
Follow the above and prepare yourself for a healthy pregnancy.
How to Get Pregnant! Observe you are below Pregnancy Symptoms
Every woman wonders how she would know that she is pregnant. Here are some of the common symptoms of pregnancies among women.
A missed period is the most common sign and an indication of pregnancy. But many other reasons such as stress, illness, and weight fluctuations, etc also can cause the late or missed periods. Polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition in which periods can occur months apart, can be one cause for missing periods.
So, in addition to the missed period, one needs to observe rather than examine the other symptoms to confirm the pregnancy.
- Change in the size and feel of the breast immediately after the conception, is another symptom to watch out for. Breasts begin to enlarge to get ready for breastfeeding and the breasts become sensitive and one can experience a very sharp and twinkling sensation.
- Nausea and vomiting are another most common symptom of pregnancy which is also known as morning sickness. A feeling of sickness is also experienced by most women from the fifth and sixth weeks of the pregnancy. The morning sickness can start as early as 2 weeks of pregnancy. The degree of nausea and vomiting differs from person to person. Mostly this symptom may disappear after the first trimester.
- Most of the pregnant women experience tiredness and fatigue.
- Frequent urination is also a common feature among pregnant women within 2-3 weeks after consumption due to the reduction in the size of the bladder.
- A drastic change in the taste and smell is also another factor resulting in a craving for certain foods and start hating certain other types of food.
All the above symptoms though normally are signs of pregnancy a clinical test is a decisive proof.
One can confirm pregnancy by conducting the small Home Pregnancy Test or clinical Urine Test by detecting the level of HCG in the urine and if the result is positive one may need to make an appointment with her gynecologist and to start the follow-up.
A blood test can also be made that may give a positive or negative result which is normally conducted when there is an apprehension of miscarriage or unusual pregnancy.
An obstetrician can confirm the pregnancy by a physical examination after 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy as the thickening of the vaginal tissues and softening uterus confirms the pregnancy.
Fertility with Age – You shouldn’t worried about how to get pregnant
Dual income household is the trend. Late marriage is the trend. Planning kids only after having lived one’s life without any responsibility is the trend. This is the reason, why discussions around infertility in most cases these days, have to do with the age of women.
How does age affect fertility?
Two facts help explain this much talked about condition.
- The total number of eggs that any woman will have in her lifetime is determined at the time of her birth. Along with age, the total number of available eggs also goes down.
- Another important consideration is the genetic quality of eggs, which again degrades with age. The percentage of genetically abnormal eggs increases significantly with age.
Both the above factors lead to an increasing rate of fertility and birth defects with the increase in woman’s age. While not explained technically, this is the thought that makes most Indian parents ask their children to plan for kids at the right age.
How to Get Pregnant? What is the right age to get pregnant?
There is no sudden reduction in the total number of eggs or the quality of the egg. It is a continuous process. Therefore greater the age of woman, the higher is the chances of infertility or abnormal birth. However, historically it has been observed that pregnancy beyond 34 years of age gets exceedingly unsafe.
It is believed that women in teens and below 30 years of age ovulate eggs that are most fertile. As a woman goes beyond 30 years of age, the quality of eggs to result in healthy fertilization decreases substantially.
How do I know if I am having the right quality and number of eggs for fertility?
While age can be used to come out with a decent guess on a number of eggs FSH level is used by doctors to determine the number of eggs.
The test result has been negative. What are the options in front of me?
For women above 34 years of age, IVF (or In Vitro Fertilization) is one of the most common options. It is a process by which egg cells are fertilized by sperm outside the body of a woman. This is used when most other regular treatment has not been successful.
This involves controlling the ovulation process and then removing eggs from a woman’s body and then using the sperm of the husband to fertilize it outside of a woman’s body. Eggs can also be taken from a donor’s body and then fertilized by the husband’s sperms.
What are the chances and risks of pregnancy with women age above 35 years?
The risk of healthy pregnancy above 35 years is significantly reduced. Miscarriage and abnormal birth are very common even if the woman is able to conceive. Doctors most certainly suggest a test for Down syndrome, which becomes as common as 1 in every 350 birth.
What are the risks with pregnancy with women age above 40 years?
At this age, the number of eggs is very low and therefore able to conceive goes down considerably even with IVF. It is strongly suggested that women thinking of pregnancy at this age should do it under the close watch of a doctor.
How to Get Pregnant? Check below Infertility Related Issues
It is commonly understood as a state of not being able to get pregnant even after trying for a year or two is called infertility.
Let us first understand what pregnancy is. This should help one understand what infertility is. Pregnancy is a 3 step process-
1. Ovulation: Women release the egg, which travels to the fallopian tube. Either of two things can happen there. Sperm can penetrate it within 24 hours or it degenerates.
2. Fertilization: Sperms released by men meet an egg and penetrate it.
3. Implantation: The fertilized egg goes to the uterus through the fallopian tube where it attaches to the inside wall of the uterus, also called the endometrium.
Infertility is a state where any of these three steps are not working as expected.
How to Get Pregnant! You should read below the infertility basics. Here are some of the common causes of infertility –
1. Endometriosis: Usually the chances of developing endometriosis are higher for women who have a family history of this disease. In this case, tissue similar to that of the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus and can possibly damage ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. Endometriosis is the most common known cause of infertility. Doctors usually do a laparoscopy to confirm its presence.
2. Ovulation related problems: This is the 2nd most common cause for infertility among women. Absence or infrequent and light menstruation is a frequently observed symptom of ovulation related problems.
Various lifestyle and environmental factors such as physical or emotional stress, excessive medications, etc. also lead to ovulation related problems. Chances of cure are high in this case. It is important that the doctor that identifies actual cause in order to suggest the right treatment.
3. Consumption of Tobacco or other such products with nicotine: It is believed that women who smoke are 60% more likely to have infertility related issues as against those who do not smoke. Therefore it is better to be avoided when one has decided to conceive.
4. Age: Did you always wonder how will age affects pregnancy. It has again to do with ovulation. The quality of eggs released goes down with age. Therefore chances of fertilization when a sperm meets an egg become less. 30 is the magic number that everyone speaks of. But the quality of eggs continues to go down with age. Therefore the longer you delay greater would be the chances of an issue with pregnancy.
5. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS): It is a hormonal problem. Most women with this condition have many small cysts in their ovaries. It is important to note that having cysts in their ovaries does not mean one is suffering from PCOS. Cysts in the ovaries can be present for a variety of reasons.
It is believed that 5% to 10% of women are diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome and is one of the common causes of infertility in women. Menstrual disorders are commonly observed among women with this condition.
Contraceptive pills are usually recommended by doctors for the treatment of PCOS. Birth control pills contain estrogen and progesterone which helps in bringing hormonal balance in women. This, in turn, regularizes the menstrual cycle of women.
6. Sperm disorders: While it has been debatable, low sperm count is one of the most common causes of infertility among men. Abnormally shaped sperms can also cause infertility. Surgery is the most commonly suggested treatment for such a condition.
7. Blockage in sperm carrying tubes: Any type of obstruction during sperm movement before ejaculation can also lead to reduced sperm counts. This even causes diseases such as Chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Some men have congenital (since birth) absence of the vas deferens on one or both sides. Vas deferens is the tube through which seminal vesicles, prostate gland and the bulbourethral glands, which largely constitute semen, are transmitted.