- Women's Health»
You Want to Get Pregnant
Trying to conceive can almost be an art form today. For some women, it seems they barely blink and they have become pregnant. However for others, becoming pregnant becomes difficult and emotionally exhausting. Most physicians will recommend trying to conceive for at least a year before considering any medical help. With more and more pregnancies being delayed until women are in their late 30's and early 40's, the prevalence of infertility has become a reality for many women. I had my last child at age 42 after multiple miscarriages. What a shock this was for me since I conceived so easily when I was in my 20's. I finally was able to get pregnant naturally after many attempts. After I had my son, I tried to get pregnant again and unfortunately it never happened for me. The heartbreak of not being able to have a sibling for my son was tough to bare but I knew I was fortunate to have had him at all. Those months where I waited to see if it was going to happen were so emotionally exhausting for me, I didn't know at the time but there were things I could have done to help the possibility of conception.
Preparing your Body For Conception
your body for conception is something couples normally do not think of
before attempting to conceive. So what exactly are the things that
potential parents need to do?
- Have you been taking any birth control? If so then the doctor may recommend a waiting period before attempting to get pregnant. This helps give the body time to regulate itself and helps avoid hormonal irregularities.
- Are you up to date on your current vaccinations? Chicken pox, Rubella ( German measles) and Hepatitis B are just some of the diseases that can be harmful to a pregnant woman. Vaccinate now before attempting conception
- Are you currently taking any medications? Depending on what you are taking doses may have to be adjusted. There are also medicines that CANNOT be taken when pregnant. Please discuss all of this before trying to conceive
- Do you have any chronic diseases or conditions? These need to be looked at prior to conceiving. You may need to be monitored closely with some conditions
- Are you past the age of 35? Pregnancy is tougher for women over the age of 35 ( advanced maternal age) A thorough checkup is a wise decision before planning your family
- Start taking folic acid if you don't already take a multivitamin.Taking folic acid before and during early pregnancy reduces the risk of Spina Bifida and other neural tube defects. If you contact your doctor he may prescribe a prenatal vitamin you can take
- Limit caffeine intake- Some studies indicate that too high of a caffeine intake on a daily basis may inhibit conception. While little risk is associated with moderate intake( 2 cups a day) more than that may increase your risk for miscarriage. If fertility is difficult to achieve, you may want to eliminate caffeine all together.
- Other preparations that can be used to prepare the body are traditional Chinese Herbs to help increase fertility, acupressure or acupuncture . Dietary changes have also been used
- Does your significant other wear tight underwear or tight jeans? Tight underwear and jeans can impede the production of sperm. Hot baths can also hasten the death of sperm. Couples need to be aware of this. After all it isn't just the women that has to have her body ready.
Knowing When You Are Fertile
Providing you have prepared your body and it is ready for conception the
next step would be to have intercourse at the optimal time. There are
basically three different ways to chart your fertility
Chart fertility by taking your temperature. - Basal Body temperature is
the temperature of your body before any activity. Your temperature will
rise about .04 to .08F degrees when you ovulate. This is a very small
increment to notice so there is a special thermometer called a Basal
thermometer you can buy to chart these changes in temperature. The
temperature is usually lower in the beginning of the cycle , rises at
ovulation and then stay up until your next cycle where it drops again.
It will not drop if pregnancy has occurred. Taking your temperature every morning before any activity will give you an idea of when you are ovulating.
- Keep an eye on your cervical mucous- This is a really easy to spot indicator of fertility. During the beginning of the cycle, cervical mucous is scant. As the cycle progresses the mucous increases and has a cloudy or white color. As ovulation approaches the mucous be copious, clear and have an "egg-white" consistency. If you check your mucous during ovulation ( only with clean hands please) you will find that is will stretch between the fingers.
- Cervix positioning- Check the positioning of your cervix beginning right after your period. Many woman check this while on the toilet, others will place one foot up on an object and check that way. The cervix will be low at the beginning of the cycle and will be high during ovulation. What does the cervix feel like? Insert your clean finger into the vaginal canal and the round rubbery tissue (feels like the tip of your nose) is your cervix. How do you know if it is high? It will be hard to touch with your fingertip
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Now Take What You Know And Get Working!
Start by getting your checkups, vaccines and all that good stuff we spoke about. Then it is time to start observing when you are fertile. I have included a link for a Basal Temperature Chart. There are instructions on the chart that will make it easy to use. Time your intercourse for those fertile days. Don't get discouraged if you don't become pregnant the first month. Don't fret. The more you worry, the more stress you have, the harder it becomes for you. Use the information and give it time. Change up your diet. Perhaps you want to look into some of those Chinese herbs that help increase fertility. You are armed with a wealth of information that will help increase your chances of conceiving. Before you know you will be hearing the cries of a newborn babe.