Tips for Achieving Pregnancy
Thinking of starting a family? You can help achieve pregnancy on your timeline. Here are key tips.
Step 1: Determine your most fertile days
Your most fertile days are the two days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. If you know when you ovulate you can boost your chances of getting pregnant. A simple ovulation calculator is not accurate for most women since menstrual cycle characteristics vary from woman to woman. For accuracy, do your own cycle charting, and observe basal body temperature and cervical fluid as well. Ovulation predictor kits can be an option, but they can be expensive so it makes sense to begin with charting first.
TIP: Chart your fertility signs to identify the most fertile days
Estimate when you will ovulate by first figuring out what day your next period will probably start. From that day, count back 12 days and then another four. You are most likely to ovulate during this five-day range, 12 to 16 days before your next period.
TIP: Chart your BBT
A more accurate way to figure out when you ovulate is to track patterns in your basal body temperature (BBT). You won’t feel a change, but a few days after you ovulate, your BBT rises. You will need a basal body thermometer, available at most pharmacies.
Keep the thermometer, paper and pencil by your bedside. Take your temperature the same time every morning before you get out of bed. Make your own graph, find one online or download an app to your phone.
Before ovulation, your BBT is usually about 96 F to 98 F. During ovulation, your body releases the hormone progesterone. This raises your BBT by 0.4 to 0.8 degrees a day or two after ovulation.
Sperm can live up to six days in a woman’s body. So, your best chance for conception is to have sex a few days before you ovulate.
Record your BBT for a few months, and then try to identify a pattern. Your Genesis OB/GYN can help you interpret your chart.
TIP: Chart your cervical fluid (vaginal discharge)
The cervical mucus changes during your cycle. For most of the month you may have very little of it and feel dry. But as you approach ovulation, you will notice much more cervical mucus. It will be clear, slippery and stretchy – kind of like raw egg whites. When this is observed, you are at your most fertile. After ovulation the cervical fluid decreases and you will return to feeling dry.
Ovulation usually occurs around the last day that fertile quality cervical fluid is observed. This is often called the "peak" day.
Step 2: Results
Using both methods of charting your cycle: your basal body temperature and the consistency of your vaginal mucous, will give you even more insight into how your body works, and when you are most likely to conceive.
Step 3: Your Genesis OB/GYN physician
If you want to better understand how to chart or interpret your cycle, or if you have concerns about getting pregnant, make an appointment to ask your Genesis OB/GYN physician for advice.