How Else Can I Prepare For Pregnancy
In addition to tracking your ovulation to determine your fertile window, its important to schedule preconception counseling with your doctor. There are a variety of screenings and lifestyle modifications that can help increase your chances of a successful planned pregnancy.
If youre under 35 and have been trying to conceive for more than a year, or if youre over 35 and have been trying for six months, it may be time to talk to your doctor about why you cant get pregnant.
Check Your Cervical Mucus
The same hormones that control your menstrual cycle also affect the mucus that your cervix makes. Just before and during ovulation, the amount, color, and texture of it change to make it easier for you to get pregnant.
As your ovaries prepare to release an egg, your cervix makes more mucus. A few days before ovulation, it may be sticky and cloudy or whitish. Then, right before you ovulate, the mucus gets slippery, like egg whites. It may stretch across your fingers if you spread them apart. This stage usually lasts 3 or 4 days, which is when you’re most likely to get pregnant.
To check your cervical mucus:
- Use your fingers or a tissue to check the opening of your vagina for mucus a few times a day. Make sure your hands are clean before you start. Write down whether it’s cloudy and sticky or clear and slippery.
- Chart your cervical mucus changes and your basal body temperature to get a clear picture of where you are in your cycle.
Keep in mind that other things, like breastfeeding, can change your mucus. Using douches or other hygiene products can also affect it. Gynecologists usually don’t recommend these products.
Can You Take Emergency Contraception
If you had unprotected sex and want to avoid pregnancy, take emergency contraception as soon as possible.
There are two main types the copper IUD and the hormonal EC pill and they can both work up to five days after unprotected sex.
The IUD prevents pregnancy by producing an inflammatory reaction thats toxic to sperm and eggs.
Its more effective than the morning-after pill, but its only available by prescription and has to be inserted by a doctor within five days of unprotected sex.
The pill delivers a high dose of hormones to delay ovulation or prevent a fertilized egg from implanting to the uterus.
Plan B One-Step, Next Choice, and MyWay are all available over the counter.
Which should you use?
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Top Reasons Your Vaginal Bleeding May Not Be A Period
One of the biggest margins for error while using fertility awareness as a method of birth control comes from a misidentified period. Not all vaginal bleeding is a period. A woman may bleed from a hormonal imbalance, cervical lesion, recent trauma and even pregnancy.
If you are tracking your menstrual cycle and the bleeding is consistent in terms of heaviness, color and timing, then you can likely count on it being your period, Harper said. However, there are many women that find it difficult to track their period because irregular bleeding can be due to illness or another underlying cause.
If you are having difficulty or need help starting, talk with your OB-GYN or primary care provider.
Best Time To Get Pregnant After A Period
The likelihood of becoming pregnant is highest during the two days before ovulation begins or exactly on the day of ovulation, when an egg is released from the ovary. Usually, ovulation happens about two weeks before the start of the next period. Cycles and ovulation dates vary, so you may want to try an efficient method of predicting ovulation to improve the chance of conception.
Here are four methods for predicting ovulation they can help you find the best time to get pregnant after your period:
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How Does Pregnancy Occur
A pregnancy occurs when a mobile sperm cell fertilizes an egg cell and the fertilised egg gets implanted in the uterus. To do this, the sperm cell must swim up from the vagina and into the fallopian tube via the cervix. After fertilisation, the egg cell travels from the ovary to the uterus via the fallopian tube. Here, it attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. Soon after, the remaining processes that are part of pregnancy follow suit.
Conception can happen at any time, from a few hours after intercourse to 5 days after sex. The fastest-swimming sperm may zero in on the egg in just about 45 minutes while slower swimmers may take up to 12 hours to navigate the same journey. Sperm cells can take a break for up to 5 days in the hospitable environment of the fallopian tube and still do their primary job of fertilizing the ovum. This happens if ovulation happens 5 days after sex. This means that if at any time in this window of opportunity an egg is released, the sperm has a chance of fertilizing it.
So, we can see that in the action of conception, there are various markers that have to be met:
- There must be a mobile sperm cell.
- There must be a viable egg.
- They must meet at some time.
- Conception is most probable if when the sperm reaches the uterus, it meets with a viable egg.
- This is logically most probable if a woman has sex when there is a viable egg in the uterus.
How Can A Woman Get Pregnant On Her Period
Its easy to mistake vaginal bleeding for the beginning of a period. Its possible you could bleed during ovulation when youre most fertile. This could easily be mistaken for a period. Having unprotected sex at this time dramatically increases your chances of becoming pregnant.
For the average woman, the ovulation cycle is somewhere between 28 and 30 days. This means that if you have sex while on your period, you wont likely ovulate until several days later.
But women with a shorter cycle wouldnt have the same amount of time between having their periods and ovulating.
Another consideration is that a mans sperm can live inside a woman for up to 72 hours after ejaculation. Toward the end of your period, your chances of becoming pregnant will increase.
If youre curious about your ovulation patterns, you can track the number of days between your periods. This includes when you start your period, and then when you start your period again.
Over several months, you can identify a pattern to determine roughly when your ovulation cycle occurs.
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Right After Your Period Ends
Many women look forward to having contraception-free sex right after their period ends. Its true that its unlikely youll get pregnant a day or two after menstruation stops, but given the lifespan of sperm and the challenges around predicting ovulation exactly its not at all impossible.
This is especially true if you ovulate earlier than you usually do, or if you have a naturally short menstrual cycle of around 21 days.
Previous Stds Do Not Impact The Chances Of Conceiving
The damage to sexual organs from previous sexually transmitted diseases can seriously impact fertility. Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhoea can adversely affect the fertility of both men and women. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID is a particularly serious condition and can permanently damage the uterus and the fallopian tubes.
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If Youre Trying To Get Pregnant
If youre trying to get pregnant, pinpointing ovulation is a vital first step. If youve been dutifully baby dancing mid-cycle and havent yet gotten pregnant, you may even wonder if you have more irregular ovulation and would benefit from sex during or right after your period.
There are several ways you can try to figure out your ovulation patterns. They include:
At-home ovulation predictor kits. These tests work by detecting LH , which surges 12 days before ovulation takes place. So these kits can tell you when youre going to ovulate, but they cant tell you when ovulation has taken place.
Progesterone test kits. Some women who have irregular periods, such as those with PCOS, find that using a kit that detects progesterone the hormone released right after ovulation is helpful to use in addition to a standard ovulation kit. Determining whether or not your body produced progesterone will help you to know if you ovulated or not.
Fertility apps.Ovulation-tracking apps compile a monthly record of multiple factors, such as basal body temperature and cervical mucus. They can help women with regular periods determine when theyre ovulating. We wish we could put this in neon flashing lights, though: These apps can help you get pregnant, but theyre not birth control and shouldnt be used to prevent pregnancy.
Calculating Your Monthly Fertility Window
Your fertility window is the time during your menstrual cycle when youre most likely to get pregnant. For most people, its the five days leading up to ovulation, the day of ovulation and the day after ovulation. Calculating your monthly fertility window can help you target the optimal time to have sex if youre trying to conceive. However, natural family planning is a less reliable form of contraception and does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
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Early Changes To Breasts: Tingling Aching Growing
Breast changes can occur between weeks 4 and 6. Youre likely to develop tender and swollen breasts due to hormone changes. This will likely go away after a few weeks when your body has adjusted to the hormones.
Nipple and breast changes can also occur around week 11. Hormones continue to cause your breasts to grow. The areola the area around the nipple may change to a darker color and grow larger.
If youve had bouts with acne before your pregnancy, you may experience breakouts again.
Can You Be Pregnant And Get Your Period
You cant have a full period while pregnant, but lots of women get something called implantation bleeding. This is a very light bleed what is often called spotting and it happens when the fertilised egg implants into the wall of your uterus. Because it usually happens around the time of your period, some women might mistake this bleeding for a very light period.
Unfortunately, bleeding during pregnancy can also be a sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy although this is usually accompanied by other symptoms like cramping and discharge.
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Chances Of Getting Pregnant While On Your Period
Its very unlikely you will get pregnant in the days immediately before your period. However, we are all unique and our cycles are not the same and so our peak fertility varies. This means for some women the days before menstruation are fertile. Getting pregnant 5 days before your period is a possibility for some women, if they ovulate close to the end of their menstrual cycle, but typically peak fertility occurs earlier in the menstrual cycle.
Your Body At Week 1 Of Pregnancy
During the first week of pregnancy, youre actually going through your last menstruation before the baby. Since your estimated gestational age will be counted from the first day of your last period, technically the first day of your pregnancy will be the same as the day when you start menstruating.
During these days, your body will be getting rid of last months egg and uterine lining. Especially during the first two days of pregnancy or the first two days of your period most women experience a heavier menstrual flow. This will help your body prepare for a new cycle.
Once your period ends, a new egg will already be maturing, and your uterine lining or endometrium will start to thicken again. This lining is where the fertilized egg will implant itself after conception, ready to start growing.
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Can You Get Pregnant On The Last Day Of Your Period
If you stop bleeding on Day 6, have sex on Day 7 and ovulate on Day 11, its possible the sperm from Day 6 will be waiting in your fallopian tubes for conception. Your chances of conceiving right after your period increase each day after your bleeding has stopped. If you are trying to conceive this is a good time to have sex. Increase your chances of conception by having sex every other day for the next 14 days.
Baby Making: A Game Of Chance
Figuring out when ovulation actually occurs is really dependent on your individual cycle. The Mayo Clinic says most women ovulate in the 4 days before or after the midpoint of the menstrual cycle.
A study from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found women trying to get pregnant were more fertile right before or after the standard ovulation timing.
If you were to break down when women are most fertile based on this study, it would look like this:
- 30 percent of women were most fertile on days 10 to 17 of their cycle.
- 70 percent of women were most fertile before day 10 or after day 17 of their cycle.
Age also decides your chances of getting pregnant. If youre under 25, youre a fertile myrtle and it can be easier to preggo your eggo during the 5-day window. But, even then your chances of getting pregnant are pretty slim.
According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine , you are the most fertile in your 20s and it starts to slowly decline in your 30s .
Heres where that statistics class you didnt go to would have come in handy. Your odds of pregnancy are low even if you are trying to get knocked up. ASRM notes that you only have a 20 percent chance of conceiving if you are a healthy, fertile 30-year-old trying to get pregnant.
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Im Pregnant But Have Some Bleeding Is This My Period
Implantation bleeding sometimes happens in pregnant women around the time their period would have been due. Implantation is when the developing embryo plants itself in the wall of your womb. An implantation bleed is very light bleeding that is usually pinkish and sometimes brown. Not everyone will have an implantation bleed.
Its common to have light bleeding or spotting without pain before 12 weeks. This isnt often serious, but you should contact your doctor, midwife or Early Pregnancy Unit immediately to be checked, just in case.
Can You Ovulate On Your Period
You cannot ovulate on your period. If you are trying to plan a pregnancy, the best time to conceive is on the day of ovulation and 24 hours before – so the chances of being fertile on your period are extremely low. Its also worth knowing that some women may experience spotting around ovulation – this is a much smaller amount of blood than you get with period bleeding. If you are spotting, you may be fertile.
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Chances Of Getting Pregnant
The chances of becoming pregnant vary from person to person and from cycle to cycle.
On average, a 30-year-old persons odds of getting pregnant are about 20% per cycle, assuming they are having unprotected sex.
The odds of becoming pregnant also depend on when a person has sex relative to ovulation. An app-based study of people who were trying to get pregnant found the average chances of pregnancy were as follows:
|Timing of sex relative to ovulation||Average chance of pregnancy|
|the day after ovulation||8%|
Therefore, people should not rely on when their period is due to decide whether to have sex.
The most crucial factor is ovulation. A period indicates the beginning of a new cycle, but it reveals little about when a person might ovulate.
Using An Ovulation Test
If you get your period on the same day every month , you can use an over-the-counter ovulation kit, which works by detecting the hormone LH in your urine. As LH levels spike, or surge, you are about to ovulate. To predict ovulation, count 17-18 days backwards from when you would get a period in your shortest cycles. Then use an ovulation kit to test your LH levels beginning on that day. For example, if you usually have a 30-day cycle, start testing day 12 or 13, and test once a day, around the same time, until your kit shows a positive. A good rule of thumb is to purchase the most affordable kit with the least bells and whistlesno need to overcomplicate the process.
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Despite Common Misconception It’s Actually Possible To Get Pregnant By Having Sex On Your Period Here’s What You Need To Know
Think you don’t need to use protection if you have sex on your period? As it turns out, that’s not entirely true. “It’s technically possible to get pregnant while on your period, but it’s rare for this to happen,” says Barbara Stegmann, M.D., a triple board-certified OB-GYN and women’s health clinical lead at Organon. Keep reading to learn why it’s possible to conceive by having sex during menstruation.