What affects my chances of getting pregnant?
There are so many things that affect fertility. Your chances of getting pregnant each month may be different depending on your age, certain medical issues, whether you ovulate or not, and if you are trying to get pregnant with IVF or other fertility medications.
Does tracking my ovulation help me get pregnant faster?
The first step in maximizing the chances of conception is by estimating the time of ovulation. Ovulation is that time of the menstrual cycle wherein the egg is released from the ovary and travels towards the Fallopian tube. If you have regular menstrual cycles, ovulation usually occurs 12-14 days prior to the onset of the next menstrual flow. Simply counting back fourteen days from the expected date of the onset of next period should be the time of ovulation.
You should have intercourse for several days before, the day of, and the day after the expected time of ovulation. There is usually some variation in the time of ovulation even in women with regular cycles, so a few extra days of intercourse before and after expected ovulation is advised.
What if my periods are irregular?
If the cycles are irregular and unpredictable, chances are there is a problem with ovulation and estimating the time of ovulation becomes difficult, and professional assistance may be sought. Another option for a woman with irregular cycles is the use of ovulation predictor kits now available over-the-counter at most drug and grocery stores. These kits can be used to determine the approximate time of ovulation by detecting urinary hormone elevations that precede ovulation. Another approach is to have intercourse every other day throughout the menstrual cycle. This approach will take out the stress or anxiety involved in timing intercourse.
Should I use basal body temperature charting?
Basal body temperature timing is a technique of checking the body temperature every morning and charting the results. If the temperature rises by a certain amount and stays elevated, it can be assumed that ovulation occurred. The problems with this method are that it is tedious and only provides the woman with information about ovulation after it has occurred.
Ultrasound images of the ovaries can be performed to monitor the growth and collapse of the ovarian follicle during the cycle. The follicle is the fluid-filled structure that surrounds the egg, and it can easily be seen on ultrasound. This method is probably the most accurate in timing ovulation. It is also the most expensive and is usually reserved for selected couples who are experiencing difficulty in becoming pregnant.
Why is it taking so long for me to get pregnant?
It is important to remember that even though intercourse and ovulation coincide, pregnancy may still not be achieved in any given menstrual cycle or even after several consecutive menstrual cycles. In many situations, the failure to conceive after multiple attempts is not a reason for alarm. It is not uncommon for pregnancy to occur only after several months of consistent attempts. Couples who have experienced an inability to conceive after several cycles may consider seeking professional advice to determine if an infertility evaluation is necessary.