It would be impossible to count the many many emails I receive on almost a daily basis asking me to help someone fall pregnant. The reasons are just as varied, some ladies are being put under immense pressure by their partners to fall pregnant fast or they risk losing their partners. Other’s have been trying and failing for anywhere between a couple of months and many years and looking for answers. This article will only cover the basics for ladies who are just starting out and have no idea where to start and need a little advice. I will post more in-depth articles about infertility and what to do about it soon.
Firstly the reasons for not falling pregnant are vast. There are so many reasons that women fail to conceive, here is a list of some of the causes of infertility: http://www.getpregnant.co.za/infertility/
But lets start with the basics, and lets assume you’ve just started trying or you’ve not yet seen your doctor and you need a little direction:
1. Define your cycle length.
Start with the first day you see bright red blood and you need more than a pantyliner to get you through the day, this will be the 1st day of your cycle or CD1 (Cycle Day 1) then count the days until the day just before your next Cycle Day 1, for most ladies this is around 25 to 40 days. The most common cycle length is 28 days. Any amount of days between 26 and 40 is normal as long as it is consistent, if you consistently have cycles that are 25 days (more or less) or 40 days then you are normal, it just means that you ovulate earlier or later than most women. You can also have variations of a few days, this is all normal, for instance if one month your cycle is 25 days and the next month it is 28 days, this is still considered normal. It’s when you have wildly different cycle lengths, or cycles longer than 40 days that you should be concerned.
2. Find out when you ovulate.
- There are a number of ways to do this. The easiest and quickest way is to use Ovulation Test Strips or Ovulation Midstream Tests. You start using this them on cycle day 10 and as soon as you have a strong positive result on the test you know that you will ovulate in 48-36 hours, so you’ll have intercourse every day or every other day during this this for at least 4-5 days.
- You can use an Ovulation Calculator like this one: http://www.getpregnant.co.za/ovulation-calculator/
- You can chart your Basal Body Temperature using a BBT thermometer and a charting mobile app like www.fertilityfriend.com. This could take a couple of months to get the hang of, but you will know for sure exactly when you’ve ovulated and when to expect your period. This is best used in conjunction with Ovulation Test Strips and charting of your cervical mucous to help speed things up.
- Or you can simply count back 14 days from your last cycle day (if your cycles are the same each month) and then start trying 2 or 3 days before that day.
However, counting the days and using an ovulation calculator might be helpful, but if your luteal phase is longer or shorter than the norm you will miss your most fertile time. In this case using ovulation tests for a couple of months will really help you to narrow down your most fertile time. PS. Your Luteal phase is the one constant of your cycle. It will be same every month as soon as ovulation has occurred. When you see on your BBT chart that you have ovulated you can count 14 days ahead and predict when your period will start. Some women have shorter luteal phases like 10 days, and for these women using a calendar to predict ovulation will often fail and they will miss out on their most fertile time.
3. Know your Cervical Mucous.
A women naturally has vaginal discharge, it should be clear with no colour and no strong fragrance, if you see any changes to this you might have an infection or thrush and you should see a doctor straight away as untreated infections can cause infertility.
Also, as you progress through your menstrual cycle your body will go through different hormonal changes. At first you will get your period, then you will have a dry, tacky discharge, this is when your are not fertile, but as you near ovulation your discharge will become plentiful and slippery, this is call the Egg White Cervical Mucous or EWCM, because it closely resembles the texture of egg whites. This is when you are most fertile. Your fertile cervical mucous is so well designed that it actually helps the sperm swim through the cervix and it also nourishes the sperm. When you notice this you will know to start intercourse. As soon as you have ovulated, your body starts producing increased levels of Progesterone to prevent your ovaries from releasing another egg, and it’s this increased Progesterone that triggers your body to stop producing the fertile mucous, and your discharge will be dry and sticky again until you either start your period in 14 days or by that time you will hopefully get your positive pregnancy test.
4. Time your intercourse
When you’ve established when you ovulate and when your most fertile time is you can time your intercourse over this period. It can be incredibly challenging when you start having intercourse straight after your period and you or your partner will inevitably run out of steam and you can miss the most important time to increase your chances of falling pregnant.
Most people when they start out are very eager and they will have intercourse every day until a few days after ovulation. This is OK, but just bear in mind that if falling pregnant takes longer than you anticipated you might have intimacy issues later on in your relationship as men has the tendency to feel like a ‘sperm bank’ or simply an object used for making babies. In my opinion from personal experience and having chatted to many many ladies trying to conceive over the years, I’ve come to this conclusion; most partners don’t like it when intercourse feels like work, they like to feel wanted and having to have to try regularly will soon get old and they will come up with excuses when you need them the most, so be gentle, don’t force things. Sometimes our drive for having babies can completely overshadow our husband’s desire to feel wanted and this can cause feelings of rejection and resentment.
If your partner has sperm issues, like low sperm count it is advisable that you try every other day instead of everyday.
5. Eat Healthy
Preparing to have a baby is the best time to change your lifestyle for the better. There has been a lot of evidence that sugar and refined carbs as detrimental to your health and your fertility. Cut back on sugar (honey and maple syrup is also considered sugar) refined baking products like bread, pies, cakes and biscuits. Eat whole, fresh food, healthy meats, fats, and drink lots of water. Also note that being well hydrated will help you produce that all important Fertile Mucous.
6. Be patient.
A women only has a 25% chance at falling pregnant every month, so it could take you a while to fall pregnant. You ovulate once a month, and that egg only stays alive for 24-48 hours before it dies. The sperm has to go through an inordinate amount of work to reach the egg and circumstances aren’t always ideal, so they can miss the mark. Don’t worry if it doesn’t happen immediately, in most women you should fall pregnant within 12 months. Stressing about it will only make your situation worse.
If you’re not pregnant within 12 months, then you need to see a Fertility Specialist or at the very least a Gynecologist. I will have more in-depth posts about infertility in the future.
7. What about fertility supplements?
It would be so wonderful to make promises of success with the supplements available on our website, but the truth is; when it comes to conception there are no guarantees. Supplements like Fertipil Plus and FertilAid for Women might help you, and they have helped many women to conceive naturally, but no one can guarantee success. If you’ve been trying for a couple of months or if you just started trying, by all means, start taking a fertility supplement and it might just help you conceive. I have had good responses with both the supplements I’ve mentioned, but I know from personal experience, it doesn’t guarantee a baby, and anyone who tell you so is lying.
If you have any undiagnosed fertility issues, like blocked tubes, because blocked tubes present with no symptoms at all, and you will not know your tubes are blocked until a surgeon or Fertility Specialist tests specifically for this, then no Fertility Supplement will help you fall pregnant. There are many reasons why you won’t be able to fall pregnant easily, but you’ll never know unless you’ve seen a good doctor that will diagnose you. If you have any concerns about your fertility rather find our sooner rather than later, so see your doctor if you think you might have an issue. Choosing a supplement for your needs will be a lot easier if you know why you’re not falling pregnant, for example you have hormonal imbalances, your cervical mucous is hostile, you have PCOS or your partner has a low sperm count, then you will know exactly what your needs are and you can choose one accordingly.
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