“So…want to do this kid thing?” was how I approached my husband about reproducing.
“Let’s try and see” was his answer — meaning: Yay – lots of sex!
Fortunately for us, or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), I fell pregnant after trying for two months. I am under no illusions as to how very fortunate I am; though I did have to do my homework. Here are a couple of things that I learned about falling pregnant prior to falling pregnant.
1. Tracking my menstrual cycle.
I do not know where my brain was when they gave us the ‘talk’, but at age 33, I finally learnt how to track my menstrual cycle. For those of you playing at home, your menstrual cycle length is somewhere between 23 to 35 days. To track it: Day one of your cycle is the first day of your period (not the number of days between the last day of your period and the first day of your next one – do not ask me where I got this idea from).
2. My ovulation date
Your ovulation date will vary from cycle to cycle, but on average, it is anywhere between day 11 and day 14. Ovulation is triggered by a rapid rise in luteinising hormone, known as the LH surge, which causes an egg to be released. This will occur between 24 to 48 hours of the LH surge. HINT: This is when you and your partner should have sex. There are several ovulation predictor products on the market that can help you test for this hormone. You use the test the same way as a pregnancy test.
3. How much sex is enough.
There are a lot of myths about frequency – so how much is enough? A high frequency of sex will not decrease the potency of your partner’s sperm. However, you can have too much of a good thing. Have sex as often as you desire, but you run the risk of making sex a chore. My advice is to separate the two.
4. Sex for conception and sex for fun
So test. When you ovulate, have lots of baby-making sex. When you are not ovulating, then have lots of non-baby making sex. Experts recommend that you have sex every day, two to three days, prior to ovulation and then two to three days after ovulation.
5. Sexual positions
Sexual positions, and raising your hips after your partner has ejaculated, have no impact on fertilisation. Basically, there is one way for the sperm to enter and it does not matter whether your partner is on top or you are. Raising your hips also has no effect on the probability that fertilisation will occur.
6. Sperm activity
Sperm can remain active for three to five days, so the only way for fertilisation to happen is for a sperm to meet an egg. That is why it is recommended that you test for ovulation rather than just going on ‘feeling’ or the number of days in your cycle.
7. The odds of falling pregnant
The odds that you will fall pregnant in any given month are between 15% to 25%. These odds decrease at the age of 30 and then dramatically decrease after age 40. Fertility issues affect both women and men.
8. Infertility issues
Approximately 50% of infertility issues have to do with the woman and approximately 40% have to do with the man. The remaining 10% are either both or neither. It is suggested by doctors that, if you are under the age of 35 and are generally healthy, you should try for a period of 12 months before you should seek medical support. Some couples wait too long before seeking help. If you are aged between 35 and 40, try for approximately six months before seeing a specialist. If you are over the age of 40, seek support straight away.
9. Live a healthy lifestyle.
There are certain lifestyle factors that can impact fertility, so it is best if you and your partner cut out alcohol and smoking.
You should start taking prenatal vitamins and make sure that you both undertake a healthy diet and level of exercise. It is also recommended that you discuss any concerns that you have with your GP. They can provide you with more detailed information regarding your personal circumstances.
In the mean time, have fun trying.
Did you need to do some homework about falling pregnant prior to falling pregnant?