You know you want to start a family but not sure when is the right time. Right after marriage, a few years after marriage, career or financial stability. If you want children, there is no right or wrong time.
Biologically speaking, the best time for a woman to conceive is in her 20s. You have the highest number of quality eggs and the fertility is at its peak. 20-30 yrs of age is the best decade to get pregnant. You are healthy and energetic and have more chances of active pregnancy. The chances of miscarriage are way down. Thyroid, blood pressure and gestational diabetics also have very minor chances. So overall, it is the best time to plan baby(ies).
Now, what is ovulation?
Ovulation is when a mature egg is released from the ovary, pushed down the fallopian tube, and is made available to be fertilized. Ovulation happens in every menstrual cycle. So that means you have a fertility window every month. It generally occurs between 6-14 days of the menstrual cycle.
After your menstrual cycle ends, you have a fertility window from the 6th day of your period to 1the 4th day of period. But it does not mean you can't get pregnant after that. It just means that the chances of getting pregnant double up in these days. Although less, here are chances between 14th to 20th day also.
Once the egg is released the uterus lining starts to get thickened and prepare for a fertilized egg. If no conception occurs, the uterus sheds its lining, starting the next menstrual cycle. An egg lives for 12-24 hours once it has left the ovary.
We are in this technical era and so we have numerous ways of calculating our fertile window and planning sex accordingly. The widely used and most accurate methods are:
Ovulation Predictor Kits:
They are available at most drugstores. These kits work with urine and change color patterns due to the changing amounts of luteinizing hormone. The darker line colors on the kit after testing with urine indicates that you will ovulate within 12-36 hours.
This is a very effective and advanced method, but a little costly. It works by keeping track of two hormones, luteinizing hormone and estrogen levels present in the urine. It indicates the fertility low, medium or peak. You need the start the test from the first day of menstrual cycle to 10-15 consecutive days. It is an accurate method of knowing the ovulation cycle.
Some fertility monitors are also equipped with saliva test option also.
This method optimizes the result and there is no chance of human interpretation error due to the presence of digital display.
Basal Body Temperature:
There is a separate thermometer available for basal body temperature charting. You need to chart the body temperature every morning. This has to be orally only. The temperature needs to be taken first thing in the morning. Chart the readings. While you are ovulating the body temperature will be slightly raised. This also helps in predicting the ovulation pattern of your body.
Online Pregnancy Calculators:
You can track your fertile window online too. You just have to enter last menstrual period date(LMP) and cycle length.
If you are not going by any types of equipment, you may simply use your calendar and go by 6th to 14th day of a period. Natural signs that your body indicates include, white discharge from the vagina, Slight pain in lower abdomen, light spotting in some cases and increased sex drive.
Early Signs Of Pregnancy
The first day of pregnancy is based on Last Menstrual Date (LMP). The approximate due date for delivery is also calculated on the basis of LMP. In all, it is a 40-week pregnancy.
You can confirm your pregnancy after missing your period. Wait for a week or 10 days after you miss your cycle to confirm pregnancy. Early signs include:
- mild cramping or spotting
- swollen or itchy boobs
- headaches and dizziness
- motion sickness
- nausea and vomiting
You can confirm pregnancy by using pregnancy home kit. The test must be done using the first urine after you get up in the morning. Collect some sample and use a dropper to drop the sample on the test stick. Give it some time. If you see two lines, the test is positive.
The HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin is the most important hormone during pregnancy. Once the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, the placenta starts to form. The placenta starts to produce hCG hormone which gives the signal to the body to produce progesterone. Progesterone hormone is responsible for maintaining the uterus lining.
The levels of hCG peaks in initial weeks, almost doubling up in 48 hours. Urine also has hCG content. This helps to test pregnancy in-home kit.
Things to avoid if you are trying to get pregnant
- Too much caffeine (tea or coffee)
- High-intensity weight training at the gym
- High-calorie foods
- Being couch potato
Increasing Chances Of Pregnancy
- Try alternate days and don't overdo it.
- Keep lying for 30-45 minutes after the process.
- Keep a pillow beneath your lower abdomen while having sex. This increase the chances of getting pregnant.
- Keep a track of ovulation cycle.
- Staying calm and relaxed.
After you have been diagnosed positive for pregnancy, please get checked for ectopic pregnancy. It is one of the most dangerous problems faced after conceiving a baby. In this case, the egg gets fertilized and implanted in the fallopian tube, abdominal cavity or cervix. It may happen due to the blocked fallopian tube, some infection due to previous surgery, too much smoking or some genetic factor. In this case, fallopian tube may burst after few weeks and is life-threatening for a mother as the embryo is not able to develop and grow anywhere other than the uterus.
It includes similar symptoms to miscarriage, such as cramping, bleeding or passing of tissue.