If you’re trying to get pregnant, you need a well developed strategy, especially if you are 35 and older. Although 50% of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, trying to get pregnant can still be a challenge.
One of the most important things that need to be established for women trying to conceive is to make sure that they have regular cycles or have a period every month. A regular monthly period means that the ovaries are working and producing eggs. If your menstrual cycles are irregular or skipping months, you are most likely not ovulating and need to determine why. The most common reason for irregular periods is polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition where the ovary contains many cysts and don’t produce eggs. Therefore, iIf you have an irregular menstrual cycle and want to get pregnant, you should make an appt to see your physician right away
Ideally, you want to have sexual relations at least 36 hours before the egg is released so that fertilization can occur. The sperm can survive for 96 hours which gives it plenty of time to fertilize an egg. However, how do you when ovulation will occur? This is the key to a successful pregnancy.
Taking a temperature was the way women determined whether they were ovulating and it was not user-friendly. Some women did not want to be bothered using a thermometer on a daily basis. An easier ovulation method is to test a woman’s urine for an LH (luteinizing hormone) surge which indicates that ovulation will occur in the next 36 hours. These ovulation kits can be performed at home and are available in the dollar store.
76% of couples successfully conceived within one month of using an ovulation kit as opposed to 50% of couples who didn’t. So, if you’re trying to conceive in a hurry, using an ovulation kit might just be the way to go.
I was recently on a few pregnancy sites and was surprised at the number of times someone was confused as to whether or not they were pregnant. Finding out whether one is pregnant can provoke equal anxiety for both those who are attempting to get pregnant and for those who don’t want an unplanned pregnancy. Here are some facts:
- The most common sign of pregnancy is a missed period for women who are sexually active and have had normal periods in the past. While abnormal bleeding, back pain and breast tenderness are symptoms, they are not the most common symptoms. If you can set your clock by your monthly period and then it “disappears” for more than 2 weeks, you need a pregnancy test.
- How soon after a missed period can a pregnancy be detected?
- With a urine pregnancy test – 5 to 7 days after the last menstrual period (LMP)\
- With a blood pregnancy test – 1 to 2 days after the LMP
- Why the difference in the urine and blood test?
- The urine pregnancy test requires more pregnancy hormone (aka BHCG or beta HCG) than the blood test. The urine pregnancy tests requires 20 to 50 IU/L of beta HCG while a blood only requires 1 to 5 IU/L. Big difference isn’t it? However most clinics or healthcare providers’ offices will do a urine test first because it is less expensive than a blood test.
- Your home pregnancy test is positive. Now what should you do?
- Repeat the test at your clinic or healthcare provider’s office to make certain that your home test was not a false positive.
- Will an ultrasound confirm your pregnancy?
- Usually not until 6 weeks after your missed period or if your beta HCG level is above 1500 IU/L. If your beta HCG level is greater than 1500 IU/L, an ectopic pregnancy should be suspected and appropriately managed by your healthcare provider.
Have questions? Feel free to contact me at www.smartmothersguide.com Remember, a healthy pregnancy doesn’t just happen. It takes a smart mom who knows what to do.