Honestly, do you know which days of the month you can get pregnant? Maybe it's only when you're planning to have a baby that you become interested in female fertility, ovulation and the menstrual cycle. If so, better late than never! In this article, we cover everything you need to know to get pregnant.
When can you get pregnant?
To understand your fertility and when you can get pregnant, you also need to understand your menstrual cycle and ovulation. The menstrual cycle lasts an average of 28 days and consists of different phases. The first phase is from the first to the last day of your period. The second phase is from the last day of your period until ovulation and the third phase is from ovulation until you get your period again. It is during ovulation that an egg can be fertilized by a sperm and lead to a pregnancy.
Therefore, if you are planning to get pregnant or if you want to avoid pregnancy, it can be useful to chart your menstrual cycle to know when ovulation occurs. The easiest way to track your menstrual cycle is by using a menstrual cycle app, or by making notes in your calendar.
What is ovulation?
Ovulation usually occurs around day 14 of the menstrual cycle and you may feel it as a period-like pain, but you may not feel anything at all.
During ovulation, an egg is released from the ovary and enters the fallopian tube. There, the egg can be fertilized by sperm via sexual intercourse. Since sperm can survive for up to 5 days, you can get pregnant even in the days before you ovulate. You can also get pregnant the day after ovulation, as the egg is 'mature' for one day after it has been released. Biologically, it is also during these days that women have the highest sex drive.
What is an irregular menstrual cycle?
Sometimes the menstrual cycle is irregular, meaning that it can be 25 days one month and 35 days the next. If you want to get pregnant, it can be difficult to know when ovulation occurs. You can do an ovulation test to be extra sure, which you can buy at the pharmacy.
Can you increase your chances of getting pregnant?
You can increase your chances of getting pregnant by understanding your menstrual cycle and ovulation, but also by making good and conscious lifestyle choices. This means eating a nutritious and balanced diet, incorporating movement and exercise into your daily life and generally adopting healthy habits such as avoiding alcohol, tobacco and excessive caffeine.
How long does it take to get pregnant?
There is no set time for how long it takes to get pregnant. For some people it is relatively instantaneous, for others it takes longer. Just because it doesn't happen as quickly as you'd hoped doesn't mean there's anything wrong.
If you have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year, it is possible to start an investigation to find out why you have not become pregnant. Even after an investigation, it is quite possible that there may not be anything 'wrong' and that your chances of having a baby are good.
There are studies showing a link between different types of stress and infertility, although no exact research has been done. Worrying about not being able to get pregnant is a form of stress and strain on the body, so if you are feeling anxious, you may find it helpful to talk to someone to vent your feelings. Allowing more time for recovery and doing activities that make you feel calm are also suggestions that can help reduce your anxiety.
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