on Getting Pregnant
There are three days each month when you are highly fertile: the 2 days
before ovulation, and the day you actually ovulate. When your ovary releases
an egg into the Fallopian tube you are “ovulating.” Ovulation
takes place about two weeks after the first day of your last period--
usually on day 12-14 of a 28-day menstrual cycle. After ovulation occurs,
the egg has a lifespan of 12-24 hours. Obviously, knowing when you are
ovulating can greatly increase your chances of getting pregnant! If you
have regular menstrual cycles, the easiest way to predict ovulation is
by simply counting the days from your last period.
are a few more clues to help you figure out when you are
About 20% of women experience painful ovulation, or mittelschmerz.
Mittelschmerz is a German word that means "middle
pain." Some women experience an achy or dull sensation;
others have very intense pain. This discomfort can lasts
for a few minutes, for several hours, or for some women,
up to 48 hours. It can occur on either side of the abdomen,
but it is most often noticed on the right side.
Mucus. The purpose
of cervical mucus is to assist the sperm in surviving
its journey toward the egg. When you ovulate, you
produce much more cervical mucus. It also becomes
more clear, “stretchy,” and slippery.
If you notice these changes in your cervical mucus,
you are probably ovulating.
Temperature. When ovulation takes place, your
body temperature rises slightly. Your temperature upon
awakening and before you get out of bed is your basal
temperature. Keeping a daily chart of your basal temperature
can let you know when ovulation has occurred. The temperature
rise is very slight (0.04 to 0.06 degrees), so using
a special basal thermometer is recommended. Start your
chart on the first day of your period. After you have
kept a chart for at least two months you should notice
a pattern that will help you know when ovulation typically
occurs for you.
recommend that you plan to have sex once a day on each
of your three most fertile days. If you can’t tell
when you ovulate, have sex 2-3 times a week, every week.
fertility can be affected by some things that may surprise
you. The good news is that men can take several easy steps
to help to ensure healthy sperm:
or eliminate alcohol consumption.
Alcohol can decrease both your testosterone
level and your sperm count.
smoke. Recent studies indicate that smoking
has a negative impact on male fertility. In lab tests,
sperm from smokers had difficulty binding to an egg.
Smoking can also reduce the number of sperm you produce.
scrotal temperature has been linked to male
- The heat from laptop
computers has been shown to elevate scrotal temperature.
If you use a laptop computer, limit the time it is actually
in your lap. Place it on a desk or other surface whenever
- Stay out of hot
tubs and saunas. Don’t take long, hot baths.
- Don’t wear
tight fitting clothing. Boxers are better than briefs!