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Want to raise your odds of baby-making success? Here, we answer some common conception questions to help increase your chances of getting pregnant. The best time to conceive is during a woman's "fertile window.
You can get pregnant if the egg gets fertilized with sperm; the chances are highest within 24 hours of ovulation and one day beforehand. But because sperm can live for three to five days in the reproductive tract, it's also possible to get pregnant by having sex in the five days leading up to ovulation. In other words, five-day-old sperm can still fertilize a newly released egg.
Many women follow the textbook rule that ovulation occurs 14 days after the first day of their period—but the reality is that cycle lengths vary, and ovulation doesn't always occur at the same time each month, says Machelle Seibel, M. Some women think they can detect ovulation symptoms.
But many women miss this, and some mistakenly think their normal discharge is a of ovulation. Instead of guessing, Dr. Seibel says that using an ovulation predictor kit can give a more accurate answer.
Charting your basal body temperature or tracking your menstrual cycle can also help identify ovulation for the best days to get pregnant. You may think that cutting down on sex to "save" your guy's sperm—or only having sex during ovulation—will make getting pregnant easier. But abstaining too much can throw off conception. Indeed, while holding off on sex can increase sperm countit can also decrease sperm motility.
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What's more, "it's easy to miss the fertile period if sex is limited only to when you think you're ovulating, because many women believe they're ovulating when they actually aren't," says Samuel Wood, M. On the other hand, having sex too often can also cause potential problems, says Dr. Or, specifically, after your man gets a good night's rest, says Melissa M. Goist, M. When he's sleeping, his body regenerates the sperm lost during the day. Although the average sperm cell has a pretty short shelf life, even stalwart swimmers can hit their expiration date early if they get too warm from hot tubs or exercises like bike riding, Dr.
Common sense says that deep penetration through positions like rear-entry and missionary will dispense sperm closer to the cervix, but there's no evidence to back up the theory. Regardless of how you get down to business, sperm are present in the cervical canal just seconds after ejaculation.
That means your favorite position gives the best chance to get pregnant, says Shari Brasner, M. Some women think that lying on your back with your hips elevated for 20 minutes after sex will help ensure that every last sperm gets a fighting chance at the prize, but the belief has no scientific foundation. Conception from sperm fertilizing the egg in the reproductive tract, which could happen up to six days after having sex. From there, the fertilized egg will travel to the uterus and implant in the uterine lining to begin the pregnancy.
So how long after sex does implantation occur? Usually around six to 12 days. Not to be a foreplay killer, but saliva might affect your chances of conception. It can theoretically interfere with your cervical mucus, alter the pH in your vaginal tract making it inhospitable to spermand even take out stalwart swimmers. If clitoral stimulation helps get you in the mood, ask your man to reach for fertility-safe lubricant and put his fingers to work instead.
Being face-to-face—and mouth-to-mouth—during the act might even be more intimate. Some experts believe that uterine contractions during orgasm help propel sperm into the cervix, but one thing is for sure—the tingles and flood of oxytocin during orgasm definitely make you relaxed. And that means you've already cleared the biggest baby-making blocker: stress. Men who are fully stimulated will ejaculate up to 50 percent more, according to research revealed in the program.
Ellington says. Sure, sex without female orgasm can result in a baby, too, but why not go for the gold?
After two or three months of trying, it's easy to get frustrated. That doesn't mean an immediate appointment with a fertility specialist is in order. Wood assures.
Information from your family doctor
If you're under 35, with regular menstrual cycles and no underlying health issues that might affect fertility, Dr. Wood advises waiting it out for one year. Chen says. And if you're younger and have irregular periods or a history of sexually transmitted infections STIsectopic pregnancypelvic inflammatory disease PIDor other health issues that may affect fertility or pregnancy, Dr. Chen says it's a good idea to seek out a specialist right away. Think twice next time you reach for the lube.
What is sexual dysfunction?
Your cervical mucus moves sperm along quite swimmingly all on its own. Plus, most lubricants can interfere with cervical mucusalter the pH in your vaginal tract, and negatively affect sperm motility, making it harder for the sperm to reach the egg. Brasner says. Often, when couples are trying to conceive, they focus so intensely on their reproductive health, they neglect their overall health. Life becomes all about cervical mucus, sperm count, and doing the deed. But it's important to pay attention to your health in general because issues like weight, smoking, stress, and medications can affect fertility too, Dr.
Before trying to conceive, it's a good idea for both you and your guy to have a medical checkup to discuss any issues that may affect fertility or pregnancy. By Tamekia Reece and K. Aleisha Fetters Updated February 10, Save Pin More. An image of a couple with a pregnancy test. Start Slideshow. Woman pushing man away in bed. Woman in bed with alarm clock. Study: Sperm count decreased. Young couple smiling in bed. Sad woman struggles with infertility.
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