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The Know-How’s of Getting Pregnant

calendarJuly 25, 2016
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The know-how’s of getting pregnantThe Know-How’s of Getting Pregnant

Getting pregnant doesn’t have to be difficult or time-extensive. Did you know that the average couple needs only 4-5 months to conceive? Under the correct circumstances, your baby can be conceived very fast. But as you’ve figured out already, there’s more to getting pregnant than just having sex — and with the sheer amount of information out there, many aspects of the conceiving process can become incredibly confusing for many women. Do you have a burning question about how babies are made? Here are some questions we’ve received from our readers.

1. How to Get Ready to Get Pregnant?

I know this will sound quite awkward, but I was wondering if I have to do anything, in particular, to prepare myself for pregnancy? Like, do I need plans? Are there any things I should be thinking of? I’m more concerned after the moment I conceive, because I know you shouldn’t drink coffee and other such things. Should I create a checklist or something similar to make sure my baby will be perfectly healthy? How often do I need to see my ob-gyn?

Expert Answers:

Those questions are actually very relevant, and I’m very glad that you’re thinking about your baby’s health and well-being. In general, yes, there are a few things you need to do before conceiving, and many things after you’ve conceived. To make it easier for you, I’ve put together a list so you can easily understand what conceiving is all about.

What to Do Before Conceiving:

  • Ditch birth control pills 3-4 months before you start conceiving. Your period will need some time to get back to normal, and hormonal changes might make it difficult for you to get pregnant.
  • Quit smoking. This habit isn’t only exceptionally unhealthy for you, but it can also interfere with your baby—making efforts. Also, smoking puts you at a higher risk of miscarriage, and also increases the incidence of premature and low birth weight babies. It may also cause breathing issues in your little one.
  • Limit caffeine intake to just 200-250mg a day. Studies have shown that drinking more than that might interfere with conceiving, so you may want to consider decaffeinated drinks as they pack lower amounts of caffeine.
  • Stay at a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, you’re setting yourself up for polycystic ovary syndrome, which occurs in about one-third of women. The extra pounds increase sensitivity to insulin, which results in your body producing more of this hormone, subsequently increasing the amounts of the male hormone testosterone in your body. More testosterone means irregular ovulation, or no ovulation at all, and if there’s no egg, then fertilization cannot occur.
  • Get yourself checked for any potential STDs. Some can be transmitted through skin contact, so it’s important to rule out the possibility of an infection, and treat any existing infection, to ensure your baby will be perfectly healthy, and no complications will arise.
  • Have sex at the right time. Your fertile window begins about 5-6 days before ovulation, and ends 24 hours after you ovulated. Sexual intercourse every other day can increase the likeliness to conceive.
  • Take a folic acid supplement early on.

What to Do After Conceiving:

  • Don’t attempt to remove the heavy discharge from your vagina. It’s there for a reason — to protect you from infections, and to keep your little one healthy.
  • Avoid caffeine and smoking at all costs.
  • Eat a healthy diet — no salty or fatty foods!
  • Rest appropriately — pregnancy can make you very tired!
  • Once your tummy gets bigger, avoid strenuous exercise. Hire a maid to help you keep your house clean and cook.

Read also: How Long Does It Take to Get Pregnant?

2. How to Get Pregnant at 40?

Hello, Is it possible for a woman to still get pregnant at 40 years of age? I’m actually 41, have two kids, but would like a third one! However, I’ve read that it’s very difficult to conceive after 35-40 years as my body’s egg supply grows smaller and smaller every year. I’ve got a friend who’s exactly the same age, and she’s in her 7th month already! What can be done?

Expert Answers:

It’s true that women over 40 years of age have difficulties getting pregnant, however, this is not impossible. As you said, your egg supply decreases every month you ovulate, so when you reach menopause at 51, there are no more eggs left. Moreover, ovulation might not occur as regularly, and this will obviously impact conceiving.

One thing I would recommend is scheduling an appointment with your ob-gyn and discussing the issue. To boost your chances of getting pregnant, fertility drugs might help. There are several types of fertility drugs, and clomifene will probably be your first option. Metformin, as well as gonadotropins, might be options if clomifene doesn’t work on its own. The major drawback of fertility drugs is that they increase your risk for multiple pregnancies. In other words, taking fertility drugs can result in getting pregnant with twins or even triplets.

Also, gonadotropins are known for causing a world of side effects, including vomiting, nausea and severe headaches. You should carefully weigh both risks and benefits of fertility drugs before you decide.

You can boost your odds of conceiving by making sure that you have sex at the right time of the month, which is ovulation. When you ovulate, one egg (or more) is released from one of your ovaries. If fertilized by one of your partner’s sperm cells, then your baby is conceived. The tricky part is getting your partner’s little guys in there on time, so fertilization can take place.

Difficulties getting pregnant in women over 40 years of age are often due to conditions such as uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease. Have your ob-gyn take some tests to see if there is anything wrong with you. Treating the cause can definitely help in making conceiving easier, so get yourself checked!

3. How to Get Energy When Pregnant?

How to get energy when pregnant?How to Get Energy When Pregnant?

I’m in the second trimester of pregnancy (20 weeks pregnant), and I’ve been feeling extremely tired over the past three weeks. I know I’m not allowed to drink coffee, so I have very little energy. I sometimes feel my eyes closing while I watch TV. It’s really annoying, because I can barely do anything, and I stay in the bed most of the time. Is there anything wrong with me?

Expert Answers:

Feeling tired is absolutely normal when it comes to pregnancy, especially after the first trimester. Yes, you need to avoid coffee due to the high amounts of caffeine contained in most brands, but you can enjoy a cup of decaffeinated coffee every other day. The amount of coffee in these drinks is usually significantly lower, and if you drink only a small amount, then you shouldn’t experience any problems.

Natural juices are another source of energy. Instead of buying juice from your local store, consider making your own at home. It’s ten times healthier and absolutely natural, not to mention that it doesn’t have any additives such as sugar. One or two glasses of homemade fruit juice will be the best remedy for your tiredness. Except for tiredness, are you experiencing any other symptoms? If this persists, see your doctor about it, and have the issue further investigated.

Except for tiredness, are you experiencing any other symptoms? If this persists, see your doctor about it, and have the issue further investigated.

4. Is It Normal to Have So Much Discharge?

Is too much discharge a sign of pregnancy? I think I might have gotten pregnant, because I’ve been experiencing really heavy cervical mucus that looks very much like uncooked egg whites. It doesn’t smell bad, but it’s quite annoying since there’s so much of it! I haven’t had any other symptoms, or at least, no noticeable symptoms. How long should I wait before taking a pregnancy test?

Expert Answers:

Cervical mucus might indicate the presence of a potential pregnancy, but this is not always the case. I can’t provide exact information since I don’t know how long it’s been since you’ve last had sex, or when your last period started. The amount of vaginal discharge begins to increase about two to three weeks after you’ve had sex. It can be as much as 30 times more discharge than normally, and just as you’ve described, it’s very slippery and egg white-like. 

Are you ovulating? Ovulation can cause your normal discharge to increase, so try to determine what time of the month it was back when you’ve first noticed the increase in discharge. Note that the increase will occur about one day before you ovulate, and may last for 1-2 days before decreasing again.

Another possibility would be sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea, trichomoniasis or Chlamydia. However, these cause discharge that smells very bad, which seems not to be your case. You may want to get yourself checked for them, as many STIs can go unnoticed due to being asymptomatic. If your estrogen levels are currently too high, then the discharge is a normal consequence. Many women face this issue, so you should see your ob-gyn about it. He will recommend you prescription medication to lower estrogen levels so you won’t be dealing with the discharge again. Wait until your period is due to arrive to take a pregnancy test. If it doesn’t arrive, consider the possibilities I’ve listed above.

If your estrogen levels are currently too high, then the discharge is a normal consequence. Many women face this issue, so you should see your ob-gyn about it. He will recommend you prescription medication to lower estrogen levels so you won’t be dealing with the discharge again. Wait until your period is due to arrive to take a pregnancy test. If it doesn’t arrive, consider the possibilities I’ve listed above.

Wait until your period is due to arrive to take a pregnancy test. If it doesn’t arrive, consider the possibilities I’ve listed above.

If the excessive discharge is bothering you, do one (or more) of the following:

  • Avoid pads and panty liners, as they can interfere with your vagina’s normal pH and cause bacterial infections. Use sanitary pads instead, as they have a neutral pH.
  • Wash down there with plain tap water. Never use soaps, deodorants or other such hygiene products, as they’re harsh on the skin and will also change the vagina’s pH.
  • Wear only loose cotton knickers to stay comfortable, avoid wetting your clothes, and get your skin to breathe. When possible, have your ‘naked time’ to allow the skin to breathe.
  • Wipe from front to back to avoid getting any fecal matter in or close to the vagina.
  • Change your underwear as many times as needed to stay fresh and dry.

5. Is There a Way to Get Pregnant Quicker?

Is there a way to get pregnant quicker?Is There a Way to Get Pregnant Quicker?

I’m not fond of the idea of having sex very frequently just to conceive, so I want to know if there’s a quicker way to do this? Plus, my husband is away from home for days (he’s a businessman), so we don’t have enough time to spend on this. I would like to get pregnant without trying too much. Any guidance will be of real help!

Expert Answers:

I’m afraid there’s no way to speed things up when it comes to conceiving, but the good news is you can boost your chances of getting pregnant if you make sure to follow a few simple steps. First, have sex as close to ovulation as possible. If you can get your husband’s little guys to fertilize the egg soon after it’s been released, then you’ll get pregnant fast. Ovulation occurs 12 to 14 days before your next scheduled period. If you don’t have

If you don’t have time or your husband isn’t around when you ovulate, then try having sex 5-6 days before you ovulate. It doesn’t have to happen every day; every other day is just as good! Since sperm cells can survive up to 5-6 days in your vagina and fallopian tubes, they may still be hanging around when the egg is released, ready to fertilize it.

Another thing you can do is to ditch birth control a few months before you start conceiving. It takes some time for your period to get back to normal. Avoid drinking more than 200-250mg of caffeine a day, and quit smoking. Also, make sure you’re not overweight, as this can greatly impact how often or regularly you ovulate. If ovulation is irregular, then you’ll be unable to predict your most fertile days of every month. If nothing works, get yourself checked for conditions like uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Find more about this topic here: How to Get Pregnant Fast: 7 Important Things You Should Do

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