Conception can mean a host of different things to different people, fear, wanting, anxiety, happiness, disbelief and so on, but if you're trying to conceive it can be a really stressful time within a relationship. Every month you wait with fingers crossed, only to be disappointed once again.
I went through this situation for 3 years! Not as long as some people I know, but it was bad enough. My husband and I had already decided that we didn't want to go through doctors visits and evasive testing to find out why we couldn't conceive. On his birthday in January 2000 we went out for a meal, the discussion got round to the inevitable - babies. We decided that we would probably never have children, and thought it best if we concentrated on other area's of our lives, no more waiting with baited breath, conception was off the agenda. We'd had this conversation before, but on this night it seemed very final.
After that night I felt alot more relaxed, and stopped thinking about being a Mother. Of course I was upset about it, but it was something I dealt with. That month I got my period a week early, and it was very light and only lasted one day! I assumed it was stress! My monthly cycle is as regular as clockwork, so 4 weeks and two days later when I'd had no period, I just knew there was something wrong. Off I went to buy a pregnancy test - 10 minutes later I was sobbing, I was pregnant!
My husband laughed and laughed, I cried and cried. I had tried so hard to conceive over those 3 years, as soon as I decided that it wasn't going to happen, and I had started to plan my future without children, I was pregnant!
When I told my midwife what had happened,
she stated that sometimes people just need to relax a little more to get
pregnant. Some people get that wound up and anxious about trying to get
pregnant, that it doesn't happen. As soon as they decide to give up
trying and stop stressing about it, they find themselves a mum-to-be!
The month when I thought I'd had a light period, was actually the egg
implanting into the lining of my uterus -
implantation bleeding. Nature had played it's part and I had got pregnant naturally.
So I guess my first bit of advice is relax, and while you are practising relaxing there are also a few other thing you can try to help conception take place.
Try not to smoke, take drugs or alcohol while trying to get pregnant, that goes for the guys too! All of these things can lower fertility making it harder to get pregnant.
Every woman's menstrual cycle is different, but start making notes. How long from the first day of your period to the to the first day of your next period? Divide this by 2 and this is roughly when you will ovulate and could conceive.
For most women ovulation takes place around day 12 - 14 of your menstrual cycle, this of course is when you can get pregnant.Most experts advise having sex at least every other day around the time of ovulation. The egg once released will only live for around 12 - 24 hours, and so must meet up with sperm in this time for fertilisation to take place.There are ways to try and tell when you are ovulating, look out for signs like breast tenderness, slight discomfort in your abdomen (some women describe these as twinges) vaginal discharge may increase and take on an egg white appearance. You could also try tracking your basal body temperature.
BBT or Basal body temperature is a way of tracking when ovulation takes place. It can be quite tricky and should be recorded for a few months to get a more accurate reading (and to help you get used to reading the chart)Get yourself a basal thermometer, this normally comes with a chart to plot your temperature every day of your cycle (its s good idea to photocopy this, then you'll have a few at hand)You must take your temperature before you get out of bed in the morning, and roughly at around the same time every morning.This was where I struggled as I always used to like a lie in at weekends :-)Your temperature before ovulation should read around 97.2 to 97.5 degrees (this may differ slightly for some women)In the 2 or 3 days after ovulation your BBT will rise by 0.5 to 1.6 degrees and this will last until your next period. You may notice a rise in BBT if you feel unwell or at certain other times, but you should notice this drop again within a day or two, if it doesn't then you can assume that ovulation has occurred.
The idea is that by plotting and tracking your temperature over a few months, you will get to see how regular your cycle is, and help you to predict the days leading up too, and after ovulation, helping you to note the best time for conception.
Some people say positions don't matter, others think they do. I must admit that I tried quite a few to help along conception. Positions can play a part, so let's see which help, and which don't.
Man on top (missionary position) is possibly the best position for conception, it allows for deep penetration and also means that sperm will end up closer to the cervix.
A good idea is also for the woman to place a pillow under her hips for half an hour after intercourse, this gives the semen a better chance of travelling up the fallopian tubes (with a bit of help from gravity)
Side by side or rear-entry are also supposed to be good positions to help with conception, just remember to have fun and keep things relaxed.
Positions not advised are woman on top, or standing - sitting, this go against the course of gravity and sperm will struggle to swim upwards.
Some people will want tests started as soon as possible if they are finding it difficult to conceive, others won't want all of the hassle, questions and poking around. I have never been through these tests and so I can't comment on what it's like, but I have a friend who was going to try IVF, the doctors told her she had to loose weight first and so she went on a strict diet. After shedding all the weight she could manage, she then decided against IVF and the thought of having a second child. This was probably ten years ago, in January of this year my friend gave birth to a healthy happy baby girl, conceived naturally! Another friend went through with 3 lots of IVF treatment, each one costing somewhere near to £3000, on her final try she was pregnant, with twins!
If you think there may be a problem with conceiving, talk things over with your partner first, what may seem as routine tests to you, probably won't appeal to them. After deciding on a course of action with your partner,visit your doctor or healthcare provider and talk it through with them, they can then point you in the right direction.
Other types of help with conception are also available, some are a little controversial, but many people believe they do work. Hypnosis and acupuncture are both supposed to have helped many people conceive. Some people swear by ancient Chinese herbal remedies, be sure to seek out a reputable dealer or company.
Click here for more information on other ways to help conception.
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