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When Should Intercourse Occur After Testing Positive for Ovulation?

Posted on 2014-04-16


 

Baby Making Time!

When you and your partner are trying to conceive, tracking when ovulation is occurring is a key way to determine when you are most fertile. However, knowing just when you’re ovulating isn’t enough. As a matter of fact, you must also know when to have intercourse in relation to ovulation in order to conceive. Having intercourse within five days of ovulation is vitally important, especially because this increases your chances of conception. Contrary to popular belief, having intercourse the day after ovulation isn’t the best time for conception to occur. Thus, it is extremely important to learn when intercourse should occur after ovulation to increase your chances of becoming pregnant.

As you might suspect, there is a greater likelihood that you will become pregnant on the day that you ovulate in contrast to the days that precede it. Of course, it’s also important to remember that sperm can survive up to five days after ejaculation. This means that you might become pregnant before ovulation occurs depending upon when you are having intercourse.

Throughout the time that you’re trying to conceive, it is important to avoid substances such as smoking, caffeine, drugs, and alcohol, among others. Additionally, reducing stress is extremely important as well, although this is sometimes easier said then done depending on how long you’ve been trying to conceive. However, by following these steps, you will increase the likelihood of conception occurring because you are maintaining a healthy body ideal for pregnancy.

Of course, there is more to keep in mind than just these few guidelines. Yet another important factor to be mindful of is that you should be on the lookout for a surge in hormones or the first positive ovulation test that you take. Some women will continue to take ovulation tests and receive several positive results, however this is not important. You might believe that this is counter intuitive; however, the first positive test is indicative of the fact that ovulation will occur between 12 and 72 hours later. Thus, it is imperative that you have intercourse at this time in order to increase your chances of conception.

It is important to remember that even when you do follow these steps and chart ovulation, you aren’t always going to get pregnant on your first attempt. Sometimes, it takes couples several months or even longer in order to have a positive pregnancy test. This is to be expected in many cases, as the majority of couples experience the same situation while trying to conceive. Therefore, you should go into pregnancy with the expectation that you won’t conceive on the first few tries.

However, if you’ve been charting ovulation for a year and have timed intercourse properly and still don’t become pregnant, it might be in your best interest to visit your doctor. Your doctor will be able to determine any underlying problems preventing pregnancy from occurring, making it easier to determine what is wrong and how you can overcome it in order to conceive.

Tips for Checking Your Cervical Position

Posted on 2014-04-14


Checking your cervical position is one way for you to find out what stage of ovulation you are in. For women trying to get pregnant, this is an important indicator, as it will tell her how fertile she is on a given day. This will allow you to plan sex around your fertile time of your cycle, increasing your chances of conceiving.

What is the cervix?

Cervix is a narrow part of the uterus that meets the upper wall of the vagina. When your period starts, the blood from your uterus flows out through your cervix to your vagina. When you are fertile, the cervix excretes cervical mucus that will allow the sperm to travel more easily up the vagina and through the cervix into your uterus. Once you are pregnant, the cervix remains tightly closed until you are ready to give birth.

Checking the Cervix

The first thing that you will need to do is to ensure that your hands are washed and nails cut – long nails could cause tearing in the tissue of the cervix. Start by inserting a clean middle finger up to your middle knuckle. Normally going as far as the middle knuckle is sufficient, but she you have to go further if necessary – you need to be able to feel the cervix with her fingertip.

What If You are Unable to Reach Your Cervix in a Normal Position?

If you are unable to reach the cervix in a normal position, it is advised to try using a different position such as having one leg raised on a chair or squatting. If this does not work, experts recommend trying a few days later in the cycle.

Cervical Position Changes and Fertility

Your cervix changes position during the various stages of her cycle because of estrogen levels. During your least fertile days, the cervix will lie low. It will also be firm and closed and feel a lot like the end of a person’s nose.

As you ovulation and is at your most fertile, your cervix will begin to soften and be high, open and wet.

After you have ovulated, the cervix will go back to its low-lying closed position.

For most of your menstrual cycle, your cervix will stay in a ‘closed’ position since there is no egg available for fertilization. The cervix will only open itself up when it is ready for fertilization by sperm. Additionally, by staying in the closed position when a female is not fertile, her body also reduces the risk of her uterus being infected.

It takes time to get to know how your cervix changes during your ovulatory cycle and, while it may not be as easy to tell as checking the amount of mucus emitted during ovulation, it is a good idea to get to know the cervix position during ovulation as a further indicator of fertility.

Finally, you are encouraged to remember that getting to know the cervix position during various stages of ovulation will not happen overnight – you can expect a few months to go by before getting to know this part of your body thoroughly and be able to accurately determine your stage of fertility by the feel of your cervix.

Is it Possible for Blood Pregnancy Tests to be Incorrect?

Posted on 2014-03-24


Generally, blood pregnancy tests are thought to be more reliable than home pregnancy tests that depend upon urine. However, these blood tests can still be incorrect, meaning that false negative or positive results can occur in some women. Understanding the reasons why this occurs requires knowing not only what a blood pregnancy test is, but also how it works and what it means.

Understanding Blood Pregnancy Tests

Also known as pregnancy serum tests, blood pregnancy tests measure the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) present in the bloodstream. This pregnancy hormone is released by the placenta, becoming detectable in both the blood and the urine approximately 10 days after fertilization has occurred.

There are two primary types of pregnancy blood tests, specifically quantitative tests that measure the precise amount of hCG in the blood and qualitative tests that will simply indicate whether or not you are pregnant.

Blood pregnancy tests allow for earlier detection than at-home options, allowing you to know whether or not you’re pregnant anywhere from seven to twelve days after conception by measuring the level of hCG in the blood. Additionally, measuring hCG in this way can provide your physician with useful information regarding any potential problems in pregnancy. When you begin to experience physical symptoms associated with pregnancy, such as breast tenderness, irregular spotting, vomiting, pelvic pain, or delayed menstruation, a blood pregnancy test is necessary to confirm whether or not you’re pregnant.

What do Results from Blood Pregnancy Testing Mean?

In any normal pregnancy, hCG levels are expected to follow a typical pattern. This means that hCG should increase throughout the first trimester then gradually decrease throughout the remainder of the pregnancy. Often, physicians will administer several blood pregnancy tests during the first trimester to ensure that levels are rising at expected rates. If they aren’t, there is often something wrong with the pregnancy. Once you give birth, have an abortion, or experience a miscarriage, hCG levels will then decrease to zero at a rapid pace.

Incorrect Blood Pregnancy Test Results

If the test is administered too early, even blood pregnancy tests can make incorrect diagnoses. The test will not show a positive result until seven days have passed since fertilization. If you wait until after you miss you period, results of the test are thought to be much more accurate.

High Levels of hCG

Higher than average levels of hCG might mean any of the following:

  • A tumor in the placenta, indicating the death of the fetus
  • Pregnancies with multiples, such as twins or triplets
  • Ovarian or other types of cancer
  • A normal pregnancy
  • Presence of blood or protein in the urine, impacting test results
  • Presence of seizure medications

Low Levels of hCG

Lower than average levels of hCG could indicate the following:

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Miscarriage or abortion

How Reliable are Blood Pregnancy Tests?

While at-home pregnancy tests are 97 percent accurate, blood pregnancy tests are known to be more accurate but not necessarily more sensitive. Depending upon the methodology, technique, and lab administering the test, results can differ. This is because labs will also differ in what they consider to be a positive pregnancy tests. Common cutoffs for positive tests are 5, 10, and 25 units, 25 being the least sensitive.

Quantitative blood pregnancy tests, or beta human chorionic gonadotropin tests, are often reliable, especially because they measure the precise levels of hCG in the blood. This means that minimal levels are detectable. If a qualitative blood pregnancy test is used, results might be more obscure.

The Second Time Around

Posted on 2013-10-10


Cody

 

If getting pregnant was quick and easy the first time around (and sometimes it’s way too quick and way too easy) you probably don’t expect to have to work at it the second time. The truth is, though, that every pregnancy is different. What might have happened easily the first time might actually take a bit of work the next.

If you’ve already been pregnant and you’re thinking about trying to conceive again, there’s a process you need to go through:

  • Make sure you’re really ready. Just because you’ve gone through pregnancy once doesn’t mean you’re ready to do it again. You and your partner need to both be on the same page here.
  • Examine your fertility. It’s possible you won’t be able to conceive as easily the next time around. Look for irregularities in your menstrual cycles, for example. If they’ve increased, you might take longer to conceive this time.
  • Don’t forget his fertility. You can choose to have his sperm count analyzed on an elective basis, even if you’re not yet struggling. That alone has the potential to identify conception problems in about a third of couples.
  • Consider previous complications with pregnancy. If your first pregnancy had complications, you’re more prone to them during a second or subsequent pregnancy. This is especially true if you have several previous miscarriages. You’ll want to talk with your doctor about the particular complications you’ve experienced, and what it might mean for you trying to conceive again.
  • Know that it may take longer. You’ve probably figured it out by now, but every pregnancy is different. You might get lucky and get it right on the first try this time, or it could take you several months. Don’t be discouraged if it takes longer this time; instead, devote that energy into studying what you can do to help increase your odds of conception.
  • Get your body ready for pregnancy. You need to consider a number of health factors before getting ready again. If you’re overweight, underweight or obese it can dramatically impact your chances of conception. The same goes for nutrition; it wouldn’t hurt now to get on a regimented meal plan not only to be healthy enough to conceive, but also to be ready to be as healthy as possible when you do become pregnant. Getting into an exercise routine now is also a good idea, and it won’t hurt to start taking a prenatal or preconception supplement.
  • Get a handle on your stress. Stress is believed to impact your ability to conceive. The stress of not being able to conceive can, in some couples, wind up causing a double problem. Add in the stress that comes from the child you already have, and you’re looking at a real potential problem. In addition to diet and exercise, learn stress management techniques that can help get your stress levels under control.

Getting ready to get pregnant again lets you increase the odds that you’ll succeed and helps you be more prepared for when it does happen.

 

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photo by: tanya_little

Freezing Fresh Sperm Is Viable Option for Infertility

Posted on 2013-10-01


Sperm removed from testicles and frozen, then given to men who have no sperm in their semen works as well as fresh sperm in assisting couples conceive using in vitro fertilization (IVF), according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Scientists also found that the facility where sperm is removed and how far from the IVF lab doesn’t affect pregnancy outcomes.

The conclusions, presented online in PLOS ONE, may be advantageous to males without sperm in their semen for various reasons. These men don’t have enough sperm to conceive their own kids via IVF without biopsies.

In these males, testicle biopsies often result in enough usable sperm for a procedure named intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) as part of the IVF procedure for men suffering from severe infertility.

The biopsy, normally an outpatient process, involves taking tissue from testicles and analyzed for sperm. If sperm are detected, they’re withdrawn and immediately used in ICSI or frozen for later use.

When using fresh sperm, the biopsy for taking the sperm needs to be undertaken within a day of retrieving eggs from the woman. This may not be particularly accommodating for the couple. Should frozen sperm be used, the guy can first undergo his biopsy. If sperm is located, it can then be stored. Later, when the couple is ready, his partner’s eggs are removed and ICSI can be finished.

Prior to ICSI, the woman gets daily injections of fertility medicine for up to 10 days to prompt her ovaries to release eggs. Using ultrasounds to find eggs, the doctor then takes them from the ovaries with a tiny needle.

In this research, scientists studied information from 1995 through 2009 from Washington University Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Center.

Testicular biopsies were done on 136 men and used in the ICSI. Of those procedures, 84 percent included frozen sperm while the remaining 16 percent utilized fresh sperm. There was a statistically significant variation in fertilization rate between fresh sperm (47 percent) and frozen sperm (62 percent), respectively. There wasn’t a noticeable variation in the delivery rates.

Two urologists carried out 150 testicular sperm biopsies inside an operating room next to the IVF lab, inside an operating room located in a different building roughly one mile away from the IVF lab, then in a mobile surgical center approximately 15 miles away from the IVF lab. The third site was no more than 30 minutes from the IVF lab.

No statistically significant differences were recorded from the different locations and pregnancy developments.

“Men without sperm in their semen now have multiple options to bear their own children,” said Randall Odem, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and co-author of this research, who advises that infertile men seek medical care from a urologist experienced with male infertility and a reproductive endocrinologist.

“This research shows that utilizing frozen sperm removed by biopsy works just fine for many patients in the most important thing, pregnancy rates,” he stated.

 

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