Separating Fact from FictionWhen you’re reading about the process of becoming pregnant, it’s hard to tell what’s true, false or somewhere in between. This can be a problem and we hate to see the wrong information being shared around, which is why in this article we are only discussing areas that are proven as fact. The time when a woman is most fertile is during the peak of her ovulation cycle. To best calculate this, it is generally agreed upon that you should count back 14 days from the end of your menstruation cycle. Now obviously these will be different for each individual, as menstruation cycles can vary drastically from person to person. It can also vary from month to month. For this article we are going to use the common 28-day cycle as reference, meaning that the 14th day of the cycle, would be the ideal time to conceive. Since eggs can only be fertilised for 12-24 hours after ovulation, and sperm can only live for 2-3 days, the best time to do the ‘baby dance’ is the day before or the day of ovulation. It is still possible to get pregnant in the days leading up to ovulation.
When can I check that I’m pregnant?When trying to become pregnant, we can get a little impatient waiting to find out. Some of us just want answers NOW! Be patient, it does take a little time before we are able to achieve a positive pregnancy result. For the most accurate early results, it is as easy as taking an over-the-counter pregnancy test roughly a week after you’ve missed your menstrual cycle. This gives the body enough time to produce detectable amounts of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone only produced when pregnant. 99%* of the time these tests are accurate and (depending on the brand) can tell you within minutes if you are pregnant. The most popular pregnancy test for detecting early pregnancy is First Response. You can test up to 6 days before your menstruation cycle is due to begin.
What are the early pregnancy symptoms?Some women can feel and see symptoms of early pregnancy as soon as the egg is fertilised! For many, they don’t know they are pregnant until around 6 weeks. Remembering that early pregnancy symptoms can be exactly like ovulation symptoms, and also pre-menstruation symptoms, here are some early pregnancy signs to look out for
- Dull aches and cramps in your lower abdomen
- Darkening of the areola
- Food aversions or cravings
- Unusual spotting outside your menstruation
What can I do to increase my chances of getting pregnant?As we mentioned earlier, patience is the name of the game when it comes to becoming pregnant. But there are a few ways you can increase your chances of getting pregnant faster. Now it should be noted that none of these are guaranteed to speed the process along, however they are your best options for improving your chances and they will improve your health and well-being along the way. These include:
- Eating healthy food. By this, we mean a healthy balance of meat, fruit and vegetables. There aren’t many specific foods themselves that can improve your chances of conceiving, however maintaining a healthy diet makes you a desirable pregnancy candidate! Try to cut out overly unhealthy food and drinks such as alcohol, lollies, soft drinks and heavily salted items. A little bit of caffeine here and there isn’t bad, but it is typically recommended to keep it under 200mg a day.
- Keep active. Regular exercise is great for improving your chances of getting pregnant, as it will strengthen your body on the inside and outside. Most importantly it will help with your blood flow and breathing, both things that need to be in tip top shape during pregnancy.
- Take your supplements. Brands like Elevit and Blackmores have formulated a supplement to include the perfect nutrients for your growing baby. Specifically, they include Iron and Folic Acid. Folic Acid is the superhero! It can help prevent birth defects of your baby’s spinal cord and brain.
- Stay relaxed. Set up next to the fireplace, snuggle up with a good e-book, watch your favourite John Hughes movie (we all have one). Whatever helps you let your hair down and just chill. Staying calm and stress free is key.
- Enjoy your baby dancing! Focus on your relationship and the experience with your partner, rather than the conception side of it. It will take the pressure off you both and the more relaxed you and your partner are, the higher the chance of conception.