Trying to Conceive 101 (Part 2)

Having fun yet? Have you read Trying to Conceive, Part 1? If not, be sure to stop there first. If you’re saying to yourself…what’s next, ANN then read on! After scouring the internet for hours, I’ve come up with some more helpful tips to get you one step closer to the pitter-patter of little feet! One of the things I found most interesting about my research is how confusing the whole concept of ovulation is. I know we’ve all had to take that class in school about the birds and the bees (at least I hope we all did) and despite all that, ovulation can be a super tricky topic to wrap one’s head around. So to start TTC, Part 2, I thought I would first talk about the importance of understanding your ovulation cycle!

1. Ovulation

I’m not going to bore you with a whole bunch of terms that are just as hard to say as they are to spell. But what I will say about ovulation is that it’s tricky. Most ovulation calendars that you find on the internet (although free) are based on a 28-day cycle. While they may ask you for the number of days in your cycle, anything not based on a typical 28-cycle may not be entirely accurate. And, as you know ladies Aunt Flow does not visit us all every 28 days. In fact, some cycles can be shorter or longer. Having said that, what’s the big deal about ovulation? Well, simply put…it’s how you get the party started. There can be no baby without an egg (if my husband were here he would scream “AND SPERM”, but we are talking ovulation here). Your peak time of fertility is almost always the time where the egg from your ovaries will be released. The tricky part is that you have no idea when your egg will be released and if you are at peak ovulation…you may already be too late! The egg only has 24-hours to be fertilized, so if you miss your chance then you’ll have to wait until next month. As I’ve noted in TTC, Part 1, it’s important to have sex every other day to increase your chances of getting pregnant and this includes the days leading up to your peak time of fertility.

2. Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs)

Still with me? GOOD! So, now that you know that tracking your ovulation cycle correctly is as difficult as winning the lottery…what’s a girl to do? Opt for an OPK! OPKs can be found in any place that has a pharmacy (Target, WalMart, or Walgreens). OPKs can identify the most fertile days of your cycle by detecting spikes in Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and, in some cases, estrogen. The presence of these hormones scream, “I’m ready to make a baby!” The best part is that OPKs can predict your two most fertile days and some can predict up to four or five days!!! I’m not going to lie…these tests can get a bit costly. I’ve seen the prices range from $14 to $55! The good news is most kits come with several test strips, so you should be able to use the kit for at least two cycles (two months).

3. Chances of Getting Pregnant

I intentionally put this topic last because it seems to be the one that stresses women out the most. Deciding to start a family is a very big deal and can be an exciting time for you and your partner. However, the journey is not the same for everyone. I’ve met women who took years to conceive their first child and then popped them out like a PEZ dispenser thereafter. I have a few friends that were lucky enough to get pregnant the first time out the gate. Whatever your journey turns out to be…try to embrace it and don’t stress yourself out! I know that is easier said than done, so I’ve included some statistics to keep you inspired! Of all the couples trying to get pregnant:

  •  30% get pregnant in one month
  • 59% get pregnant within three months
  • 80% get pregnant within six months

Most physicians will tell you to seek consultation after unsuccessfully trying to conceive for an entire year. But I’m certainly hoping you won’t need to!!! Happy Babymaking!!!!!!

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