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Getting pregnant: How it works

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 288 views

Getting pregnant is one of those things: First, many women want to avoid it for years, then suddenly their biological clock is ticking and they should try to get pregnant as soon as possible. Read here when is the best time to have children, how you can get pregnant faster and what you should consider as you get older.

When can a woman get pregnant?

Girls can become pregnant as soon as the hormones push them to puberty. This happens much earlier today than it did with our grandparents and great grandparents. For example, some girls today could get pregnant at just under eleven years old (boys are also becoming sexually mature earlier and earlier).

But even if a teenager or young woman has not yet had her first period, she should use contraception. Theoretically, she can be just before her very first ovulation and thus become pregnant – the sperm are viable in the female body for some time.

The same applies to women around the menopause – pregnancy is not completely ruled out. Only if the menstrual period has not lasted for more than a year is there a high probability that ovulation will no longer take place – you can then no longer get pregnant. Sometimes a hormone analysis at the gynecologist can bring clarity.

how to get pregnant

All contraceptive methods are discontinued, a romantic mood is ensured – then you can start getting pregnant! But unfortunately it’s not that simple. A prerequisite for becoming pregnant is that – in addition to sexual maturity and sexual intercourse – an egg cell matures in the woman’s body and ovulation occurs. If a sperm capable of fertilization arrives relatively in time for ovulation and fuses with the egg cell, you can become pregnant – at least in theory.

Because even the fusion of egg and sperm cell is not necessarily a guarantee for a pregnancy. The fertilized egg cell must also make it stably into the uterine cavity and implant itself. At best, the lining of the uterus has already prepared for the egg cell.

In order for you to become pregnant, numerous, finely coordinated steps are necessary.

When is the best time to get pregnant?

Once a month, ie about every 28 days, an egg cell matures in the woman’s body. You can only get pregnant on the fertile days. These are around ovulation, which occurs about 14 days after the first day of your last period. Sometimes ovulation takes place a few days later, individual differences are quite possible. If the egg jumps, it means that the egg is leaving the ovary . It enters the fallopian tube and is capable of being fertilized for about 24 hours.

So the time window to get pregnant is small. Therefore, it borders on a miracle if it actually works. However, the sperm improve the situation somewhat. They can survive in the woman’s body for around three days, ie around 72 hours – sometimes even a day or two longer. The best time to get pregnant is 72 hours before and ends around 12 hours after ovulation.

Getting pregnant at 35 plus

The best age to get pregnant is between 20 and 30 years. After the age of 30, fertility in women decreases and with it the probability of becoming pregnant. The risk of miscarriage or malformations in the embryo also increases. Although the age problem hits women a little earlier, men also have to reckon with the fact that their fertility decreases with age, starting around 40 years of age.

How long does it take to get pregnant?

Getting pregnant doesn’t work right away? Then you should not despair immediately. Most couples have to try for a while. Sometimes the woman’s body has to get used to the fact that the hormonal contraceptives are no longer setting the pace. If no pregnancy occurs within a year – assuming regular unprotected sexual intercourse – there could be organic causes that impair the fertility of men and/or women and make it difficult to get pregnant. Then it is advisable to seek advice from a gynecologist or “men’s doctor” (andrologist, urologist).

Basically, the older the partners are, the longer it can take for couples to become pregnant naturally. Artificial insemination promises one possibility to fulfill one’s desire to have children anyway . But here too, the older you are, the lower the chances of success. Even with artificial insemination, it can be difficult to get pregnant at the age of 40.

In women over 45, the pregnancy rate even goes to zero. That’s why you shouldn’t let too much time pass if you’re unable to have children – seek medical advice in good time if you can’t get pregnant.

How to get pregnant fast

Getting pregnant quickly without stress – that’s what every couple wants. With the symptothermal method , a combination of cycle, temperature and cervical mucus examination, you may be able to get pregnant a little faster. The method is also known as natural family planning (NFP) and helps to detect ovulation. Knowing when you are fertile can increase your chances of getting pregnant.

However, some couples also use the Symptothermal method for the opposite – contraception. Experienced women should apparently achieve similar protection with the NFP method as with the birth control pill (Pearl Index of 0.4). Cycle uncertainties and a lack of protection against infection only make this method a suitable contraceptive in exceptional cases.

Ovulation calendar: menstruation and cycle length

To make it easier to get pregnant, you should note the first day of your last menstrual period and the length of your monthly cycle, ie from the first day of menstruation to the onset of the following menstrual period, in your ovulation calendar. You can also record information about bleeding between periods, pain or when you had sexual intercourse. This will give you a better idea of ​​​​when having sex could lead to you becoming pregnant.

Measure recovery temperature

There are several indicators of the days when the woman can become pregnant. One of them is this: the corpus luteum hormone progesterone acts on the temperature center in the brain and causes the woman’s temperature to rise slightly. This happens in the second half of the cycle, about a day or two after ovulation.

In order to get pregnant using this temperature method, it is important that you always take the temperature at the same time before you get up. Transfer this basal body temperature to a curve sheet in your cycle calendar. If you’ve done this every day for a few months, you can predict when you’ll ovulate fairly well. But be careful: alcohol, lack of sleep and infections can affect the temperature and interfere with the result.

cervical mucus and cervix

In addition to temperature, you should test the consistency of cervical mucus (Billings method) and cervix daily. Both provide additional information about ovulation and the best days to get pregnant.

The cervical mucus comes from the glands in the neck of the uterus and can be easily removed with two fingers at the vaginal entrance. Shortly after the menstrual period, it is hardly or not at all present. It then becomes flaky to sticky and appears yellowish-white. If the mucus is transparent, relatively liquid and forms a thin thread when you pull your thumb and forefinger apart, you are about to ovulate. In this consistency, it makes it easier for sperm to move forward and helps with getting pregnant. Shortly after ovulation, the mucus changes again – it becomes tough and white again.

You can also use your fingers to check the firmness and position of the cervix. With a little practice, you will be able to distinguish between a high and a low cervix, and between a soft and firm cervix. If the cervix is ​​soft, slightly dilated and is slightly higher in the vaginal opening, you are fertile and can get pregnant. After menstruation, on the other hand, the cervix is ​​tight and closed.

Getting pregnant: technical aids

Cycle computers have been around since the 1980s. Some measure temperature or mucus, others measure hormone levels in the urine. Cycle apps for smartphones (NFP apps) are now also available. All of these tools are designed to help women identify ovulation and facilitate pregnancy. As long as there are no studies, they are unsuitable as contraceptives (even if they are often advertised as contraceptive computers).

What is the best way to get pregnant?

If you have entered all the data collected daily in the cycle table for a few months and possibly supplemented with data from technical aids, you can predict your fertile days in the coming cycle. If you want to get pregnant, you shouldn’t have sexual intercourse until ovulation, but a few days before.

Getting pregnant: tips

The following points can help you get pregnant:

  • Pleasure killer: Don’t just think about having children when it comes to sex, it should also be fun!
  • how often sex To get pregnant, about every third day (without cycle control) is a good value.
  • Positions lying down promise more success.
  • Lubricant for fertility: A sperm-friendly pH value of the lubricant is said to make it easier to get pregnant.

Fertility-promoting for men and women are:

  • Healthy lifestyle: sport, exercise, no stress
  • No alcohol, nicotine and drug abuse
  • Vitamin rich diet
  • Weight reduction if overweight or weight gain if underweight

And don’t forget: even if you really want to have children, it’s advisable not to put pressure on yourself – it can make it more difficult to get pregnant .

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