Plan your pregnancy
Thinking about getting pregnant get your self-involved eating the right food, changing your lifestyle, boosting your fertility, and at last pregnancy planning.
Take a supplement of folic acid every day while you’re trying to get pregnant, and up until you’re 12 weeks pregnant.
Stopping smoking is the key to smoking leads to various health problems especially related to fertility.
Don’t drink alcohol if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
Maintain a balanced diet and keep yourself healthy. A healthy diet that provides all the necessary nutrients for the developing fetus increases the chances of a healthy pregnancy.
Knowing the basic physiology of pregnancy can increase a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. Understand how women’s body functions in every monthly cycle and calculate the best time to get pregnant.
Pregnancy planning begins even before conception for many women. First, you need to understand your body.
Menstruation is a spontaneous cyclic (monthly) physiological shedding of the internal lining of the uterine cavity (endometrium) due to an invisible interplay of female hormones. In simple terms, it is regular monthly bleeding that a woman experiences. The first menstruation occurs usually at the age of 12 – 15 years. It is also called ‘menarche’. For the past couple of decades, the age of menarche is gradually declining with the improvement of nutritious and environmental conditions.
- Once, the menstruation starts, it continues cyclically at an interval of 22 – 35 days with a mean of 28 days.
- Physiologically, it stops during pregnancy and lactation.
- Ultimately, it ceases between the ages of 45 – 50 years when menopause sets in.
- The duration of menstruation (menses) is about 4 – 5 days and the amount of blood loss is estimated to be 20 – 80 ml with an average of 50ml.
- The menstrual discharge consists of mainly dark altered blood, mucus, vaginal epithelial cell fragments of the endometrium, prostaglandin, enzymes, and bacteria.
- Usually, at the midcycle, a mature egg is released (ovulation). If it gets fertilized, the menses ceases. Thus the absence of menstruation suggests that pregnancy has occurred.
Ovulation is a process by which a mature egg (mature Graffian follicle after secondary oocyte is released) is released from the surface of the ovary to be available for fertilization viz. conception. Usually, only one mature egg is released in each ovarian cycle.
In relation to the menstrual period, the event occurs 14 days prior to the expected date of menses. However, menstruation can occur without ovulation.
Fertility is very high during mid-cycle, for the same reason.
Ovulation remains suspended during pregnancy and lactation.
Following ovulation, the mature egg (ovum) is picked up into the fallopian tube and undergoes further maturation, if fertilization has occurred or degeneration if it does not get fertilized.
Following ovulation, the ruptured follicle undergoes a change called corpus luteum formation, which secretes the hormone progesterone.
Menstruation is unrelated to ovulation and no ovulation during the menstrual cycle is quite common during young age (adolescence), following childbirth, and in women approaching menopause.
Fertilization is the process of the meeting (after mating) of the sperm with a mature egg.
It begins with sperm-egg collision and ends with a formation of life called zygote (single mononucleated cell mass)
The ovum immediately following ovulation is picked up by the fimbrial end of the fallopian tube and is rapidly transported to the ampullary part of the tube.
Out of hundreds of millions of sperms deposited in the vagina after intercourse, only a thousand specialized sperms enter the uterine tube while only 300 – 500 reach the egg.
Out of this elite community, only one lucky member is allowed to get into the mature egg.
The sperm either contains (22 X) or (22 Y) pattern of chromosomes while the egg contains 22 X only.
The sex of the child is determined by the pattern of the sex chromosome supplied by the sperm.
If the sperm contains (22 X) a girl child (46 XX) is formed if it contains (22 Y) a boy child (46 XY) is formed.
The fertile period is the period around ovulation, during which if relations are kept, the chances of pregnancy are high. In order to improve the chances of pregnancy, it is important to understand how to calculate the fertile period.
Calculation of a fertile period:
Mark the day 1 of your menses on a calendar. Do this for the next 6 -8 cycles.
Note the length of the longest cycle and the shortest cycle.
Subtract 18 from the length of the shortest cycle. Say you get a figure “X”
Subtract 11 from the length of the longest cycle. Say you get a figure “Y”.
So the period you obtain between “X” and “Y” is the fertile period.
For e.g.Your shortest cycle is of 28 days, and the longest cycle is of 30 days.
So your fertile period is from the 10th day to the 19th day.
As you know, ovulation occurs approximately 14+ or -2 days before the next menstrual period. So the highest fertility period is around ovulation time i.e. mid-cycle.
The lifespan of the mature egg is approximately 48 hours (2 days) while the lifespan of the sperm is approximately 72 hours (3 days). So even when the relations are kept on day 10 or 11 of the menstrual cycle success can be achieved.
Suggested Read: Photo Shoot With A Pregnant Woman As A Model