14.04.2009 Social Issues

Time to make a baby?

14.04.2009 LISTEN

Are you ready for a baby yet? There are some important things you need to know if it's your time. Here are the things your mother never told you about baby making…

Coming off contraception:
Every woman's body is different and hence, what works for one woman may not necessarily work for another, so if in doubt consult your doctor.

If you are on the pill, it is advised to wait for three normal menstrual cycles before you start trying to conceive. This helps to flush out the synthetic hormones from the body, and helps to date your pregnancy accurately. Use a condom or diaphragm in the meantime.

If you use the coil, get it removed and you can start trying straightaway.

With the injection you will also have to wait for three normal menstrual cycles before trying. Use condom or diaphragm in the meantime. You can stop using spermicides and start trying to conceive straightaway.

Factors affecting contraception:
The process of conception is nothing short of a miracle — events need to be timed correctly and…

* Your partner must be producing adequate amounts (average of 60-80 million per ml) of normal, healthy and good quality sperm.

* Your fertile days must coincide with intercourse
Ovulation is the term used to define the release of an egg (usually one, though sometimes more) from a woman's ovary.

Conception occurs when a sperm fertilises the egg. While sperm can survive for several days inside a woman's reproductive tract, an egg can only survive for up to 24 hours after ovulation. This puts a limitation on the time when conception is most likely to occur.

Apparently 20 percent of the problems in conceiving are due to a couple's failure to time intercourse correctly during the woman's fertile time period.

To increase chances of becoming pregnant, you should monitor your body's fertile time period — the time that sperm can survive within a woman's reproductive tract until ovulation and fertilisation can occur.

Your most fertile time?
A woman's most fertile period is typically several days (usually no more than 5-6) ending on the day after ovulation. Because menstrual cycles vary from one woman to another and even from one cycle to the next in the same woman, identifying a woman's fertile time period can be challenging. However there are a few methods to determine this time.

Calendar: Chart your menstrual cycle on a calendar and determine the days you are most likely to ovulate.

Basal Body Temperature (BBT): The BBT is a woman's temperature first thing in the morning, before getting up or doing any activity. In a normal menstrual cycle, a woman's BBT rises almost one degree from just after ovulation through the beginning of her next cycle.

Cervical mucus: Most of the time the cervix produces a mucus that protects the body from sperm, bacteria and other organisms. For several days each month, the consistency of the mucus changes to allow sperm to enter the fallopian tubes. By monitoring these changes, a woman can determine her fertile time period.

The next step is fertilisation, if all goes well the sperm will locate your egg and fertilise it.

Failure to concieve
The following list of reasons is just a guide of what could possibly be wrong, but make sure you consult your doctor.

Periods: Successful conception occurs around the time of ovulation and ovulation is determined on the basis of your menstrual cycle. If you have irregular periods they may be preventing you from conceiving.

Your partner's sperm: All may be fine with you but if your partner is producing too little sperm or if the quality of his sperm is poor, your chance of conception could be affected.

Fallopian tubes: The fallopian tubes are the meeting place for the sperm and the egg where fertilisation between the two occurs. If your fallopian tubes are damaged or blocked, your chances of conception are greatly reduced.

Age: If you are over 35 years your age could be the hindering factor.

Stress: Stress has become such an inseparable part of our lives that we now consider it as part of our daily schedule. If you and your partner lead stressful lives, you could be delaying conception.

Keep trying
Keep trying and follow this checklist to prepare for the time when you do conceive:

* Prepare yourself mentally for what's to come.
* Take a good look at your lifestyle and health, and remember you will have to quit smoking and give up alcohol.

* Determine whether you are immune to German measles.

* Work hard on eating a well-balanced diet.
* Start taking folic acid supplements.
Article By: Staff reporter

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