Advice from our Austin obgyns about optimizing your chances for getting pregnant
You can optimize your chances for conceiving by taking a few basic steps. Getting pregnant is the beginning of your journey to parenthood, and our Austin obgyns know how important this stage of life is to our patients. We want to help by providing the most up-to-date information.
Getting pregnant may involve identifying your fertile window
Women sometimes ask how to find their fertile window. This information isn’t difficult to find. Most women have approximately six days during their cycle to get pregnant. This window begins 5 days before ovulation and ends one day after ovulation.
For a woman with a regular menstrual cycle, the rule of thumb is that ovulation will occur about 2 weeks before her next period. This woman typically ovulates on day 14 of her cycle. A woman can track her menstrual cycle on a calendar, noting the first day of her cycle each month to ascertain how long her cycle lasts and predict the best days for getting pregnant.
Another method of predicting and tracking ovulation involves looking for changes that occur in cervical mucus during a cycle. When your cervical mucus changes to the consistency of egg whites—stretchy, clear and more abundant and slippery—it means that ovulation is getting ready to occur.
Our Austin obgyns can also show patients how to track their basal body temperature, or BBT. This involves purchasing a special thermometer to track your temperature every morning. When a woman’s temperature rises 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit or more, it means that her progesterone levels have risen and ovulation has occurred. There are on-line calculators, tools you can purchase and apps that help you track your ovulation when you are determining the best time for getting pregnant.
Patients can also purchase at-home ovulation prediction kits. These urine test kits measure the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) in a woman’s urine. When LH levels surge, this indicates that the woman will ovulate within the next 12 to 36 hours.
Timing sexual intercourse to maximize chances for getting pregnant
Our best advice about sexual intercourse? Have sexual intercourse at least 2-3 times per week anytime during the month when your goal is getting pregnant. Not only does this increase your odds of hitting your fertile period, but research has shown that abstaining from sex for longer periods of time may decrease the quality of sperm.
If you are tracking ovulation, try to have sexual intercourse during the 5 days leading to ovulation and 1 day after. There is no proof that certain sexual positions assist in getting pregnant; however, we do know that lubricants may cause a decrease in sperm’s viability. Our Austin obgyns recommend that our patients switch to natural lubricants such as canola or mineral oil or products such as Pre-Seed.