A: Many women are surprised when they do not become pregnant the first month they try. There's no reason to be concerned, however. Most obstetricians will tell you it usually takes several months to become pregnant.
Getting pregnant can be the easiest or most frustrating event in your life. All these years you've tried to avoid pregnancy and now you are ready to get pregnant. The first thing to remember is that most couples will get pregnant (85% get pregnant within 12 months of unprotected intercourse).
For the 15% who do not, there are a variety of tests to help decipher the cause and help them conceive.
Remember, every woman has her own unique cycle. A cycle refers to the number of days between the beginnings of two consecutive menstrual periods. We will use a “standard” twenty-eight day cycle as our example, but the rules will apply to cycles of 21-40 (or more) days as well.
The release of an egg (known as ovulation) occurs around fourteen days before the beginning of the next menstrual period. Ovulation is the period of maximum fertility. In the case of a twenty-eight day cycle, ovulation would most likely occur 14 days after the first day of a menstrual period, regardless of the number of days of menstrual flow. This is where your ovulation kit comes in useful; I was surprised that I ovulated every 13 days with a 28-day cycle).
At ovulation, there are other signs that may be present. The cervical mucous becomes very thin and clear, resembling a raw egg white.
Another sign is the onset of a sharp or dull aching in the right or left lower part of your abdomen, which can last from 12-36 hours. This occurs when an egg is being released from the ovary.
Another way to determine the time of ovulation is to do a home ovulation predictor test. This simple urine test, available at many drug stores, can predict ovulation 24-36 hours in advance. Many women never have ovulation pain; so don't worry if you do not.
Intercourse should occur on a regular basis around the time of ovulation. I have always suggested trying to have relations every 24-48 hours, starting two days before you expect ovulation. In order to account for the occasional irregular month, I recommend continuing this regimen for a few days past your expected ovulation.
Have your man abstain from sex or ejaculating for about 4 days prior to the time you are ovulating. Some studies have shown that this may help increase sperm numbers and mobility of sperm.
The old boxer verses briefs for helping your man be fertile has been shown to not be a significant factor. (Oh well, for those of us who used that method while trying to conceive).
If you and your partner have been trying for more than a year without success then it is time to seek outside help. You should make an appointment with your gynecologist or an infertility specialist if you are over the age of thirty-five. They will do a complete exam and testing; often blood testing at a various times of your menstrual cycle.
Your partner should also see his own physician or an urologist for a sperm count and sometimes a blood test for his testosterone level. Many problems are easily treated once they are identified.
For couples having unprotected intercourse:
* 50% will be pregnant in 4 months
* 75% will be pregnant in 8 months
* 85 - 90% will be pregnant in 1 year
Plan on the process taking several months, relax, and enjoy. While trying to get pregnant, use an over-the counter ovulation kit so you know when you are ovulating. Of course you can buy them online also.
Good luck to you both! For the signs and symptoms of pregnancy, go there...