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Best time to get pregnant
The Best Time To Get Pregnant
  • Between 12 to 16 days before a period starts most women ovulate, which means an egg is released from the ovary and begins its journey down the Fallopian tube towards the uterus. While a man may produce millions of sperm at a go, only one single sperm is needed to fertilise the egg, so the first sperm to penetrate the egg's outer membrane will be the one responsible for fertilisation. And while sperm can live for up to a week an egg only survives for about a day, so there is only a short time during a woman's menstrual cycle that fertilisation can happen. The most likely time for a woman to become pregnant is around the time she ovulates. These are some of the ways you can find out when you are likely to ovulate:
  • Work out how long your menstrual cycle is. Every woman has a different length cycle but on average it is about 28 days. Ovulation usually occurs around 14 days before the start of your period.
  • The fluid discharged from the vagina (cervical mucus) also changes throughout the menstrual cycle. This mucus will become wetter, thinner and more slippery around the time of ovulation.
  • You can also try an ovulation predictor kit, available from pharmacies. This type of kit measures levels of a hormone in the woman's urine and will tell you when you are likely to ovulate.
Stop Smoking!
Trying to become pregnant and having a baby is the best incentive for giving up smoking for mothers and their partners. Just two of the known effects of smoking during pregnancy are an increase in the risk of miscarriage or premature birth and a smaller birth-weight baby. Men who smoke are still exposing their partners and baby to the harmful effects of smoking, and men who smoke also tend to produce fewer sperm than non-smokers. We now know that children whose parents smoke are more likely to develop asthma and chest complaints - and a smoky environment is also believed to be a one of the risk factors in cot death.
You can also discuss the possibility of further investigations at a specialist fertility clinic. Infertility treatment on the National Heath Service varies in different health authorities, so you will need to discuss the type of treatment available to you with your GP
Reduce your alcohol intake
If you are trying to become pregnant, you also need to consider how much alcohol you drink as excessive alcohol can reduce fertility and the ability to conceive. Once you are pregnant you also need to reduce your alcohol intake, as it passes straight through the placenta into the baby's blood stream. High levels of alcohol can affect your baby's development, and in extreme cases cause Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, which causes lifelong physical and developmental problems. Small amounts of alcohol, however, are not thought to be harmful in pregnancy. If you don't want to give up completely then the safest approach is to reduce your alcohol consumption to no more than one or two units of alcohol once or twice a week and avoid binge drinking.
Problems With Conceiving
There are many reasons why you might have difficulty becoming pregnant. We tend to assume that getting pregnant will happen as matter of course, but it can take any amount of time. As a general rule, if you have been trying to conceive for over a year without success or you are over 35 and have been trying for more than six months, then discussing things with your GP might be worthwhile. He or she can do some simple tests and outline the various treatment options available.