FROM OVULATION TO PREGNANCY
What is ovulation?
Every month, your ovaries produce a group of eggs that grow inside small sacs called follicles. Ovulation is when one of these eggs ruptures its follicle – usually about two weeks before your period arrives.
Your most fertile days are those leading up to ovulation. At this time, your cervical mucus is more slippery in order to help the sperm get to the egg in time to fertilise it. Checking your cervical mucus can help you track your ovulation, so it’s useful to know how to do it. Find out how here
How does fertilisation happen?
When the egg leaves the follicle, it triggers the release of a hormone that thickens the lining of the uterus to get it ready for the arrival of the egg. Meanwhile, the egg has travelled into the fallopian tube, where it sits for 24 hours waiting to be fertilised by a sperm.
If the egg isn’t fertilised, it will pass through the uterus and disintegrate. The thickened lining of the uterus is then flushed out of your body via your period and the ovulation process starts again.
If a sperm cell survives its journey through the vagina, into the cervix, and beyond to the fallopian tube, it can penetrate the egg and fertilise it. After that, no further sperm can enter the egg.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO IMPROVE
Make small adjustments
A well-balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle can help your odds of conception and prepare your body for a successful pregnancy. Both you and your partner can reduce your alcohol intake, stop smoking, take plenty of exercise, and supplement your diet with vitamins, such as folic acid and zinc. Talk to your GP to find out what’s best for you.
Know your fertile days
Ovulation timing differs from woman to woman depending on the length of your cycle, and it can even differ from month to month. You can track your fertile days by taking an ovulation test or monitoring your cycle via an app.
You can also find out when you are fertile by looking at the consistency and colour of your vaginal discharge. This is your cervical mucus, and you can check it yourself. As you get closer to ovulation, it changes consistency to become more sperm-friendly. When it is clear and elastic like raw egg white, you’re at your most fertile. When it’s sticky or creamy, you’re less fertile.
You can also track your ovulation by monitoring your basal body temperature (your temperature at complete rest), which increases when you ovulate.
Being healthy and informed is the first step. The FERTI·LILY Conception Cup does more than help manage your lifestyle, it can help increase your chances of conception. By using it on your most fertile days, you’re improving the odds every time you try. Find out how it works
COMPLICATIONS IN CONCEIVING
How long should it take
Whether a first time pregnancy or adding to the family, it’s totally normal to have to try for a while before getting pregnant. In fact, statistically speaking, you’re more likely to conceive after trying for a year than if you’ve only been trying for a month. The cumulative probability of conceiving after three, six and twelve months of trying is estimated at 68%, 81% and 92% respectively. So keep at it!
The effects of stress
There are plenty of things to feel stressed about in busy, day-to-day life, and the pressure of trying to get pregnant can add to the anxiety. When it doesn’t happen straight away, you worry the clock is ticking and start trying everything and anything you can think of to hurry it along. But the best thing you can do is try to relax. Stress affects your fertility and worrying about it only makes it worse.
Age and fertility
When a woman is at her most fertile, aged 22, she has a 20-30% chance of conceiving each time she tries. At 35 years old her chances have decreased by up to 50%, whilst her partner’s sperm count has declined by over 30% by the time he turns 30. The fact is, the older you are, the lower the odds. But most of us aren’t trying to get pregnant at 22, and plenty of people get pregnant over the age of 35. Help give nature a nudge in the right direction by doing what you can to tilt the odds back in your favour.