Before You’ve Missed a Period
— Very Early Signs of Pregnancy —
Wondering about the really early signs of pregnancy? Do you have unusual discharge, cramping, or nausea? Â Check your symptoms against 14 of the earliest signs that might indicate that you have conceived a baby!
OPK – Is it Positive?
If you’re new to using ovulation predictor kits (opks) to find out when you are most fertile, you’re probably wondering if you’ll recognize a positive opk test when you see one!
Ovulation predictor tests are used to detect the LH surge.Â LH (shorthandÂ for luteinizing hormone)Â is the hormone that peaks when there is a mature egg ready to be released from your ovary.Â To maximize your chances to conceive a baby, you want to have intercourse before you ovulate.
This is why detecting the LH surge with a positive opk is so effective.Â You’ll get a positive OPK result (indicting the LH surge has begun) before you actually ovulate, which is the ideal time for baby making.
Conceive Baby Question:
What is the LH surge? How does Luteinizing Hormone help me conceive a baby?
The LH surge refers to rapidly increasing levels of Luteinizing Hormone in your body in the 24 to 48 hours before you ovulate. LH originates from your pituitary gland and is signaled to surge when the egg cell matures and is ready to be released for fertilization.
If you are trying to conceive, having sex when you are most fertile is obviously the fastest path to parenthood. Of course, that begs the question, exactly when are you most fertile?
Even though you can have sex anytime, there are only a few days each month you are able to conceive. In fact, the time frame for conception may be measured in mere hours, rather then days. Timing sex for when you are most fertile is crucial for getting pregnant as quickly as possible.
Ovulation and Cervical Mucus
When ovulating, your cervical mucus can give you important clues about when you are most fertile. Cervical mucus (often abbreviated CM) is your body’s natural way to make your vagina and uterus sperm-friendly, guiding and protecting the sperm on their way to your fallopian tubes and waiting egg.
Cervical secretions change throughout your cycle. When you are not close to ovulation, mucus is usually absent. You may first notice wetness in your vagina a few days after your period ends as your body prepares for ovulation. The best way to monitor your cervical mucus is by checking daily and keeping track of the results in a preconception journal. You will start to notice patterns that will help you predict ovulation and choose the best times to have sex to conceive. If you are worried your body doesn’t produce enough CM, there may be ways to naturally increase your cervical mucus.
It won’t take much time reading “trying to conceive” forums before you find mentions of the popular product Preseed.Â The main question prospective parents-to-be ask is, “does Preseed work?”
Preseed is a personal lubricant that relieves vaginal dryness without harming sperm.Â It is the only lubricant product allowed to say, â€œsafe to use when trying to conceive.â€ It is also thought to enhance or improve your natural cervical mucus and thus may aid in conceiving a baby. It’s important to note upfront that no clinical studies have been done to evaluate pregnancy outcomes in people using Preseed. The evidence in respect to using Preseed to increase your chances of getting pregnant is, at this point, anecdotal.
Cervical mucus is an important part of your ability to conceive a baby. High quality cervical mucus creates a hospitable, protective environment for sperm and is the channel sperm use to find your egg. In order to know how to increase cervical mucus, you should understand how your hormones affect your cervical secretions.
Â Hormones and Cervical Mucus
When your period ends, your vaginal secretions are acidic and harmful to sperm. Your estrogen level is very low. You will notice little or no moisture in your vagina.
- Next, FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) levels rise and your ovaries start to mature eggs for ovulation. The maturing egg follicles increase your estrogen levels.
- As your estrogen levels continue to rise, you will begin to notice a change in your vaginal secretions. Your vagina becomes moist and secretions are sticky and white or creamy.
- When your estrogen levels begin to peak, your cervical mucus discharge increases rapidly. Your cervical mucus thins out and becomes cloudy and stretchy.
- When ovulation is imminent and your estrogen levels are highest, ideally you will feel constant wetness in your vagina and have copious amounts of stretchy, slippery, translucent, cervical mucus. Fertile cervical mucus very much resembles raw egg whites and will stretch more then an inch between your fingers without breaking.
Weight and Fertility -Â The Relationship
It’s hard to think of two more loaded issues for women then weight and fertility.Â We are surrounded by messages about what we should weigh and how our bodies should look. Our fertility is intimately tied with our femininity and sense of self worth. Combine weight and fertility, and you have a powder keg of emotion.
How Weight Effects Fertility
Your weight does effect your fertility in a variety of ways, primarily with respect to your hormone balance. Â The amount of body fat you carry effects your estrogen levels. Excess body fat can lead to raised estrogen levels while too little body fat often leads to chronically low estrogen levels.