Fertility is the ability to conceive through sexual intercourse between a man and a woman, or through methods such as assisted reproductive technology. A boost in FSH and LH sends a signal to the ovarian follicle to release an egg (ovulate). Ovulation on average occurs around day 14 of the menstrual cycle although the exact timing varies among women and from month to month. After the egg is released, it is picked up by the fallopian tube where it remains conceivable for about 24 hours. For conception to occur, sperm enters the body usually through sexual intercourse. Then, it must travel through the vagina, into the uterus and up into the fallopian tube to unite with the egg. Sperm are viable for up to 72 hours. If fertilization occurs, the fertilized egg travels down to the uterus and implants itself into the uterine wall, which develops into an embryo and then a fetus over a 40-week period.
Women who desire to have a regular examination of fertility can think for one of the options.
Keeping a fertility calendar: Women chart their menstrual cycles on a calendar by noting the days their period begins and ends. In women with a 28-day cycle, ovulation occurs about 14 days after the day the last period began. Tracking ovulation can be difficult, however, because numerous factors such as stress and illness can impact the timing of ovulation.
Using an ovulation monitoring kit: These kits provide an accurate way to detect the time of ovulation, they can be costly, ranging from $20 to $50 apiece. They may also lead couples to time sex to occur too late after ovulation for conception.
Tracking basal body temperature at rest: Body temperature can be measured using an oral thermometer that can be purchased at a pharmacy. Women using this technique should take their temperature at the same time each morning and identify patterns that emerge over the course of a month.
Women to maintain the fertility practice different methods, few methods are recommended.
- Couples trying to conceive should have sex frequently (twice a week). Around the time a woman is ovulating, the frequency should increase to once a day.
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by consulting a physician can help identify lifestyle changes that improve chances of conceiving and healthy pregnancy.
- Use of prenatal vitamin or folic acid supplements at least one month before conception through the first trimester of pregnancy can reduce the risk of some abnormal birth of baby.
- Women should quit smoking because tobacco changes the cervical mucus, which may prevent sperm from reaching the egg.
- Women should avoid drinking alcohol if they are trying to conceive or are pregnant.
- Patients should consult physicians before taking any medication to determine
whether it will impact conception.