Hints and Tips
Ideally, to conceive a baby you should have intercourse on the day and the day after you see the LH Surge on your ovulation test, however start trying at the beginning of your fertile window to give yourself the best chance.
On the day of ovulation, a mature egg is released from the ovary and is drawn into the Fallopian Tube where it waits to be fertilised by a Sperm. Sperm can travel two to three millimeters per minute but the speed depends on the acidity of their environment – if there is a high amount of acidity in the vagina they will swim a lot slower and may not survive. Sperm need more of an alkaline environment to be able to swim freely and easily to the egg. If you suffer from a lack of clear eggwhite cervical mucus (EWCM) around ovulation time,then we recommend a product called Conceive Plus® which is available at our online store.
Once the egg becomes fertilised,the cells within the egg divide in half and then continue to divide as it travels down the fallopian tube and into the uterus. By the time it reaches the uterus, the egg (Zygote) contains approximately 100 cells. About 6-7 days after ovulation the Zygote becomes a Blastocyst. The blastocyst will produce a hormone which will help implant itself into the lining of the uterus. Once the blastocyst has been implanted it then starts to produce a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG). Implantation usually occurs between days 6-10 (post ovulation) but has been reported to take place as early as 4 days post ovulation.
Boy or Girl
It is believed that if you have intercourse closer to ovulation you will have an increased chance of conceiving a boy because the male sperm swim faster. However, if you have intercourse 3-4 days before ovulation your chances of conceiving a girl are increased because the female sperm is more durable and can survive longer. Having said that, there are many factors that play a huge part in determining the gender of your baby and what may work for some, won’t work for others. There are some great books available to help guide you through the gender selection process. Obviously nothing is ever guaranteed, but you can always give it a try!
Top 10 Conception Hints
- Take Folic Acid (3 months prior to conception to reduce the chances of the baby having Neural tube defects)
- The male partner should take a Multi Vitamin, particularly one that contains Zinc (to increase sperm production and produce healthy sperm)
- Keep track of your cycle dates
- Chart your basal body temperature (BBT) daily so you know what is happening in your cycle
- Look for Egg White Cervical Mucus (EWCM) (this is a great indicator to tell if you are in your fertile period, as it should stretch 10-15cm)
- Studies have shown that some lubricants can be toxic to sperm, if you require lubricant during intercourse try Conceive Plus®fertility friendly lubricant.
- Use ovulation tests to detect your Lhsurge
- Have sex frequently around ovulation but particularly on the day you detect the surge and the day after the surge.
- The best intercourse position for conception is the missionary position (man on top)
- After intercourse, it has been suggested that elevating the hips slightly by using a small pillow can assist.
Most importantly – Have Fun!
The usual ovarian cycle lasts for 28 days, however for some women this doesn’t happen and they can go for months without having a period. As every woman is different and may not have a 28 day cycle, you may need to count back 14 days from your last menstrual period to determine when you ovulated. The last 14 days of your cycle is referred to as the luteal phase. If you do not have periods, or are having trouble determining when you ovulate, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.
FAM / EWCM
Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is being used more frequently with couples trying to conceive. FAM pinpoints when a woman is most fertile, when ovulation has occurred, and when she might be pregnant. Due to its efficiency in predicting fertility, FAM can reduce the time it takes to successfully conceive from an average of 6 months to 2-3 months.
FAM is based upon the charting and analysis of certain simple body signs that vary with changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle. Specifically, waking temperature (also referred to as basal body temperature) and cervical fluid (sometimes referred to as cervical mucus) change predictably and identifiably with changes in the hormonal cycle that accompanies ovulation and menstruation.
For more information of FAM we recommend you take a look at a book called ‘Taking Charge of Your Fertility’.
Please note, the importance of Egg White Cervical Mucus (also known as EWCM) around the time of ovulation. It looks just like egg white (clear) and will be really stretchy and may stretch between 5-15cm. This is vital in allowing the sperm to swim to the egg for fertilisation. If you do not have reasonable amounts of EWCM present during ovulation, then you may need to use additional lubricant. The sperm needs something to swim in and unfortunately regular water based lubricants can kill the sperm and also interfere with the DNA of the sperm. We recommend a product called Conceive Plus®.
Ovulation is when an egg is released from one of the ovaries. It will usually occur once per cycle but sometimes it is possible to release two eggs. It’s important to note that ovulation may not occur in all cycles. At the start of each ovarian cycle, approximately 20 ova (follicles) begin to ripen. Prior to ovulation taking place the body will experience a surge of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) which tells the body to release an egg. The largest, mature follicle will then rupture and be released.
The Luteal Phase (LP) is the second half of the cycle from Ovulation to period. This is usually at 14 days. Some women may have a 15 day LP and other’s may have a 9 or 7 day LP. If your LP is too short, then it may be a reason you are not falling pregnant, as the fertilised blastocyst does not get a chance to embed itself into the lining of the uterus before the lining is shed (period). If you do have a short LP then we recommend that you speak to your doctor to discuss options available.
Hormonal problems and conditions such as blocked tubes, Hyperprolactinemia, Fibroids, Endometriosis & PCOS may result in female infertility. The good news is that many of these conditions can be treated with medication or surgery. For more information on these conditions please speak with your Doctor. Also a book that is highly recommended discussing these Conditions is called “Conception, Pregnancy & Birth” by Dr Miriam Stoppard.
The IVF Australia website is also very helpful, with an information page describing infertility issues and the various treatment options available. If you have been trying for over a year, then this information might be useful. http://www.ivf.com.au
The Male Anatomy
A male starts producing sperm at puberty through the influence of the hormone testosterone, Luteinizing Hormone and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH). Yes, that’s right Men produceLuteinizing Hormone too! Men produce sperm approximately 90 days in advance.
A Sperm kind of looks like a tadpole and is so tiny that it cannot be seen by the naked eye. The sperm has a head and a tail that helps it “swim”. When a man ejaculates the sperm is released within a fluid called semen.
According to Dr Miriam Stoppard and her book “Conception Pregnancy & Birth’ certain occupations may effect sperm count/motility such as working with pesticides, X-ray equipment, pilots, paint solvents & heavy metals.
If a low sperm count is evident it does not mean that it is impossible to father a child. It just means that it may take a little longer to conceive and further assistance may be required.
Other problems that may contribute to male infertility are poor motility (when the sperm is less active and sluggish) and defective sperm or abnormalities (when sperm is not correctly formed. eg if there is no tale, split head, abnormal acrosomal head etc) these problems may mean the sperm can have problems reaching or penetrating the egg.
There are many procedures available to assist with the problems listed above and in particular a procedure called Sub-Zonal Insemination where the sperm is injected into the outer layer of the egg.
- Clinic Semen Analysis – You will need to get a referral from your Doctor to get this particular test. It is usually performed at a specialist clinic. Sometimes you can provide a specimen within the clinic facilities or if you live close to the facility you may be able to collect the specimen at home and drive it to the clinic.
Please Note: Lullaby Conceptions and its employees are not trained medical professionals. When taking any medications or seeking medical advice you should do so under the guidance of a trained medical practitioner.