Conception

I want a baby!

Once the decision to have a baby has been taken, you hope that the process of trying to conceive will not last for ages. If you are lucky, you will soon know the joy of bearing a child.

For those wishing to get pregnant as rapidly as possible, here is everything you need to know!

Identify the fertility period

The first thing couples must know when deciding to have a child is identifying their fertility period and making sure that sexual intercourse is occurring during that crucial time frame.

Ovulation

Ovulation in women occurs only once every cycle and the ovum produced lives for an average of eight to twelve hours, with a maximum lifespan of 24 hours. Although a second ovulation is possible, it always occurs within the 24 hours following the first one. In essence, the fertilization time span limits itself to a few hours per cycle, reinstating the importance of not missing it!

In order to identify the ovulation period properly, you must pay extra attention to the changes in your cervical mucus (substance secreted by the uterine cervix) and cervix. As you approach ovulation, the cervical mucus becomes more abundant, clear, liquid, slippery and stretchy, with the appearance raw egg whites. It is also possible to note an intensified lubrication of the vulva. As for the uterine cervix, it characteristically becomes softer, open, high and straight. Self-palpation will allow you to feel the changes typically seen in the cervix during ovulation. Other symptoms are worth mentioning, such as: lower abdominal pains on the left or right side, a pinkish vaginal discharge and an increase in libido. Once you have observed these different signs of fertility in our body, the time is ideal for an increase in sexual activity.

Sperm

In men, an ejaculation contains approximately 200 million sperms, each having a life span of about two to five days. Therefore, if sexual intercourse has not occurred at the exact time of ovulation but rather on the night before for example, your chances of conceiving are still quite high. However, it is possible for some men to produce semen that is less concentrated or contains sperm of lesser quality, affecting their fertility. In this case, accurately targeting the ovulation period is all the more crucial.

Sympto-thermal test

The best way to fully understand our fertility period is to try the sympto-thermal test with the help of a chart. This test consists of taking note of a few observations and writing them down in a chart. For example, first thing in the morning, take note of your body temperature, changes in cervical mucus and uterine cervix and other symptoms relevant to ovulation. Taking your body temperature will allow you to recognize ovulation and eventually, a pregnancy. As a matter of fact, body temperature is lower at the beginning of the menstrual cycle (a cycle begins with the first day of your period).

Around ovulation time, your temperature begins to rise and remains higher for approximately 14 days. At this time in the cycle, if fertilization has not occurred, your body temperature will fall and a new period will begin. However, if you have a fertilized ovum, your body temperature will continue to rise.

In order to use the sympto-thermal method properly, it is recommended to attend a Seréna Québec workshop. Throughout the two-hour workshop, they will make sure that you are provided with the necessary information in order to use the sympto-thermal test by yourself. Teachers can also provide further advice concerning fertility and remain available for follow-ups.

Tricks to help increase fertility

Believe it or not, there are ways to increase our fertility even before initiating the process of conception. For example, few people are aware of the important impacts of having a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Leading a healthy lifestyle can not only elevate our chances of conceiving, but also decrease the risk of miscarriage, thus making this aspect of the pre-pregnancy period a priority.

Tobacco and alcohol

First of all, it is important to state that alcohol consumption and smoking, in both men and women, can have a severe negative impact on conception, as well as increasing the risk of miscarriage. Consequently, it is strongly recommended to quit smoking and to practice moderate alcohol consumption four months before conceiving.

Healthy eating

Nutrition is also crucial. It is important to eat a large variety of vegetables, choose whole grain cereals and limit your sugar and fat intake. In other words, you should follow the usual nutritional recommendations. Certain nutritional deficiencies can be compensated by the use of specific natural products and vitamins.

Pollution

Another important aspect, although quite difficult to control, is pollution. With time, we recognize the increasing role of pollution on the general decrease in fertility. Products we buy often contain an alarming amount of toxic products that enter the body.

Stress

Finally, you must not forget the important impact that stress has on both partners. Sleeping well and long enough, as well as exercising moderately, are also very important.

Testicle: beware of heat

A last piece of advice, this time for men: make sure your testicles are kept at a good temperature. Men should avoid very hot baths and wearing tight underwear.

Tips to increase your chances of conception

Now that the fertility period no longer has any secrets for you and that you are in top shape, what else can you do to increase your chances?

Resting period

First of all, you must also respect the male rhythm. Men need about 36 hours after ejaculation to reproduce a sufficient amount of high-quality sperm. In other words, sexual relations occurring too closely in time can compromise the semen’s quality.

Position

To conceive, the missionary position (woman on her back, man on top) is the most favourable. The penis’ back and forth movement is crucial to distribute the cervical mucus evenly in the vagina. As a matter of fact, the mucus allows sperm to survive and travel. Due to the fact that 60 to 70% of the sperm is contained in the first few drops of semen, it is preferable to put an end to the back and forth movement during ejaculation, in order to deposit the sperm as closely as possible to the uterine cervix. Furthermore, it is also recommended for the man to withdraw his penis rapidly after ejaculating. At that moment, the woman brings her knees together onto her chest and elevates her hips for a certain time. Ideally, the woman should have her orgasm immediately after the man; the uterine contractions will help direct the sperm towards the interior of her uterus.

It’s also important to avoid vaginal showers and vaginal creams, which often contain spermicides.

Although these recommendations are very technical, the most important part must not be forgotten: PLEASURE! Making a baby is a wonderful act; it would be a pity to forget these marvellous moments because of programmed sexual relations where all complicity has been set aside.

In addition, it is important to remind yourself that fertility cannot be entirely controlled and patience is key. Some couples live the joys of conceiving very rapidly. However, for most couples, many months are necessary before being blessed with a baby. In the meantime, enjoy your lovemaking and do not be afraid to spice things up and break the routine!

Seréna

Seréna Québec has refined the Symptothermal Method, a science-based fertility awareness method which empowers (ourselves, not an algorithm) to precisely identify the infertile phase and the fertile phase of each cycle, with 3 signs to observe and interpret in correlation: basal body temperature, cervical fluid and cervix. Users will adapt their sexual practices according to their objective (contraception or trying to conceive) during the fertile window. Recognized by the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services and supervised by consulting physicians and scientists, Seréna Québec’s team and certified volunteers provide these services: Information service Teaching-sessions and follow-ups Conferences Training for professionals In these 5 fields of intervention : menstrual cycle’s health natural birth control natural conception return of fertility after birth perimenopause Adress : 6646 Saint-Denis, Montréal, Québec, H2S 2R9 Web site, Facebook page, DirectionCommunicationCoordination  

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