Cervical mucus is a viscous substance produced in the cervix. The cervical mucus is the protective barrier of the uterus.
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How Cervical Mucus Helps Predict Your Most Fertile Days?
There are many ovulation predictor kits on the market, but there’s one inside every woman that’s absolutely free. Cyclical changes in the secretions produced by the cervix provide a simple, easy way for women to monitor their cycles–and their most fertile times. As opposed to the change in basal body temperature that occurs after ovulation, the change in cervical mucus (CM) occurs several days prior to ovulation, giving women the opportunity to time intercourse for conception. For most of the cycle, CM acts as a barrier to sperm. It protects the cervix chemically–with white blood cells fighting foreign bodies–and mechanically–acting as a plug and closing the cervical canal. But during the fertile phase, the consistency and composition of CM changes. Instead of being a barrier, CM now aids and accelerates the sperms’ passage through the cervix. CM during the fertile phase also extends sperm longevity, allowing them to live for up to five days within the female body. The CM even acts as a quality control device, screening the sperm and catching any with irregular or curved swimming. By observing CM pinpoint the fertile phase, women can help increase their chances of conception. Changes in Cervical Mucus Changes in CM will indicate the days leading up to ovulation, and sexual intercourse during this time will ensure that sperm—nourished by fertile phase CM—will be present when the egg is released. What to Look For A woman can monitor her CM by feel or appearance. The sensation of CM in the vagina–dry, moist, or wet–is one clue to follow for detecting impending ovulation. The color (white, creamy, cloudy or clear) and consistency (sticky, or smooth and slippery) are others. Women can see and feel CM when it moistens their underwear, or when they wipe themselves with toilet paper. Bearing down (such as with a bowel movement) or releasing the muscles following a Kegel exercise may release more mucus. Women can also conduct a “finger test.” To do this, a woman should first thoroughly wash her hands, then carefully insert a finger into the vagina. When the finger is removed, she can observe and note the color and consistency of the CM by stretching it out between two fingers. Because it may sometimes be difficult to distinguish between CM and semen, it’s best to test CM before intercourse or wait for a while afterward. Cervical mucus can also be altered by vaginal infections, medication, and birth control. The chart below gives information for de-coding CM to detect ovulation. Phase Sensation CM Appearance Pre-ovulatory Dry No visible mucus. Fertile Moist or sticky White or cream-colored, thick to slightly stretchy. Breaks easily when stretched. Highly Fertile Slippery, wet, lubricated Increase in amount. Thin, watery, transparent, like egg white. Post-ovulatory Dry or sticky Sharp decrease in amount. Thick, opaque white or cream-colored. Content and Feature Image Source
Signs And Symptoms Of Pregnancy Implantation
Below are some of the symptoms associated with pregnancy implantation. However, not all women experience these symptoms, and a pregnancy test is the only sure-shot way of finding out whether you are pregnant. Additionally, many of these symptoms must continue for at least a week after the ovulation cycle is over. 1. Bleeding/Spotting Implantation spotting is the most reliable indicator that implantation has taken place. Light, short bleeding without regular period cramps are a sign of implantation. However, spotting may also be a result of sexual intercourse due to increased sensitivity of the cervix. 2. Cramping The process that takes place within your body leads to implantation cramping. However, this pain can be differentiated from menstrual cramping as its intensity is lesser. One aspect to be noted is that cramping isn’t the result of the physical embedding as it is too tiny to make such an impact. The mild cramping is a result of the hormonal changes that take place within the body after implantation. 3. Soreness of the Breasts After implantation, hormones begin to send chemical messages to the body to prepare itself for pregnancy. In response, the breasts start becoming tender and swollen. You may experience some soreness because of this. 4. Increased Basal Body Temperature Basal Body Temperature (BBT) is the temperature of your body during a state of inactivity. Many women who are actively trying to get pregnant have a BBT chart to track their ovulation. The best time to take this measurement is right after waking up. When you are ovulating, the BBT increases due to the increased progesterone levels. During implantation, there is a dip in the BBT to below 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, after which there is a dramatic rise in temperature. 5. Frequent Urination The implantation leads to a flurry of activities taking place within the body, one of which is an increase of blood flow to the pelvis. This puts stress on the bladder making you feel the need to urinate often. However, this is associated with menstrual cycles as well and is not a guarantee for implantation. 6. Food Craving or Aversion The surge in hormones could make you crave a specific food item that you don’t usually eat. Alternatively, you might feel an intense aversion to food items that you eat on a regular basis. 7. Hot Flashes This can happen due to the dynamic change in hormones that takes place during implantation. 8. Cervical Mucus There will be a marked increase in your mucus flow due to an increase in hormones that will stimulate the cervix. 9. Mood Swings You will experience rapidly changing emotions that can range from crying one minute to being elated the next minute. This is on account of the changes in your hormones. However, these are also pre-menstrual symptoms and do not guarantee implantation. Content Source Featured Image Source
Fertility test for women
If you and your partner are trying to have a baby but haven't been able to, you may start to wonder if you should get fertility tests. Experts say it's time to check with a doctor if you've had regular sex without birth control for 12 months if you are under the age of 35 and for 6 months if you are over 35. It's important for the two of you to go for testing together. When you see your doctor, he'll probably start by asking questions about your health and lifestyle. He'll want to know things about you and your partner like: Medical history, including any long-term conditions or surgeries Medicines you take Whether you smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, eat or drink things with caffeine, or use illicit drugs If you had contact with chemicals, toxins, or radiation at home or work He'll also want to know about your sex life, such as: How often you have sex Your history of birth control use If you've had sexually transmitted diseases Any problems having sex Whether either of you had sex outside the relationship Your doctor will also have questions about things connected with your periods, such as: Have you been pregnant before? How often have you had periods over the last year? Have you had irregular and missed periods or had spotting between periods? Did you have any changes in blood flow or the appearance of large blood clots? What methods of birth control have you used? Have you ever seen a doctor for infertility, and did you get any treatment? Infertility Tests for Women There is no single best test for infertility. Doctors use a variety of ways to identify any problems that might help cause fertility trouble. You may get a Pap smear. It can detect cervical cancer, other problems with the cervix, or sexually transmitted diseases. Any of these can interfere with getting pregnant. To get pregnant, you need to release an egg each month -- called "ovulation." You may need tests that check for that. Your doctor may ask you to take a urine test at home for luteinizing hormone, or LH. This hormone shows up in high levels just before you ovulate. Your doctor also may check levels of the hormone progesterone in your blood. Increases in progesterone show that you are ovulating. On your own, you can check your body temperature each morning. Basal body temperature rises a bit just after ovulation. By checking it each morning, you'll learn your pattern of ovulation over several months. Your doctor may also run tests on your thyroid, or check for other hormonal problems, to rule out conditions that might cause missed or irregular ovulation. Tests of Reproductive Organs Before you can get pregnant, your uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries all need to work right. Your doctor may suggest different procedures that can check the health of these organs: Hysterosalpingogram (HSG). Also called a "tubogram," this is a series of X-rays of your fallopian tubes and uterus. The X-rays are taken after your doctor injects liquid dye through the vagina. Another method uses saline and air instead of dye and an ultrasound. The HSG can help you learn if your fallopian tubes are blocked or if you have any defects of your uterus. The test is usually done just after your menstrual period. Transvaginal ultrasound. A doctor places an ultrasound "wand" into the vagina and brings it close to the pelvic organs. Using sound waves, he'll be able to see images of the ovaries and uterus to check for problems there. Hysteroscopy. Your doctor puts a thin, flexible tube -- with a camera on the end -- through the cervix and into the uterus. He can see problems there and take tissue samples if needed. Laparoscopy. Your doctor makes small cuts in your belly and inserts tools, including a camera. This surgery can check your entire pelvis and potentially correct problems, such as endometriosis, a disease that affects the uterus. Other Infertility Tests A doctor may order other tests to check for fertility problems. You may get a blood test to check your levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH, which triggers your ovaries to prepare an egg for release each month. High FSH can mean lower fertility in women. The FSH blood levels get checked early in your menstrual cycle (often on day 3). Clomiphene citrate challenge testing can be done with the FSH test. You take a pill of clomiphene citrate on the fifth through ninth days of your menstrual cycle. FSH gets checked on day 3 (before you take the medicine) and on day 10 (after). High FSH levels suggest you have lower chances of getting pregnant. Your doctor may also suggest a blood test to check for a hormone called inhibin B. Levels may be lower in women with fertility problems, but experts are divided about whether the test can predict infertility. Take this assessment to find out if there are other health care providers who can help with your symptoms. Another exam is called postcoital testing. Your doctor examines your cervical mucus after you've had sex. Some studies suggest it may not be so useful. Your doctor may also recommend an endometrial biopsy. In this procedure, he takes a sample of tissue from the lining of your uterus. But evidence is mounting that endometrial biopsy is not helpful in predicting or treating infertility. You may not need to have all these tests. Your doctor can discuss with you which ones are best in your situation. After the testing is done, about 85% of couples will have some idea about why they're having trouble getting pregnant. content source
5 Ways to tell you are Ovulating
When you're trying to conceive, your ovulation dates are of utmost importance. Here's how to find out if you're ovulating: 1. Check the calendar: Keep a menstrual cycle calendar for a few months so you can get an idea of what's normal for you — or use tools that can help you calculate ovulation. If your periods are irregular, you'll need to be even more alert for other ovulation signs. 2. Listen to your body: If you're like 20 percent of women, your body will send you a memo when it's ovulating, in the form of a twinge of pain or a series of cramps in your lower abdominal area (usually localized to one side — the side you're ovulating from). Called mittelschmerz — German for "middle pain" — this monthly reminder of fertility is thought to be the result of the maturation or release of an egg from an ovary. Pay close attention, and you may be more likely to get the message. 3. Track your temperature: Your basal body temperature, or BBT, that is. Taken with a special, basal body thermometer, basal body temperature is the baseline reading you get first thing in the morning, after at least three to five hours of sleep and before you get out of bed, talk or even sit up. Your BBT changes throughout your cycle as fluctuations in hormone levels occur. During the first half of your cycle, estrogen dominates. During the second half after ovulation, there's a surge in progesterone, which increases your body temperature as it gets your uterus ready for a fertilized, implantable egg. That means your temperature will be lower in the first half of the month than it is in the second half. Confused? Here's the bottom line: Your basal body temperature will reach its lowest point at ovulation and then rise immediately about a half a degree as soon as ovulation occurs. 4. Get to know your cervix: Ovulation isn't an entirely hidden process. As your body senses the hormone shifts that indicate an egg is about to be released from the ovary, it begins prepping for the incoming hordes of sperm to give the egg its best chance of being fertilized. One detectable sign is the position of the cervix itself. During the beginning of a cycle, your cervix — that neck-like passage between your vagina and uterus that has to stretch during birth to accommodate your baby's head — is low, firm and closed. But as ovulation approaches, it pulls back up, softens a bit and opens just a little, to let the sperm through on their way to their target. Some women can easily feel these changes, while others have a tougher time. Check your cervix daily, using one or two fingers, and keep a record of your observations. The other cervical sign you can watch for is mucus changes. Cervical mucus, which you'll notice as discharge, carries the sperm to the ovum deep inside you. 5. Buy an ovulation predictor kit: Don't want to mess around with mucus? You don't have to. Many women use ovulation predictor kits, which identify the date of ovulation 12 to 24 hours in advance by looking at levels of luteinizing hormone, or LH, the last of the hormones to hit its peak before ovulation. All you have to do is pee on a stick and wait for the indicator to tell you whether you're about to ovulate. Just remember: No kit can guarantee that you will get pregnant or you're actually ovulating; they can only indicate when ovulation may happen. So no matter which method you choose, patience and persistence are key! Just don't forget to put together a candlelit dinner, draw a warm bubble bath or plan a romantic weekend getaway — whatever it is that puts you and your partner in the baby-making mood. Content Source Featured Image Source
How to Get Pregnant Fast
People have a variety of different reasons for wanting to conceive quickly. Maybe you want to space your children a certain number of years apart. Maybe you are trying to beat your biological clock. You might want to get pregnant because your partner is in the military, and you'd like to conceive before deployment. Or, you may just be eager to become a parent. However, it's important to realize these tips will not work for everyone. Unfortunately, pregnancy isn't something that can be planned exactly. If you can't get pregnant as quickly as you'd like, don't blame yourself. Keep in mind that one in 10 couples will experience infertility. The good news is that there is help out there. Discontinue Your Birth Control Obviously, if you want to get pregnant, you need to stop using birth control. What you may not know is that you may need time for your fertility to return. It depends on what kind of birth control you were using. With most forms of birth control, your fertility will return the next cycle after you stop using it. There may be a few bumpy months while your cycle regulates itself, but it’s also possible to get pregnant your first official fertile month. However, it’s not always a simple and quick process. If you have an implant or an IUD, you’ll need to schedule a doctor appointment for removal. That takes time. It may also take a few months for your cycles to regulate after hormonal IUD removal. (With the copper only IUDs, your fertility should return quickly.) If you’ve been on the birth control shot, it may take several months for your fertility to return. Talk to your doctor so you have realistic expectations when you can start trying to get pregnant. Have Lots of Sex Having sex often for the entire month is good for baby making. Every other day or every two days is a good amount, according to research and the opinion of the Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. You could aim to have sex every day of your cycle, but for most people, this will lead to burnout, and it's really not necessary. Having sex at least three to four times a week boosts your chances for success because it increases having sex on your most fertile days. If you're only aiming for ovulation and you make a mistake, you may lose that month. If you have sex every other day or every two days, you're likely to have sex at least once, if not twice, during your most fertile time. Frequent sex improves sperm health, too. Healthier swimmers mean you'll be more likely to conceive. Optimize Your Baby-Making Sex You may be able to get pregnant faster if you optimize your conception sex. One important thing to be aware of is that regular personal lubricants, like Astroglide and KY Jelly, are harmful to sperm. The best lubricant for conception is your own cervical fluid. But if this is an issue for you, there are sperm-friendly options available, such as mineral oil, canola oil, or hydroxyethylcellulose-based lubricants such as Pre-Seed and ConceivEase. Research has found that sexual arousal plays a role in how much sperm is ejaculated. Female orgasm may also help with conception. Having passionate sex may help you get pregnant faster as well. That said, don’t stress about having an orgasm. It’s not required! Use an Ovulation Predictor Kit or Ovulation Monitor Your most fertile days are the two days prior to ovulation. You can figure out which days these are through several methods, including charting your body basal temperature, checking for fertile cervical mucus, tracking cervical changes, and using a saliva ferning microscope. The problem with all these methods is they have a steep learning curve. For BBT charting, figuring out how to get your temps right in the morning and interpreting your chart is an issue. You may have an easier time using ovulation predictor kits or ovulation monitors. Ovulation tests work like pregnancy tests. You pee on a stick or strip of paper to get a result. They are a little more difficult to interpret than pregnancy tests, so read the instructions carefully. Ovulation monitors take much of the learning curve out of ovulation tests. The digital device tells you when you're most fertile. They are more expensive, though, so you may want to combine charting with ovulation predictor kits. Content Source: Feature Image Source: