Understanding Your Ovulation Cycle

By Jenny Belle

Are you planning to start a family? As you may know, there are only a few days of the month when a woman's body is fertile, so it is important to understand how to predict your ovulation in order to get pregnant faster.

We consider the first day of your period to be the beginning of your menstrual cycle, since it is a date that can be determined with some certainty. That is also why doctors use it for projecting a future due date if you get pregnant, since most people don't know for sure when fertilization actually occurred. It would be so much more convenient if we could actually see what's going on inside!

In this new cycle, (usually) one egg starts to mature in your ovaries and prepares to get released during ovulation. The body triggers ovulation by increasing the Lutenizing Hormone (LH) in your blood stream, which is why most of urine-based ovulation tests (sometimes known casually as "pee sticks") as well as saliva ovulation sticks check for the level of LH in your bodily fluids for an indication of recent LH surge as preliminary to ovulation.

Another way of predicting your ovulation is through the charting of your basal temperature. This requires a very accurate thermometer, one that can measure your temperature to the hundreds of a degree. For charting to work correctly, you need to take your temperature immediately after you wake, before you start moving and increasing your body temperature that way. Hormonal shifts in your body will reflect in changes in your resting temperature, so if you take your temperature consistently and graph them, you will see trends that give indications of the changes inside your body.

At ovulation, the mature egg pops out of the ovary and travels down the fallopian tubes towards the uterus, which then has a new layer of lining prepared. The sperm needs to meet and fertilize the egg while it's traveling, so the optimal fertile times for the woman range from a day or two before ovulation to a few days afterwards, since the sperm can survive in her body for up to a couple of days.

Predicting your ovulation can be a complicated and frustrating process if you are not used to it or if your body doesn't behave 100% like the textbook says, so for an easier way to determine your fertility level, you may want to consider a digital ovulation predictor such as the Clearblue Fertility Monitor that will do all the thinking for you. - 31802

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Getting Pregnant - Increase Your Chances Part One

By Amy Roberts

There are many women who never have to worry about infertility because they get pregnant quite easily. But when a woman does not get pregnant soon away after they start trying, they begin to feel like perhaps they have a fertility problem. It is possible to increase your chances of conceiving by taking advantage of the many actions to increase your fertility levels.

When conception is the goal, Keep A Positive Perspective has done studies that have shown a woman's physical health may not be the only issue. These studies have proven that having negative feelings will also tend to affect your odds for conception. The fact is that as stress levels tend rise, the fertility levels can lower. One thing that's important is not be overly concerned about getting pregnant quickly. Everyone has their own way of relaxing, so you might think about what you choose to do when you want to relax. For some women it might mean slipping into a warm, fragrant, candlelit bath. For others, they may need a little extra help. A couple options that can make a tremendous difference to your mental state are aromatherapy massages or a reflexology session. In addition, aromatherapy can also help in controlling menstrual cycles. You can search for professional scent specialists either on the internet or in your own local phone book.

Another practical approach is to just spend quality time with your partner. Think of activities to do together that you both enjoy.

This by itself helps increase the emotional parts of your relationship and can take away part of the stress that just seems to build when you're trying for a baby. Another option is acupuncture, which has been reported to have a really positive effect on a woman's fertility when it's been used along with in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Further research as to it's effects solely on fertility has not been concluded yet.

However, smaller research has reported it can be useful. Acupuncture has been used by the paramedics in China for almost five thousand years, and has pretty solid reputation for having tremendous affect on a host of health problems. It's only in the past two or three decades that American paramedics have recognized its many advantages. If acupuncture interests you enough to check it out, make sure to find a reputable, licensed acupuncturist. The best, and most trustworthy, source for finding licensed acupuncturists would be the Institutes of Health and the North American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. Keep in mind, it's regularity of your menstrual, and ovulation cycle, that is what your odds of becoming pregnant depend on. It is during this time that you have the best chance of getting pregnant and your odds definitely go up. One way of calculating this would be if your normal cycle is 28 days, then subtract 14 from 28 to know the best date for being fertile would be day 14. However, a woman's menstrual cycle can change each month, so your consider your ovulation day as possibly being the 13th or the 15th day.

This is all we are going to cover in the first part of this two part series on optimizing your probability of getting pregnant. In order to have a full understanding of this subject, take the time to read the second part of this series. You should also find out what natural herbs and other methods you can use in conjunction with modern technology to increase your chances of getting pregnant. - 31802

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Review: ClearBlue Fertility Monitor

By Amy Roberts

You too can figure out when you are most fertile, much like thousands of women before you have, by using a fertility monitor. There are many different types of kits that are considered both diagnostic and in the category of fertility monitor, like a predictor kit that is based on the LH level in your urine or Fertile Focus which tests your saliva. The ClearBlue or ClearPlan fertility monitor is the most common fertility monitor used by women today.

What makes ClearBlue fertility monitors different from others, is it can be connected to your PC through a data port and is completely automated.

What guides the ClearBlue fertility monitor?

Your urine contains two different types of hormonal levels that the ClearBlue Easy Fertility Monitor tracks, which are estrogen and LH, or the lutenizing hormone. How long you will use the monitor for, each cycle, is dependent upon how long your cycle lasts and when your LH surges, so you will most likely be doing readings for between ten and twenty days in a row.

A woman is the most fertile when she ovulates each month - at this period, the ovum is released, and you have 24 hours to get it fertilized! It's absolutely integral to time your sessions of intercourse accurately!

The ClearBlue fertility monitor works simply by urinating onto the ClearBlue testing stick. You then press a button and the monitor will tell you your fertility level, it will give you one of three answers, 'low', 'high' or 'peak'. Simple enough? It certainly is. You should attempt to conceive during high or peak days, this improves the chances of success. The average women will have six days of good fertility according to the monitor. One to five of these days will be of 'high' level, then two days of 'peak' level. You will have 6 months of information stored at a time on the monitor, which helps you learn your fertility trends. You can upload this information to your computer and produce a calender of your ovulation or a fertility chart.

This fertility monitor by ClearBlue measures two different types of hormones making it unique from to other methods. You can only find out if your estrogen levels have risen through a saliva ovulation test. You can also test for LH but it is through your urine. You can do both and truly pinpoint your fertility by using the ClearBlue fertility monitor. The test reads Low, High, or Peak, to make it simple for you to figure out what your current level of fertility.

Some Benefits of ClearBlue Fertility Monitors:

* Easy to understand results and easy to use. Along with great information that can be interpreted into helpful charts on your computer.


* There is a tight schedule when using ClearBlue fertility monitors, straying from the schedule will result in less accurate results.

There are some downsides to the ClearBlue monitor. You need computer access to download and store your data, and it is important to keep up with the rigid schedule. However, if you were only looking for ways to avoid inconveniences, you would not want to carry a child in the first place. Don't worry; even if it is a tiny bit tedious , that wonderful feeling of having a child will make up for it!

To Conclude:

If you want to get pregnant and make the most of your chances of getting to your goal, use the ClearBlue Fertility Monitor. You only have 24 hours to fertilize the egg once ovulation has occurred, which is important to keep in mind. You can put the odds of getting pregnant in your favor by determining when you are most fertile using the ClearBlue Easy Fertility Monitor. You can find out each month when you are at your most fertile peak by using this method which is reusable, reliable, right on the money and recommended by doctors. - 31802

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What Are Ovarian Cysts ?

By Rebecca Wincup

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries. While, generally cysts are harmless, they can initiate problems such as bleeding, rupturing or pain. For women in their child-bearing age or for past menopausal females with cysts and no warning signs, vigilant checking is vital. If the chance of getting pregnant does not happen, the corpus luteum dissolves, but every now and then, the entire progression is not concluded properly, forming functional ovarian cysts.

Throughout the menstrual cycle, if the follicle does not split and issue the eggs, the fluid remains within, and forms a cyst, disturbing one of the ovaries. Functional cysts usually diminish and vanish within a number of menstrual cycles, and are more common amongst females who are in their child-bearing years. Cysts are more common in women of childbearing age, and the most benign ovarian cysts disappear on their own devoid of any therapy. Cystadenoma cysts stem from cells present on the on the outside surface of ovaries.

Endometrioma cysts are also termed chocolate cysts of endometriosis, and these are formed when tissue similar to uterus lining is attached to the ovaries. Malignant cysts are more common amongst women who grow them after menopause. Nevertheless, several of the common disorders that may well be present consist of erratic menstrual periods, lower stomach or pelvic pain, feeling of pelvic or lower abdominal fullness or pressure, vomiting or nausea, pelvic tenderness after sexual intercourse or tiring training, infertility, vaginal ache or spots of blood from the vagina. Pain during sex and delayed and erratic periods are other symptoms of the existence of ovarian cysts.

Ovarian cysts are mostly recognized at some point in the twelve-monthly pelvic examination, and supplementary diagnostic assessments including laparoscopy and ultrasound. Growths that develop into unusually large or persist for more than a small number of months must be eliminated. Laparotomy is a more invasive surgical procedure where a cut is made in the belly wall to eliminate the cyst. Restraining the total of hard physical activity can lessen the probability of rupture or torsion of the cyst.

Now and then, health care givers recommend oral contraceptives or hormones that minimize the functional cysts, although these pills are not helpful to treat the other forms of benign cysts. It is essential to minimize the strenuous physical activity to reduce the peril of cyst burst. Ovarian cysts in the post menopausal females can cause severe bleeding and soreness, and in severe cases, hysterectomy is suggested to get rid of the cysts. - 31802

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When is the Best Time to Get Pregnant

By Tammy Richardson

Knowing the best time to conceive is about knowing when the fertile time in a woman's cycle is, but this is a somewhat complex thing to understand. To begin with the life of an egg when released is a maximum of 24 hours and given that there may be two eggs released in the twenty four hours of ovulation, this leaves only around two days which are fertile. From the man's side his sperm can survive inside for around five days so coupled with the woman this means around a week of fertility in a month. The presence of fertile cervical fluid which resembles eggwhites is the best indication that the fertile time has arrived, however this may only last a couple of days.

Many women think they may have gotten pregnant during a menstrual period, which is an essentially impossible thing to do. There are occasions when one may become pregnant from intercourse during the end of her period, but this is quite rare. It is possible if the woman's cycle is very short, and the sperm live long enough to fertilise the ovum. The more common case is when a woman mistakes blood spotting during ovulation as a period and get pregnant at this time. This only serves to highlight the importance of knowing your cycle well.

The common method provided by doctors for finding the best time to conceive is by measuring the basal body temperature. Unfortunately there is little attention given to cervical fluid, which is one of the most accurate indicators of fertility that the body produces. Furthermore the basal temperature method can actually do more harm than good for finding the fertile times, as in most women by the time a temperature rise is noted, the egg is already dead. Of course that doesn't mean that there is no use for charting the basal temperature, but it is useless as a measure of the fertile period.

Noting the changes in your cervical fluid is the best way to determine the fertile time in the month. There is cervical mucus which resembles eggwhites, and this is what you are looking for as an indication of your fertile time. Ovulation occurs with this eggwhite fluid, but for women who can't tell if it is eggwhite fluid or not, then the wettest fluid, or a wet sensation is the indicator you are looking for. The last day of this eggwhite mucus is the most fertile day and the best time to conceive.

If the man has a normal sperm count then couples should have intercourse daily when the wet eggwhite fluid is present and should continue until the fertile window is closed (indicated by a rise in basal temperature). For couples who have low sperm issues then intercourse should be every second day till the rise in temperature is recorded.

Prior to keeping a record of the cervical fluid, you must know what it is you are looking for as the cervical mucus changes greatly in colour, consistency as well as volume. Keeping a record of these changes can greatly increase your chances of a successful conception.

Ovulation is the best time to conceive, and this is the time of the month when there is a high volume of cervical fluid. At ovulation the cervical fluid called 'eggwhite mucus' is present, and as it is the most fertile cervical fluid, it is premium baby making stuff!

If you want to know where you are in your cycle, then it is important to start taking notice, and recording the changes in your cervical mucus. Noting these changes for a number of months will give you the tools to pin-point very accurately when you ovulate, and in contrast to the use of the basal temperature method, you will actually know before hand, and have the opportunity of using the fertile window. - 31802

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Getting Pregnant After Miscarriage

By Tammy Richardson

The thought of getting pregnant after miscarriage can be quite daunting, as many women are afraid of a second miscarriage. A miscarriage, referred to by doctors as a spontaneous abortion, is the loss of a pregnancy before around twenty weeks. As much as 25% of all pregnancies that are known about end in miscarriage according to statistics from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. In real terms this rate is probably higher, as many miscarriages occur in the very early stages of pregnancy before a woman is even aware she is pregnant.

The reasons behind miscarriage are not yet fully understood. In general miscarriages in the first trimester are attributed to the presence of chromosomal abnormalities in the foetus (which are randomly occurring).

The healthiness and state of well-being of the mother are also important factors. A woman's medical history can also be a factor, as conditions like diabetes (if untreated) and some autoimmune diseases as well as structural abnormalities in the uterus can all make a miscarriage more likely. A woman's (and prior to conception, a man's too) lifestyle choices can also affect the likelihood of miscarriage - things like drug abuse or smoking can play their part. There are also a large number of miscarriages which are the result of the egg not being implanted in the uterus correctly - thankfully this can be corrected by knowing the most appropriate times of the month for successful conception, but more on that later.

There are a number of signs that may precede a miscarriage including lower back pain and cramps in the abdomen and pelvis as well as fluid or tissue and blood coming from the vagina. Although vaginal bleeding almost always precedes an early miscarriage, it is important to remember that blood spotting is quite normal in early pregnancy as well, so it doesn't always mean a miscarriage is occurring.

Most miscarriages in the early stages do not require medical treatment as the uterus voluntarily empties out like a heavy period. If an ultrasound shows that there is tissue remaining inside the uterus, then medications may be proscribed to make the uterus expel them, or a clinical procedure performed to cleanse the uterus of the left-over tissue. It is important that no tissue remains in the uterus in order to stop any infection forming. It is best if couples do not try getting pregnant after miscarriage for at least a couple of months, six months is best. If there are recurrent miscarriages then more tests can be done to try and determine the causes and to see if the problem can be stopped.

It is important before going out and getting any of these (sometimes painful) tests, that you make sure that the improper implantation of the egg into the uterine lining is not the cause. The problem can be lowered significantly by having intercourse at the right time in the month.

The indication of this time is the presence of an 'eggwhite' like cervical mucus in the woman, which is the sign of her fertile time in the month. For men who's sperm count is normal then intercourse should be undertaken every day that the eggwhite-like cervical mucus comes, up until the woman charts a rise in her basal temperature. If there is a problem with sperm count, then it is important that intercourse is only undertaken every second day of the fertile cervical fluid up until a rise in temperature is noted. By having sex during this fertile period, the chances of conceiving are higher, and it is more likely that the egg will be properly implanted into the uterus' lining, thus lowering the chances of miscarriage.

Pre-conception is a crucial time for getting healthy. It is important to make sure you are eating right, are keeping your weight in a healthy range and are getting enough exercise. It is also important not to smoke, and try to limit time spent around second-hand smoke. Alcohol is a big no-no and caffeine is on the cut list too. Awareness of your external environment and any toxins you may be exposed to are also important - painting the house is out, unless 'green' paints are used, and carpeting should be avoided, as new carpets are often laced with formaldehyde. Importantly for getting pregnant after miscarriage, you have to remember to look at lifestyle factors like stress and emotional worries, and try to have intercourse at the appropriate time of the month. - 31802

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Problem Getting Pregnant?

By Tammy Richardson

As a couple with a problem getting pregnant, it is of the utmost importance that you fully understand what it takes to achieve a conception.

At the time of ovulation, the fallopian tube will pick up the new egg after it burst out of the ovarian wall. It is only a matter of seconds after the egg is released from the ovarian wall that the fimbria, or the tip of the fallopian tube will pick the egg up and draw it into the tube properly. If an is not fertilised it will only remain alive for a maximum of twenty four hours after which it dies and is absorbed by the body, or it disintegrates and comes out with the flow of the menstrual period. To put things in scale, the egg is about as big as the punctuation mark at the end of this sentence.

If there is success and fertilisation occurs this will actually take place in the fallopian tube. Fertilisiation does not take place in the uterus, contrary to the widely held misconception that it does. It can take even a couple of hours for the sperm to reach the egg in the fallopian tubes. There are cilia, or tiny hairs which line the fallopian tube, and when an egg has been fertilised, these vibrate and draw the egg further inside. The fertilised ovum will reach its final destination and begin to burrow into the nutritious lining of the uterus after about one week of 'travelling' to reach there.

If you are having a problem getting pregnant, it is important to remember that conception requires three things to take place: the sperm, the egg and most importantly a conduit for the egg and sperm to travel safely in the hostile vaginal environment.

The medium required is a special type of cervical fluid, often referred to as 'eggwhite cervical mucus' because of its resemblance to eggwhites. It is this cervical mucus that is the safe passage of the sperm into the cervix and the waiting egg. The eggwhite cervical mucus in produced during the first part of the menstrual cycle because of the increase in oestrogen, with the premium fluid being produced at ovulation. This fertile fluid allows sperm to survive inside for as long as five days - so its completely possible that a naughty night out on Saturday can get you pregnant at your office desk on Wednesday!

As it would be a total disaster for a pregnant body if the lining of the uterus were to disintegrate as it usually does in normal cycles, the body does an amazing trick and stops this from happening. When an egg that has been fertilised digs into the uterus the body immediately starts to produce a pregnancy hormone (called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) ) which will stop the process of disintegration and save the nutritious lining. It does this by sending a message to the 'corpus luteum' or the nourishing lining, and tells it to remain alive. This will continue on for a couple of months, or until the placenta is ready to relieve the corpus luteum of its job, after which it is the placenta which keeps the lining alive, whilst also providing the nutrients and oxygen that the tiny foetus needs to grow.

If you have ever received a false negative pregnancy test then it is because the test has been done too soon - these tests measure HCG in the blood or urine, and as it can sometimes take so long for an egg to burrow and start releasing the hormone, then the test will come back negative. By charting her menstrual cycle and her cervical fluids, women can avoid these false-negatives and actually have a much clearer indication of pregnancy via the results of charting process.

Couples with a problem getting pregnant need to fully understand the ins and outs of what it takes to achieve conception, because contrary to what we are all told as teenagers, sometimes it is not so easy to become pregnant. - 31802

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