Not all women are equally likely to get pregnant on the first try. Some women are lucky enough to get pregnant, but others take many attempts to get pregnant.
Sometimes it is simply due to poor planning or lack of knowledge and guidance, while other times it is due to pathologies, bad practices, syndromes or other activities or procedures that alter the proper functioning of the body.
Fortunately, there are certain procedures and advice that can help and guide the woman to facilitate the pregnancy process. For this it is essential to know what ovulation is and the fertile period, because it is during this period when the woman can conceive, and it can be calculated.
Ovulation is a process in the menstrual cycle in which hormonal changes cause an ovary to release a mature egg ready to be fertilized. During this process a woman can become pregnant if a surviving sperm reaches the egg and fertilizes it.
It is divided into three phases, known as the follicular phase, the ovulatory phase and the luteal phase.
The follicular phase begins on the first day of the menstrual cycle and extends until day 14. In this phase, the ovaries begin to secrete estrogens and progesterone (which are female sex hormones), which is why it is also known as the estrogenic phase. Its name is due to the fact that in this phase the follicles are developed, from which the dominant follicle will be selected, which will house the egg until it breaks and releases the oocyte in the fallopian tube. It is during this phase that menstruation occurs, and covers about 3 and 7 days.
The second phase is ovulatory. In this phase the levels of estrogen increase, which causes secretions of enzymes that tear the follicular tissue and thus finally release the egg.
As the image shows, the first day of menstruation is day 1, and days 12, 13 and 14 are the days on which a woman is fertile (the ovulatory phase occurs on day 14).
The last phase of the cycle is the luteal or post-ovulatory phase. This begins at the end of the ovulatory phase, and it is at the beginning of the same when the corpus luteum is developed that will remain until the woman becomes pregnant or until the next menstruation begins. It is during the first days of this phase when the woman can conceive. During this phase there is an increase in progesterone, which can cause nervousness or irritability until the arrival of the next menstruation, unless the woman has become pregnant. This occurs at the last stage of the menstrual cycle, usually between days 15 and 28.
Because it is during this period that one can become pregnant, it is that not all women succeed in the first attempt, because, by not keeping track, their attempts at fertilization can happen outside these days, resulting in a failed attempt.
In addition, another important factor must be taken into account, which is that the sperm can remain alive inside the woman’s body for approximately two to five days, so that if relations are maintained at least three days before ovulation could also result in a pregnancy, because some sperm may have survived and fertilize the egg.
In total, the three phases last around 28 days, but this is not always the case, depending on the woman’s condition or other practices or certain products she is ingesting. And, although this cycle has no specific dates and is different for each woman, it can be calculated taking into account the day it starts as day 1 and following the specifications of each phase.
Fertility is a quality of living beings that allows them to reproduce. The state of fertility, like any other state, can be altered depending on various factors, such as age, intake, environment, daily activities, stress, etc.. Because of the variations in these factors is that fertility is not the same in every woman, because some are more fertile than others, and even there are infertile.
Age plays an important role, since from the age of 40 fertility is greatly impaired, until it finally ends when menopause begins. This is why it is difficult, or sometimes even risky, for a woman over 40 to become pregnant.
Although there are certain treatments and practices to help with fertility, as long as it is not a case in which the cause is severe (such as certain pathologies). Some of these treatments are simpler than others, as in the case of programmed intercourse or intrauterine insemination, while others are much more complex, such as the donation of eggs or in vitro fertilization (the extraction of a female egg to be fertilized inside a laboratory plate with a sperm and then be reinserted into the uterus for development).
Due to the fact that fertility is an indispensable state for a woman to become pregnant, it is appropriate to take measures to preserve it, because with bad habits and other practices it can be diminished or lost. Among these habits, the most advisable would be to lead a healthy life, eating healthy foods or exercising regularly.
Differences between ovulation and the fertile period
There is a basic difference between ovulation and fertile period and is that ovulation is a phase that lasts only 1 day, because the egg has a life of 24 hours, while the fertile period includes the days on which a woman can become pregnant, this being approximately 7 days.
Ovulation is the process that releases the oocytes, so even at this stage the woman can not become pregnant until the egg has left the uterus. But the complete fertile period also counts the life time of the spermatozoid, since, as the spermatozoid can live between two and five days, it is possible to become pregnant even though the last time intercourse took place just two or three days before, so that the spermatozoid survives until the beginning of the fertile period.
Therefore, in order to become pregnant, good practice and good advice is to begin intercourse from the three days prior to the ovulatory phase and until approximately three days later, this will greatly increase the chances, as it is more likely that some sperm survive and manage to reach the egg to fertilize it.
Causes of Changes in the Fertile Period
There are several procedures or causes that can cause a change in a woman’s fertile period, some are intentional and others are caused by anomalies and other unforeseen factors.
Intentional factors are those used by women who want to have intercourse, but do not want to get pregnant, therefore, they take measures that alter or pause their fertile period. Intentional factors include the ingestion of birth control pills or the contraceptive injection.
Unforeseen causes are those that alter or stop a woman’s fertile period without notice or consent.
Some disorders and syndromes, stress, overweight, excessive physical exercise, and menopause are some of the unintended causes of fertility loss.
Some of these causes can be controlled to preserve fertility, while others can be treated to avoid total loss, so it is advisable for women to know more about these factors so they can take the necessary measures before it is too late.
Stress is a state of mental and corporal overload or tiredness caused by an excess of certain physical activities or by other emotional causes. It is a state that can be clearly noticed or go unnoticed.
Sometimes women are subjected to pressure from society, their duties or their work, and this pressure often causes lack of sleep or appetite. Each of these factors causes stress, and it not only worsens a woman’s appearance, but also causes a chain of chemical reactions that alter the functioning of the body, including the menstrual cycle and the ovulation period.
Under the effects of stress, menstruation can be affected in such a way that the cycles are altered, lasting different times than normal, are shorter or longer, causing it to be delayed or advanced or even making it more painful.
There are cases where even a woman can have monthly bleeding more than once in a period, which can cause even more stress and worsen the cycle.
It is therefore advisable to take certain measures to prevent or control stress. A better diet, increased hours of sleep or even a proper exercise routine are some of the tips to regulate it.
Excessive or sudden weight loss
Weight plays an important role in the fertile period. A weight well below normal can have unfavorable consequences, and more if it has been a sudden change.
Losing more calories than normal will decrease the body’s hormone production, which will cause ovulation to be affected, as it needs a certain level of calories for its proper functioning.
In addition, excessive weight loss can in turn cause stress, which further worsens the ovulation cycle and the fertile period and becomes a chain of adverse effects that worsen overall health.
It is advisable to eat a balanced diet and healthy food to avoid these problems, and if the weight loss is due to an eating disorder, you should see a doctor or nutritionist, as appropriate.
Controlling overweight is just as important as controlling weight loss. Excess weight can cause the body to generate more estrogen than necessary, which would negatively affect the female reproductive system.
This also affects the menstrual cycle, causing it to be altered or stopped for a while.
To avoid becoming overweight, or to control it if you have become overweight, you should see a nutritionist who will refer you to an appropriate diet, as well as start a controlled cardiovascular exercise routine under the instructions of a gym instructor.
Excessive physical exercise
Everything in excess is harmful, even something that in principle is healthy, such as physical exercise.
Excessive exercise can cause too much pressure on the body and thus alter hormone levels, this would spiral out of control menstruation. In addition, by losing excess fat, the imbalance could cause the body not to ovulate correctly or at all.
For this reason, women who want to do a lot of exercise to get in shape or because they are passionate about it should go to a professional trainer or a sports doctor to advise them, to avoid exercises that may affect the proper functioning of their system and that threaten their ovulation. There are routines that can help form a sculptural body while maintaining health and internal balance.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a disorder in which a woman has high levels of androgens (male sex hormones) and which disrupts the menstrual cycle.
This syndrome causes a large number of follicles to be generated in the ovaries, which may be inhibited from releasing eggs on a regular basis, resulting in lack of ovulation.
The problem with this syndrome is that there is no common cause or exact reason why it happens, so the diagnosis can become complicated. It could be caused by an excess of insulin, some hereditary factor, or some unknown reason.
Even so, there are treatments or some measures that can be taken to combat this syndrome, as long as there is a possibility to combat it.
After your diagnosis, your doctor may recommend certain estrogen- and progesterone-containing medications or advise you to make routine changes depending on the case and diagnosis.
Menopause is a female condition that causes amenorrhea, which in turn is a condition that causes the absence of menstruation by some physiological or pathological factor.
This condition usually occurs after the age of 45, but there are cases in which it may occur earlier. When it occurs at early ages of premature menopause treatment.
This occurs because the ovaries begin to produce less and less estrogen and progesterone over time. However, other factors also influence premature menopause:
Premature ovarian failure: It is a condition that can occur to any woman without many apparent reasons. This completely prevents the function of the ovaries and the secretion of female hormones. Although not in all cases prevents fertility completely, because some women who suffer from this condition can still conceive because the ovaries can occasionally release the eggs of conception.
– Surgical menopause: Also known as an induced menopause case, it occurs in women who have had surgery to remove their uterus or ovaries.
– Cancer chemotherapy: Chemotherapy releases radiation, which can cause the destruction of important cells and thus start menopause prematurely.
– Infections: Some infections can cause disruption of the ovulation process and thus early onset of menopause. This happens if the infections are generated in the female reproductive organs, which would affect their good function.
– Certain diseases: There are some diseases that interfere with the proper functioning of the menstrual cycle, including hypothyroidism, Turner syndrome or even Down syndrome.
There are also certain behaviors that can cause early menopause. Certain bad habits of some women often end in cases of amenorrhea or menopause, such as sedentary lifestyle or smoking.
Lack of movement and physical activity can disrupt the female system. While cigarette smoking can decrease estrogen levels and thus alter menstruation and other cycles, it can worsen other pathologies, thereby worsening other conditions that in turn could cause premature menopause and other ills.
For this reason, it is advisable for women to maintain an exercise routine, even for only a couple of minutes a day, and if they consume cigarettes, reduce the amount as much as possible or go to help centers to stop using them.
Use of Certain Contraceptives
As is well known, a woman takes birth control pills or injects a contraceptive solution to pause her ovulation period, and these same methods cause amenorrhea.
The point with the use of these contraceptives is that they can lengthen the symptoms of amenorrhea even after you stop using them, and it may take a while for the female system to normalize. This is why many women take some time to conceive even after they stop taking birth control pills.
One point to take into account with the use of these pills is that menstruation may continue to arise in the middle of their use, but this would not be the same, because it is a result of bleeding hormonal deprivation, not the expulsion of the endometrium, which is what happens in normal menstruation.
Certain treatments and other conditions
There are other conditions that can cause amenorrhea and changes in the fertile period, conditions such as certain types of uncontrolled diabetes and other hormonal disorders for which there are no specific treatments other than greater care in daily activities and dietary regulations.
And these changes may also occur due to the ingestion of some long-term medications that contain very strong components, such as antipsychotics, antidepressants, and some treatments for stress and allergies.
Other suggestions to help with the chances of getting pregnant
It is clear that to increase the chances of becoming pregnant it is advisable to abandon harmful habits, such as the consumption of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs, because these, in addition to altering the fertile period and ovulation, can bring problems such as the loss of a pregnancy.
It is also advisable to start a healthy and balanced diet, as this will help to have an adequate weight and stabilize the process of fertility and ovulation.
One suggestion to take into account is to calculate the fertile period and keep track of the days, so you can know within which women can get pregnant. The most advisable days to try to conceive, that is to say, the days of greater fertility of the woman, are normally three days before ovulation and the same day in which it occurs. This is because the day of ovulation is when the eggs are more mature, and it is advisable to start trying from three days before because the sperm can survive about three days, so they could already be close to the egg for when it is available.
Furthermore, not all the work falls on the woman, as the man and his sperm also play an important role. It is suggested that the man stop the bad vices that threaten the health of his sperm, such as drugs and alcohol, in addition to also start a healthy diet.
With these suggestions and other good practices will greatly increase the chances of pregnancy, so just put a little effort and start following them.