Timing and Trying To Conceive
Timing! It is something we hear a lot about when it comes to fertility. Many women are told that they’re running out of time. But timing is not just about age. There are two major time factors to consider when you’re trying to conceive:
1. When to conceive and
2. Making the time for preconception care.
1. Is your timing of ovulation spot on?
Every month there is a small window to conceive. This time varies from month to month. If you are trying to fall pregnant yet struggling to do so, one of the first things we look at is timing. Are you actually ovulating when you think you are? There are a number of ways to tell if you are ovulating naturally.
Did you know that our cervix changes position at different times during our menstrual cycle? It is influenced by our hormones. At ovulation, the cervix is high and soft. It can rise high and your finger can no longer feel it. This is when the cervix is open to allow sperm to enter through the cervix. By charting the position of your cervix, you can chart your fertile window.
Ovulation mucus is an egg white consistency. This is the fertile mucus that helps the sperm go up through the cervix. Ovulation mucus is a precursor to ovulation and is a good indicator ovulation is about to occur. However, women with PCOS may have ovulation mucus many times during the month – this is the body trying to ovulate.
The BBT chart is a useful chart in tracking what is happening with your hormones and when you ovulate. Ovulation is usually a spike in temperature and women ovulate at different times. The average is 14 days but some women ovulate earlier, and some later. Charting your BBT for a few months can give you an indication of when you ovulate. You might be ovulating before or after you think and miss your window of opportunity. When you chart the BBT, you can also check if the ovulation test is spot on. They are not always accurate.
2. Preconception care
I have included preconception care in timing because this can make a big difference to your fertility treatments whether you are trying to conceive naturally or with the help of fertility treatments like IVF and IUI.
Preconception care involves:
· A well-nourished die: Eating whole foods, avoiding processed foods. This is preparing your body for pregnancy. Make sure you are eating 5 different colours of fruit and vegetables, protein and healthy fats every day.
· Preparing the endometrial lining: We want to ensure your endometrial lining is thick with fresh new blood with each menstrual cycle by promoting the circulation of blood in the uterus to remove the lining at menstruation, so it fills with fresh, well-nourished blood. This can be done with yoga, acupressure, acupuncture and seeing a fertility herbalist.
· Ensuring there is enough blood nourishing your ovaries to promote maturation of the ovarian follicles. Women that have low ferritin levels can stop ovulating. You may need to see your GP for a blood test.
· Promoting relaxation and stress relief: Struggling to conceive is stressful and it brings a myriad of emotions – stress, fear, anxiety, disappointment, joy and hope. Trying to conceive can really knock our nervous systems around and put us into a fight or flight state. This sends the blood to other parts of our body that are used for running away, rather than the ovaries and uterus.
So before you worry about whether you’re running out of time to have a baby, consider whether you’re trying to conceive at the right time of your cycle and whether you are able to make time for preconception care.
“Your body has the innate natural potential to create a healthy baby. All you have to do is put it in the right place to do so both physically and emotionally.”
Randine Lewis author of “The Infertility Cure”