Knowing about Menstrual Cycles
The average menstruation cycle of lasts for 28 to 32 days. The cycle may vary from one month to the other. A delay of a few days is natural and common. You can wait for a week after the due date of your period before consulting a doctor.
Getting Pregnant with Irregular Periods
Having irregular periods does not mean a woman cannot conceive. It means that it may be a little harder for her to conceive a baby than women who have regular periods. Normally, a woman who has regular periods every 28 days is expected to ovulate on the 14th day of her cycle. On the other hand, a woman who has a 35 to 42 day cycle is likely to ovulate less frequently as her periods are less frequent. Couples who are trying to conceive should consult a doctor and discuss the cycle and any related problems or concerns.
Pregnancy during Periods
Though there are some chances of getting pregnant during your periods, the chances are not high. It is possible in cases when a woman has a shorter than average cycle, say of about 21-days. She is likely to ovulate on day 7. If she has intercourse on day 5, the chances of getting pregnant are high. Sperms can survive for up to three to five days and would be present in the woman's fallopian tubes when she ovulates.
Effect of Birth Control Pills on Pregnancy
Long-term hormonal birth control pills do not affect a woman's fertility. It is observed that most women start ovulating within three months of going off their contraceptive pills. The pills are a way of keeping the cycle regular, and further helping you calculate the days on which you ovulate. Please note that if you are planning to conceive, don’t stop taking your birth control pills right away. Consult your doctor before you start or stop taking birth control pills.
Chances of Pregnancy During your Period
A woman cannot get pregnant if she is bleeding. But do not get confused between implantation bleeding and menstrual bleeding. When the embryo embeds itself in the walls of uterus after seven days of conception, you can expect some spotting. Implantation bleeding is lighter than normal and has a shorter duration. In case you aren’t sure, take a pregnancy test for a definitive result.
If you have been trying to conceive, it’s a good idea to opt for a home pregnancy test to confirm the result after you miss your period. These tests are very sensitive and can detect the pregnancy hormone (hCG) in urine on the first day you miss your period, and sometimes even a day or two before the expected period. If the result is negative more than 2 days before your period is due, try repeating the test in 48 hours. Most urine tests are accurate a week after the missed period. For best results conduct the test using your first morning urine as it contains the highest level of hCG.
Best Time for Conception
A woman with a regular 28-day cycle is expected to ovulate on the 14th day of her cycle. Her chances of conception are high, a few days before, and a few days after the midpoint day of her cycle, as sperms have a life-cycle of three to five days. Women with a longer cycle, say 34 days, are likely to ovulate around the 20th day. You should try to conceive for about 3-4 days prior to your expected ovulation, on the day of the expected ovulation and 2 days after you ovulate, to cover a good window of opportunity. In case it’s difficult to track your ovulation days, purchase an ovulation predictor kit.
Signs of Ovulation
Cervical mucus changes and becomes clear, thin, and stretchy.
You might feel a twinge or pain in the lower abdomen during ovulation.
An over-the-counter ovulation kit can indicate that you are ovulating.
If you are trying to get pregnant, read up about the facts related to pregnancy, and how ovulation, your menstrual cycle and external factors like stress and diet can help or hinder your conception. You could also look up tips on how to care for yourself to ensure a healthy term or pregnancy.