Ovulation | Fit Pregnancy

Ovulation

Missed Periods and Pregnancy Scares

My husband is watching the first season of the cable show Mad Men on DVD. He tells me, "One of the characters went into labor and didn't know she was pregnant. I knew this was coming four episodes ago when they started mentioning how fat she was getting." That happens a lot on TV—women get a stomachache, rush to the ER and are told to push. Not so much in real life. Sure, I've had a couple patients over the years who really didn't know they were pregnant until they landed in labor and delivery.

First Signs of Pregnancy - Early Symptoms of your First Trimester

Before my first pregnancy, I enjoyed a glass of wine with dinner and an occasional big, juicy chili dog. But even in those very first days after I conceived, the wine tasted flat and the hot dog repulsed me. Fast-forward a few weeks. With a positive pregnancy test in hand, I realized that my body knew I was pregnant before my mind did. Of course, the earliest symptoms of pregnancy wax and wane and are different for each woman; in fact, some women may experience (or notice) none of them. But several can crop up well before you even miss a period.

Getting Pregnant

Trying to get pregnant? Sure, it can be fun. But, it can also be a trying time if you don't conceive right away. Our guide to getting pregnant tells you what you need to know to maximize your chances of conceiving. Here, you'll find information on everything from preparing your body for pregnancy, to calculating your most fertile days, to the best foods to aid ovulation.

6 Ways To Get Ready

Ovulation Cycles

"Many women don't know the most fertile time in their menstrual cycle," says Victoria Jennings, Ph.D., director of Georgetown University's Institute for Reproductive Health. "Most think it's day 14, but ovulation doesn't always occur on the same day. It moves around, even in the same woman." Jennings says a normal woman's potential fertile days are days 8 through 19 of her cycle. (For a glow-in-the-dark bracelet to help you track when you're most fertile, go to cyclebeads.com.)

Birth Control Pills

Birth-Control-Pills

It will likely take several months for your body to resume ovulation and a normal menstrual cycle after stopping your oral contraceptives, which means you probably wont get pregnant right away. But even if you do conceive immediately after discontinuing your pills, the hormones will not be present in your body at a level that would be a problem for your baby.

Preconception Checklist

See your doctor several months before you want to conceive—and bring your partner. Doing so may help you prevent birth defects, pregnancy complications or prematurity, the March of Dimes reports.

Tell your doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter drugs or herbal remedies that you are taking.

Begin taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid daily.

Get Healthy, Get Pregnant

Harvard School of Public Health researchers found that women who adopted at least five healthy habits were 84 percent less likely to suffer infertility because of ovulation problems than women who followed none. Women were more likely to ovulate normally when they ate less trans fat and simple carbohydrates, such as white rice and white bread; got more protein from vegetables than from meat; ate more fiber and iron; took more multivitamins with folic acid; had a lower body mass index; and exercised daily. They also consumed more high-fat dairy products and fewer low-fat ones.

Diet Changes That Aid Ovulation

According to the Harvard study of diet and fertility, the more of the following changes you make, the better your chances of improving your ovulatory function:

Get Healthy, Get Pregnant: The Fertility Diet

Hopeful news for some of the more than 6 million women in the United States who suffer from infertility: A recent large study found that unlike other factors that you cannot control—such as age and genetics—eating certain foods and avoiding others is something you can do yourself, without medical intervention.

A Helping Hand

When my husband and I started trying to make a baby, we were halfway through a round-the-world trip and having plenty of sex. Yet, we returned home not pregnant. I began using ovulation-predictor kits, and our lovemaking became less spontaneous, more "we-need-to-do-it-today," especially since my 35th birthday was looming.

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