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Getting Pregnant

As the weeks turn into months you may begin to realize the cold truth that getting pregnant isn't as easy as you had imagined. If it's your first time you may even have spent most of your life trying to 'avoid' getting pregnant and even fearing it.. well now the time has come you may be starting to realise that it isn't as straight forward as you thought. There are several factors which may be impeding your getting pregnant.

Why is it so difficult?

Well, logistically, the timing is very important. A healthy woman ovulates only once every cycle normally releasing an egg which needs to be fertilised within a period of 6 to 12 hours in order to become pregnant. This is the main factor which stops the majority of healthy couples from becoming pregnant.

The male sperm can survive inside the woman for between 2 and 3 days and the ideal situation for fertilisation is to have the sperm recently deposited inside the woman and waiting for the egg to appear - most fertilisation actually takes place at the mouth of the fallopian tubes.

The quality of the male sperm can vary greatly. Heat around the testicles, the wearing of tight underwear and excessive ejaculation are all factors which can greatly decrease the amount of active fertile sperm reducing the possibility of fertilisation.

So if a couple had intercourse twice a day every day for the whole month it would not necessarily be as effective as to have intercourse only once at the right time... just hours before ovulation occurs.

An effective method used by many couples (which will be addressed in a future article) is the charting method or BBT (Basal Body Temperature) method. This basically involves charting the daily vaginal temperature. Just at the point of ovulation there is a significant rise in temperature. This, combined with other symptoms such as density of vaginal mucus and possible abdominal sensations will show the when ovulation is occurring. After a few months of using this highly accurate method, the couple can predict with high certainty exactly when ovulation will occur and can have intercourse just hours before this is due to occur to ensure fertilisation.

Major health matters that impede fertilization include smoking and drinking in both the woman and the man. Un-healthy eating.. the woman should make sure that she has a good supply of vitamin B12 (found in meat, fish, eggs and milk) also the taking of folic acid can greatly help matters. Drug taking (including some prescription drugs) is also very harmful for the conception process (and for the unborn baby if continued into pregnancy). The smoking of cannabis / marijuana reduces the amount of active sperm produced by the man by well over 50% and the effects of this last for over 6 months.

All these points show how difficult it can be to get pregnant and you might begin to see that the creation of another human life really is a miracle when you see how improbable the chances of fertilisation really are.

Heather Barnard:
Read more about how to get pregnant at

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