Pregnancy, a condition awaited by some and avoided by the rest. Getting pregnant and having a baby is one of the most adored phases of life, but it’s the best of things to happen at the right time and the right place. Getting pregnant for a woman is best suggested when both the man and the woman are ready to nurture and accept the baby.
Here we have provided an all-encompassing rundown of Sex and Pregnancy all in a Q&A format, in which we discuss ‘Sex for Pregnancy’, ‘Sex during Pregnancy’, ‘Sex to AVOID Pregnancy’ and ‘How to check Pregnancy’.
What is Pregnancy?
Pregnancy occurs with the union of a female egg released from the ovary with the male sperm. This fertilized egg when implanted in the uterus results in pregnancy wherein from 2 cells a child develops. An average full-term pregnancy is about 40 weeks or nearly 9 months.
Sex for Pregnancy
How does Pregnancy take place Naturally?
One ovum is released on the day of ovulation from the ovary in the entire month of the monthly periodic cycle. Therefore there is only one chance of conception even if sexual intercourse is done daily throughout the month. Egg or ovum survives only for 12 to 24 hours after it’s release. It travels through the fallopian tube where it meets the sperm and gets fertilized. Sperms survive in the upper genital tract for 3 to 4 days or sometimes even a week. Motile sperms swim swiftly from the vagina towards the fallopian tube via the uterus. The fusion of egg with the sperm in the fallopian tube leads to conception, which gets implanted into the uterus. And the pregnancy maintaining hormone β-HCG levels automatically starts rising in the blood.
Is it necessary to know the Fertile Days?
Some couples desirous of pregnancy want to know that precise date when an ovum will be available for conception so that they can do sex when it is most likely to result in pregnancy.
How to check for fertile days?
A. Ovulation apps help women find their fertile days.
The calendar is shown in which the woman has to add the first day of the period and the next expected date of the period.
Automatically, the app will count the fertile days and it will be displayed on the screen.
B. Urine based ovulation prediction kits
Ovulation Prediction Kits (OPKs) or simply ovulation test kits are urine-based strips that can be used at home in privacy to detect impending ovulation. It detects the rising level of luteinizing hormone(LH) indicating the release of an egg from the ovary.
C. Saliva based OPKs
These test for rising estrogen levels as you near ovulation, not the hormone which triggers it. As estrogen levels rise, the salt content of your saliva increases too and when the salt dries it crystallizes into a fern-like pattern. A saliva-based OPK is basically a pocket-sized portable microscope, which you use to see if ‘salivary ferning’ has occurred when the saliva has dried. The idea is that ferning is more likely to occur a few days before, leading to ovulation, which helps identify the fertile window.
D. Calendar method
If the menstrual cycles are regular then ovulation happens 14 days prior to the next expected date of the cycle.
Ex:1st day of cycle = 30th April
Next expected cycle = 27th May
Ovulation date = Expected date minus 14 days
= 27th May – 14 days
= 13th May.
On 13th May, the egg comes out of the ovary i.e. ovulation takes place. So, 12th, 13th, 14th of May are the fertile days where the couple should have sex for pregnancy.
When to check for Pregnancy?
It is advisable to check after a week of the missed expected menstrual date.
How to use the Ovulation Kit?
One has to dip the test strip in the urine after which two lines appear. When the test line is darker than the control line, you are about to ovulate.
Test afternoon around 12 o’clock or later because LH is synthesized in the morning, making it much more likely to show up in afternoon urine. So for best results, fix up a time around 12 noon or later.
Most women ovulate within 24 – 48 hours of a positive result of the urine test. So, timing sexual intercourse for getting pregnant on the day of the LH release as well as successive 2 to 3 days after will maximize your chances to conceive. Urine-based ovulation test kits detect the 2 days of maximum fertility with 99% accuracy.
Thus the best time to get pregnant can be found accurately and
sex is advised on the day ovulation kit test shows positive for the subsequent three days.
Semen has to get in the vagina in these fertile days. It can be put in the vagina even by a finger if there is any difficulty in sexual intercourse.
Most couples feel that the semen just comes out of the vagina.
This is normal as the liquid portion of semen may flow out. The sperms present in the semen rapidly swim from the vagina through cervical mucus to go in the upper genital tract up to the fallopian tube in search of the ovum. Sperms survive for 4 to 5 days in the genital tract.
Sex on other days is unlikely to result in pregnancy. For example, sex two days before menses will surely not result in pregnancy.
Can it happen that the ovulation kit’s result is Wrongly Positive?
Yes. This is called a false-positive test. It can happen when you are taking certain fertility medicines.
How to check for Pregnancy?
Get the Pregnancy Test kit.
Take out the test device from the pouch just before you start the test. Do not remove the test device from the pouch & keep it open for a long period of time.
Remove the reaction device from its protective wrapper.
Your test device has a well-marked ‘S’ the samples well & a result well marked ‘C’ the control region & the test region ‘T’. Keep the test device away from the fan, drier, or breeze of the air while performing the test.
Keep the test device on a flat surface. Collect the first-morning urine sample in a clean cup. Add 2 to 3 drops of urine sample in the well-marked ‘S’. Do not add the urine sample in the ‘C’ & ‘T’ window or any other part of the test device. Read results within 5 minutes. Not more than 5 minutes.
The appearance of test lines after 5 minutes may not have any significance. If you want to confirm, discard the used test device & repeat the above test with a fresh test device & fresh sample.
How does Urine Pregnancy Test detect Pregnancy?
After an embryo begins to grow, menses cease. A woman does not get her periods on her expected date. Specifically, there is a surge in the secretion of HCG i.e., Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone. The UPT i.e., Urine Pregnancy Test detects the presence or absence of HCG in the urine.
How to interpret the UPT result?
If two distinct color bands (pink/purple) appear, one in the test region (T), one in the control region (C) within 5 minutes, then the test is positive.
Positive indicates the woman is pregnant, for further confirmation consult a gynecologist.
If only one distinct color band (pink/purple) appears in the control region (C) within 5 minutes then the test is negative.
Negative indicates that a woman may not be pregnant. If periods are further delayed, repeat the test after a week and consult a gynecologist for confirmation.
If no distinct color band appears, both in the test region (T) & in the control region (C) within 5 minutes, then the test is invalid. It is recommended in this case to repeat the test.
What are the other changes in the body felt at the very start of Pregnancy?
Remember when you check for pregnancy after a missed period, the embryo is already 14 plus days. The most common signs and symptoms of early pregnancy are:
Nausea with or without vomiting