Becoming Pregnant: Not always so simple

We basically all start out the same way; we become humans beings with the start from an egg provided by the mom and a sperm provided from the dad. The sperm travels up the cervix and meet the egg that had been release by an ovary …sounds pretty simple, but sometimes the process of pregnancy is easy for a couple and sometimes it is painfully difficult. Generally, the odds of a pregnancy are from 15-25% in any month. The typical lifespan of sperm in a woman’s body can live up to 5 days if in right conditions, and the egg is viable for 12-14 hours, in some cases the egg can be alive for 24 hours. Pregnancy can occur from about five days before ovulation to sometimes up to 2 days after, totaling about 7 days.

If you are trying to have a baby, but notice that you are having difficulty, here are some of the reasons that may be affecting your chances of a pregnancy, they are:

  1. Irregular periods. If you have menstrual cycles that are not regular, every 28-30 days, it can be more difficult to know when to have intercourse in order to get pregnant. Typically, ovulation happens 15 days of your menstrual cycle, but how do you know if you are ovulating when you have irregular periods? There are certain signs that can indicate ovulation: a discharge that is clear and stretchy like the white of an egg is one of those. Another is the rise in basal body temperature (BBR) and that is the temperature of your body at rest. Resting or lowest level temperature which occurs with ovulation. One of the ways to determine if ovulation is taking place is to track your basal body temperature with a digital thermometer designed to check your BBR. Other signs that you are ovulating can be breast soreness at mid-cycle, light spotting or discharge or discomfort in an ovary. Some women have more symptoms than others.
  2. Frequency of intercourse. The less often you have intercourse the less likely you are to become pregnant. There are only some days of the woman’s menstrual cycle when she can get pregnant. Sperm can fertilize an egg only 3-5 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. We recommend having intercourse every 2 days and at ovulation, which for most women is days 10-16 of the cycle starting with the first day of bleeding being at day number 1. There now are also over the counter products such as ovulations predictor kids and some good apps that you can download on your phone to know when ovulation occurs.
  3. Age. This can also affect the ability of getting pregnant. After the age of 30, the chances of pregnancy decrease and even more so after the age of 40. Pregnancy can be more difficult at a later age such as certain illnesses or medical conditions which can affect a pregnancy. Other complications may include high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. There are also increases in miscarriages and genetic abnormalities. In addition, human fertility depends on the factors of genetics, endocrinology, nutrition, way of life, emotional and physical and genetic differences.

If you and your significant other have been trying to have a baby within one year of trying and are still not having any luck, it’s time to be tested to see what other factors may be the reason for complications and that may include infertility, but don’t think right away that that could be the case. According to Resolve, the national infertility association, roughly 65 percent of couples that get treatment for a fertility problem are eventually ale to have a successful pregnancy. It’s time to make an appointment with your medical provider!


Article written by Marilyn (Meg) Goetz De Gaona, NP, MBA