Introducing Sperm to Egg Timing Is Everything

This book's title notwithstanding, we're going to assume that you know the basics of how to get pregnant. What many people don't know, though, is how to make the process most efficient, so that you give yourself the best chance of getting pregnant as soon as you want to. To do that, you need to think a little about ovulation — the releasing of an egg from your ovary — which happens once each cycle (usually once per month).

After leaving the ovary, the egg spends a couple of days gliding down the fallopian tube, until it reaches the uterus (also known as the womb). Most often, pregnancy occurs when the egg is fertilized within 24 hours from its release from the ovary, during its passage through the tube, and the budding embryo then implants in the uterus's lining. (See Figure 1-1 for a quick look at the anatomical aspects.) In order to get pregnant, your job (and the father-to-be's) is to get the sperm to meet up with the egg as soon as possible (ideally, within 12 to 24 hours) after ovulation.

The absolute prime time to have sex is 12 hours prior to ovulation. Then the sperm are in place as soon as the egg comes out. Sperm are thought to live inside a woman's body for 24 to 48 hours, although some have been known to fertilize eggs when they are as much as seven days old. No couple should count on getting pregnant on the first try. On average, you have a 15 to 25 percent chance each month. Roughly half of all couples trying to get pregnant

Figure 1-1:

An overview of the female reproductive system.

Figure 1-1:

An overview of the female reproductive system.

conceive within four months. By six months, three-fourths of them make it; by a year, 85 percent do; and by two years, the success rate is up to 93 percent. If you've been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for a year or more, a fertility evaluation is warranted.

Pregnancy Guide

Pregnancy Guide

A Beginner's Guide to Healthy Pregnancy. If you suspect, or know, that you are pregnant, we ho pe you have already visited your doctor. Presuming that you have confirmed your suspicions and that this is your first child, or that you wish to take better care of yourself d uring pregnancy than you did during your other pregnancies; you have come to the right place.

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