Starting a family is one of the joys in life that many couples look forward to. Making it happen isn’t always easy. Both men and women struggle with infertility issues. As a result, about 10 percent of women in the U.S. have trouble getting or staying pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Knowing if you’re able to get pregnant is a vital piece of information that you should consider before you begin planning your family.
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Find Out When You Ovulate
Keep track of your menstrual cycle. Write down the start and end date of your periods in a journal. Look for patterns to see when you ovulate. Ovulation usually occurs about two weeks after the first day of your last period, but everyone is different.
Utilize ovulation calendars. These will determine your best days to conceive. Plug in your personal information. This may include the first day of your last period and the length of your cycle.
Buy an ovulation predictor kit. This is available in most drug stores. It measures a hormone present during ovulation that shows up in urine.
Take note of cervical mucus. The closer you are to ovulation, the thinner, clearer and more plentiful the mucus becomes.
Use the temperature method. Track your temperature each day after waking. Your temperature rises one degree as you ovulate.
Go to the Doctor
Make an appointment with a fertility specialist. Do this after you’ve already tried to conceive for one year if you’re 35 and younger. See the doctor after six months of trying if you’re older than 35. The specialist will conduct a physical exam and ask about your health and sexual history.
Ask for fertility tests. Get an ultrasound of your ovaries to make sure they are healthy. Ask for an x-ray of the uterus called a hysterosalpingography. This will show if there is anything blocking movement in the uterus or fallopian tubes. Ask the specialist to look inside your abdomen for abnormalities. The procedure is a minor surgery called a laparascopy. Ask your specialist to look inside your uterus for any potential problems. This procedure is called a hysteroscopy.
Ask your partner to submit to medical testing. Doctors will test your partner’s hormone levels and will look at your partner’s sperm to see if the shape, movement and numbers are within healthy ranges.