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Methods of planning pregnancy

Methods of planning pregnancy

If you wish to conceive, you should first stop using contraceptives. Next, you should determine your ovulation period or the fertile period of your menstrual cycle. This period refers to the phase when the ovaries produce ova or the eggs.

Transformation taking place in menstrual cycle

There are various methods of determining the period of ovulation-

  • Calendar method- If you have a 28 days cycle, then most probably you will ovulate around the 14th day after you begin menstruating. If you have a longer cycle, then you may ovulate around day 20 after your periods begin.

    Calendar method for pregnancy planning

  • Body temperature method- The body temperature increases slightly during the ovulation period. You should record your body temperature every morning and keep a monthly record of the changes in body temperature. Fertility is higher during 2-3 days before your body temperature increases. By using this method, you can predict the best time for conception.

    Body Temperature Method

  • Cervical mucus method- The consistency of the cervical mucus also helps to determine the ovulation phase. If the mucus is clear, and stretchy, like a raw egg, it indicates that you are ovulating. You should plan for having sex up to 5 days after finding this consistency in your mucus. If you find that the cervical discharge is cloudy and dry, it indicates that you are not ovulating. You can use an ovulation predictor kit to determine exact ovulation period.

    Cervical mucus method

Once you know the fertile period, you should have regular intercourse, starting 2-3 days before ovulation. Avoid use of spermicides and lubricants because they may prevent conception. Once your partner ejaculates, lie on your back, relax, and lie flat for 15 minutes because these measures increase the chances of pregnancy. You can use pregnancy kit like I-can to detect pregnancy.

Natural family planning method:

These refer to the methods, which helps to achieve or postpone pregnancies.

Standard day's method: This method is effective if you have menstrual cycles which are around 26 - 32 days long. In this method, you have to use calendar. You have to mark day 1 when your menses begins. Then you have to mark the same day of the week, one week later, as 8th day and then count till the 19th day. This period from 8th – 19th day is your fertile period.

Standard day method

As per this method, from day 8th to 19th there are increased chances of conception. During this period, you should abstain from having sexual intercourse to prevent conception. You can have sexual intercourse from day 1st- 7th and 20th – end of the cycle, as during these times a woman is less fertile and the chances of conception are less. Check the monthly menstrual cycle and determine the length of each cycle. If you have more than one cycle per year, which is shorter than 26 days or longer than 32 days then this method of determining the safe period is less effective.

The temperature method: Check your body temperature every morning after waking up and record it. Make sure that you measure your body temperature daily at the same time. After 6 days, calculate the average body temperature. If temperatures recorded on 3 consecutive days are higher than the average of the temperatures recorded in the month, it indicates that ovulation has taken place sometime in these 3 days. This further indicates that after the 3rd day(day on which your basal body temperature was high) you can have sexual intercourse without worry and you will not get pregnant up till your next fertile phase.

Mucus Method: Check your cervical mucus secretion daily in the morning. Check the consistency of the mucus by slowly pressing the sample between thumb and your finger. If it is clear and stringy, like egg white then it indicates that you are ovulating. Wait for four more days and then you can be sure that your ovulation phase has ended. After the next four days, you will have cloudy and dry cervical mucus.

Cervical Position Observation: Wash your hands then insert your middle finger into your cervix and find out its height, wetness, opening, and softness. You should check your cervix at the same time of day and in the same position. The position of cervix changes throughout the menstrual cycle. During the first few days after the beginning of your menses, the cervix is low and firm like the tip of the nose. When you near your ovulation phase, your cervix becomes wet, moves up, become softer, and starts opening up. The cervix is most open during the ovulation. After ovulation, the cervix again becomes dry and returns to a firm, low, and closed position.