Schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN to discuss possible fertility options. If you have no fallopian tubes, naturally becoming pregnant through traditional methods will be very difficult.
Schedule an appointment to have your eggs harvested. Your eggs will be frozen and set aside for fertilization with your partner's sperm.
Schedule an appointment to have your partner's sperm harvested. The sperm will be frozen and set aside for fertilization with your egg(s).
Chart your basal body temperature and your monthly ovulation cycle. Your OB/GYN will recommend that implantation of a fertilized egg happen at a certain point during the month for an optimal environment.
Schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN to have the fertilized egg(s) implanted into your uterus.
Schedule a follow up appointment with your OB/GYN for an ultrasound and pregnancy test to check to see if the pregnancy has taken. This will typically happen about two weeks after in vitro fertilization has occurred.
The simplest and most important beverage you can consume during pregnancy is good old-fashioned H2O. MayoClinic.com reminds pregnant moms that water moves the nutrients from your food through your body into your baby. Other health benefits include preventing urinary tract infections, constipation, hemorrhoids and swelling, as well as dehydration, which can contribute to preterm labor.
Non-caffeinated teas combine the benefits of water with nutrient-rich herbs to benefit your pregnancy. Popular teas during pregnancy include red raspberry leaf tea, used to tone the uterus; peppermint, chamomile or ginger tea for nausea; and nettle tea, high in vitamins A, C, K, potassium and iron. Always check with your doctor or midwife before choosing an herbal tea as some herbs can have a negative effect on you or your baby. Avoid any cleansing teas that contain herbal laxatives, along with herbs such as black and blue cohosh, which can cause preterm labor or even miscarriage when used inappropriately.
Traditional cow's milk is often pushed as an essential beverage for pregnancy, as it contains a wide variety of important nutrients for both mom and baby. Dairy Makes Sense, a website devoted to explaining the importance of dairy, points out that dairy milk is a good source of calcium, vitamin D, potassium, protein and more, all vital for baby's development. Many non-dairy milks are fortified with these nutrients as well. Almond, coconut, rice and soy milks can all provide nutrient levels similar to dairy milk.
Like milk, many juices are now fortified with vitamin D and calcium and can be beneficial to a pregnant mother's diet. Choose only 100 percent juice, preferably fresh and not from concentrate for maximum nutritional benefit. Juice is high in natural sugars, so you may need to limit juice intake if you have been diagnosed with or are at risk for gestational diabetes. Ideally, use a juicer to create juices made from whole, fresh fruits and vegetables full of vitamins and minerals. Some experts recommend only drinking pasteurized juice while pregnant to avoid potentially harmful bacteria, so talk with your health provider if you are interested in juicing.
According to womenshealth.gov, a woman's chances of getting pregnant decreases with age, though women are still able to get pregnant into their 40s, and occasionally their 50s. Most women go through menopause in their late 40s to mid-50s, and perimenopause (onset) symptoms can begin 10 years before that. There are some cases of women going through perimenopause as young as their late 30s, and cases of women having children without fertility treatments into their mid-50s. This overlap of the time frames means there is a rather wide window of time when either is possible.
Pregnant and menopausal women may report missing a period, having an unusually short or light period or experience spotting only. They also report similar symptoms such as fatigue, mood swings, irritability, weight gain, bloating, lightheadedness or dizziness, breast pain and headaches. Note that not all pregnant or menopausal women experience all symptoms. Some may experience so few symptoms the change is hardly noticeable, while others may experience many symptoms, from mild to severe.
In the early stages of pregnancy, there are a few symptoms a woman may experience that menopausal women do not normally report: nausea, vomiting, back aches, more frequent urination, food cravings, and the darkening of the areolas. A woman could also refer to her previous menstrual cycles and the date of the last few times she had sex, particularly unprotected sex, to calculate if pregnancy is possible.
There are a number of symptoms that women going through menopause may experience that are not commonly found in pregnancy, or at least not the early stages of pregnancy. Some symptoms that indicate menopause are hot or cold flashes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, vaginal dryness, a decrease in libido, increased allergy sensitivity, loss of hair, increase of facial/body hair, softer or more brittle finger nails, disorientation, confusion, inability to concentrate, memory loss, incontinence, stronger body odour or breath, gum sensitivity, heart palpitations, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, digestive problems, muscle tension or soreness, achy joints and itchy or shock sensations in the skin.
According to women's online health resource Epigee.org, you can be both pregnant and menopausal at the same time. A woman can still get pregnant in the early menopausal stages. Until you have not menstruated for at least 12 months in a row, you may still be ovulating and pregnancy is a possibility. One simple way to determine if you're pregnant or menopausal is to take a pregnancy test. Either condition requires care, so if you are experiencing any symptoms at all you should contact your health care provider.
Learn How Reproduction Works
While you don’t need to have a deep (or even a shallow) understanding of reproduction, having some knowledge can help you get pregnant easier and faster. A woman can only become pregnant during ovulation, so there is a timing aspect involved. During ovulation, a woman releases an egg to be fertilized. If a sperm joins with this egg, she becomes pregnant. If there is no union, the egg breaks apart and menstruation occurs. An egg is available for fertilization for only 12 to 24 hours; however, sperm can live in a woman’s body for three to five days, extending a woman’s fertile period to the span of one week. During a 28-day menstruation cycle, ovulation typically occurs from days 11 to 21. Women can track their ovulation with a special kit or by noticing changes in cervical mucus or basal body temperature.
Unless you plan on conceiving through artificial means, you can’t get pregnant without having sex. If timing ovulation sounds too complicated for you, follow this strategy: have sex often. Having intercourse about three times a week will cover all the bases. No matter when a woman ovulates, chances are that there’s sperm around to fertilize the egg. Some people wait and time their intercourse to occur during ovulation, but this isn’t necessary if you’re having regular sex. Vary sex positions, avoiding any where the woman is on top. The sperm may stay in and “settle” longer if the woman is in the "missionary" position with her partner on top.
Relax and Treat Yourself Right
Couples who fret about getting pregnant are often--though not always--the ones who have the hardest time getting there. Relax and make sure you’re taking care of your body. Don’t drink or smoke (and if you do either of these, quit for at least the time being, if not forever) and stay far away from any drugs. Discontinue taking birth control, especially that containing hormones, and make sure you aren’t taking medication that can interfere with the fertilization process. Give it time and be patient. If you’ve waited, have tried everything and still have yet to become pregnant, talk to your doctor about fertility treatment options.
Many of the things that you take to the hospital will be for your own use and comfort. When you pack your bag, think about things that help to calm or distract you. Music, hot or cold packs, massaging items and soothing lotions or scents are all good ideas for distraction and pain relief. Most hospitals do not allow candles, but battery-operated tea lights may be relaxing. Snacks and sports drinks can help you keep your energy levels high. Pages of inspirational quotes or verses may help you to focus. Pack loose, comfortable clothing and dress in layers if you do not want to wear a hospital gown, but accept that things may get stained. Although the hospital may provide toiletries such as shampoo and toothpaste, you might prefer to take your own. If you are planning to breastfeed, take nursing bras and breast pads to the hospital.
Whether your birthing partner is your mother, your baby’s father or a midwife or doula, that person needs a bag as well. In this bag, ensure to pack extra snacks and drinks. Don’t forget cash for vending machines or the hospital cafeteria. Pack music, books and magazines for your labor partner and put him or her in charge of the camera if you want photographs after your baby is born. Ensure that your partner’s bag includes comfortable shoes and a change of clothes so that everyone is as comfortable as possible.
After all of the work of a natural labor and delivery, don’t forget that you will be bringing home a baby. Make certain that you have a properly-installed car seat in your car. Many hospitals will not let you leave until they verify this. Take a “going home” outfit for baby as well as a change or two of clothes. Most hospitals will provide diapers and wipes but you may want to take blankets or sleepers for your baby.
Many women aspire to have a natural childbirth and succeed. Other women make different choices once labor starts. Some women find that the pain of childbirth is manageable, while other women choose to use medications. Remember that how you give birth does not determine your worth as a person or as a parent. Listen to your body and your doctors and make choices that are best for both you and your baby.
Pregnancy puts a physical stress on your body and an emotional stress on the rest of you. Waiting more than six months after your last birth gives your uterus time to heal and shrink back to normal size. If you had a Cesarean delivery, it allows your incision time to heal after major surgery, obstetrician Dr. Jennifer Wu of Lenox Hill Hospital reports on the "Parenting" magazine website. Waiting six months also allows you time to build your iron and folic acid stores back up. Anemia in pregnancy can cause preterm labor, while low folic acid levels increase the risk of neural tube defects.
You might want your children close enough so they'll be friends, but not so close that you have difficulty coping with two infants at one time. Even if you have your children close together, there's no guarantee that they'll get along or play together well. No consistent relationship between birth spacing and the quality of siblings' relationships with one another has been found, according to the textbook, "Parenthood in America: An Encyclopedia." Children born more than two years apart and less than two years apart have the same overall levels of interaction and positive or negative effects on one another.
Having your children too close together could increase the chances of autism in your second child if your first child has autism, a Columbia University study published in the February 2011 issue of Pediatrics found. The highest risk occurred in children born less than one year after their sibling; their odds of developing autism were 3.3 times higher than normal, compared to a 1.86 times higher risk in children born after two to three years and 1.26 times higher risk after a three-year interval.
If you get pregnant less than 18 months after the end of your last pregnancy, you have a higher risk of giving birth prematurely or having a small-for-gestational age or low birth weight baby. Pregnancy complications also increase if you wait five years or more before adding a sibling, according to a Colombian meta-analysis of studies published in the April 2006 issue of JAMA. Women who got pregnant within six months after a delivery had a 40-percent chance of delivering prematurely and a 61-percent higher chance of having a low birth weight or smaller-than-normal baby.