How to Manage Your ‘Fertile’ Days

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Anita Oga found out that she was expecting when the pregnancy was three months. She was 20 and in her first year at university. She rushed to her doctor and asked if it is possible to become pregnant after sexual intercourse during menstruation period.

Oga says the doctor said it is possible for a woman to become pregnant even when sex takes place during their ‘menstrual period’ because most people confuse any for form of bleeding for menstruation period otherwise, and it is not possible for one to conceive during menstruation periods.

The doctor, she said, also explained that it is not right for one to have sex during menstruationperiods. In order to understand this, not every blood that comes from the vagina is actually menstruation period .you need to know that sperm can survive up to four days in a woman’s body.

“My doctor told me that a woman can only become pregnant on the day she ovulates, but she can receive the sperm before her ovulation and still become pregnant,” Oga said.

The process:

Experts say ovulation (the releasing of an egg) occurs two weeks starting from the first day of a normal menstruation period. However, the problem is that many women are not absolutely regular in their monthly periods.

You cannot say with certainty when your next period will begin. It might be as long as 32 days or as short as 21 days. The average is 28 days, but many things can cause a woman’s cycle to vary.

According to Dr Samuel Kagali, a gynecologist, at Kacyiru Police Hospital, the ovulation period (fertile period) is between the 10th to 16th day of the cycle and ovulation most likely occurs on the 13th to 14th day of the cycle (one should not that the counting of these days start from the first day a woman starts menstruating and not the last day). If you trying to conceive, you should focus on these days and if not, avoid unprotected sex during these days.

“It is also important to note that the counting of days starts from the first day of the periods and not the last day of the period. Trying to time sex to the period after ovulation is still chancy. There is always the possibility that you will have a longer than normal cycle, putting you in range of getting pregnant,” he says.

“Now, let us suppose that this month you just happen to have a short cycle of only 21 days. That means your egg is released just after your period ends. If you had sex before the 13th day, there is a possibility that sperm will be present in the fallopian tubes to meet the egg and cause pregnancy,” Dr Kagali says.

This is why married couples who try to use the ‘rhythm method’ (engaging in sex only during the period of the month when pregnancy is least likely to occur) still face a 20 per cent chance of becoming pregnant in one year, the gynaecologist says.

He also says if one is trying to concieve, they should try as much as they can to have frequent sex during the ovulation period at least three to four times a week but spaced among the days.

Robert Crooks and Karla Baur, in their book Our Sexuality, say choosing the right time for intercourse is important in increasing the probability of conception. Conception is most likely to occur within the six-day period ending on the day of ovulation.

It is difficult to predict the exact time of ovulation, but several methods permit a reasonable approximation.

Taking life serious:

Dr Kagali advises the adolescents to stop taking life for granted, saying adolescence is a period of exploration, when sexual behavior both self-stimulation and partner-shared stimulation generally increases.

“Wouldn’t it be better to stop playing games with your life and the potential lives of your children? Do things in the proper order: find someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, fall in love, get married, and then enjoy sex without the constant worries and sinfulness of uncommitted sex,” he advises.

According to Dr Norbert Kalema, the initial signs of pregnancy can incite feelings from joy to fear, depending on the woman’s desire to be pregnant, her partner’s feelings, and a variety of surrounding circumstances.

“Although some women have either a light blood flow or spotting (irregular bleeding) after conception, usually the first indication of pregnancy is the absence of the menstrual period at the expected time,” Dr Kalema says.

More so, breast tenderness, nausea, vomiting, or other nonspecific symptoms (such as extreme fatigue or change in appetite) can also accompany pregnancy in the first weeks or months. Any of these clues might cause a woman to suspect that she is pregnant.

Medical techniques such as blood or urine tests and pelvic exams can make the determination with greater certainty. The blood and urine of a pregnant woman contain the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, which is secreted by the placenta.

About author

Kemi Wale-Olaitan

Kemi is a retired broadcaster from the service of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria; while in service, she had her interest in women issues and had interviews with several notable women in the course of her duty as a producer in the service of the Federal government. Her interest in broadcasting was informed by her creative writing prowess; she has been very active in creative writing since her undergraduate days, and she has written a few fictional works in form of short stories and novel. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies of Short stories. Kemi was also very active in the establishment of the Women Writers Association of Nigeria (WRITA) and she served on its first Executive Council.

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