What’s needed to get pregnant

The 4 Essential Requirements to Get Pregnant

If you have been trying for a while to get pregnant with no success, the thought that you are infertile may have crossed your minds more than once.  Your fertility is important!  However, the fact is that most couples  need at least 6-12 months to get pregnant, even under the best of circumstances. And most women with PCOS do get pregnant.

However with the stress of trying to conceive, and ovulation problems that can occur with PCOS means it can sometimes take even longer.

So – to achieve a pregnancy there needs to be 4 essentials:

  1. You need to be ovulating (means releasing an egg) from your ovaries. Ideally on a regular basis. A regular menstrual period generally means you are ovulating regularly. Very lengthy menstrual cycles can indicate infrequent ovulation.
  • Ovulation is your fertile time, when the egg is released from your ovary. It is picked up by your fallopian tube and waits there to be fertilized by your partner’s sperm. The egg only has about 24 hours for fertilization before it dies
  • On average, women have about 10 to 12 menstrual cycles a year, therefore indicating ovulation 10 to 12 times that year, and 10 to 12 chances of pregnancy events
  • If you have maybe 6 cycles that year it means you have ovulated 6 times that year, and only 6 chances to conceive. That is if you knew you were ovulating at a particular time.
  • On average a woman’s menstrual cycle is about 28 days. Ovulation occurs mid-cycle and therefore around day 14.
  • Day 1 we call the first day of your bleeding- then day 14 is 14 days later.

Women with PCOS though do not often have a regular cycle, and therefore do not ovulate on a regular basis. This can make it difficult to get your fertile time right. In my fertility clinic many of my PCOS patients describe their menstruation as occurring any where from 4 weeks to sometimes 20 weeks. So of course they are not sure if they are ovulating. I then organize various blood tests on them to check for this.

2.      You need to have fallopian tubes that are open and not blocked ( doctors call this Patent fallopian tubes) and able to pick-up the released egg. Fertilization of the egg by your partner’s sperm occurs within the outer third of your fallopian tube.

  • Fallopian tubes are tubular structures arising from either side of the uterus. There role is to pick up the ovulated egg, and if fertilized, move it down to the uterus (womb) so it can implant into the lining.
  • There are special tests to check if your fallopian tubes are open. These are outpatient tests- HSG called hystero-salpingogram, or hycosy or  in hospital operation called a laparoscopy

3.     Your partner’s semen has to have a reasonable number of sperm that are swimming at a fast speed to get to the egg in your fallopian tube.

  • The sperm also has to be functioning and able to penetrate the egg for fertilization to take place.
  • The fertilized egg will then hopefully divide into many cells and develop into an embryo that is of good quality
  • To check the semen your partner needs to see his doctor who will organize for a laboratory to look at his semen sample

4.        And lastly there has to be sexual intercourse on the appropriate day in your menstrual cycle- which is your day that you ovulate.

  • On average a woman’s menstrual cycle is about 28 days. Ovulation occurs mid-cycle and therefore around day 14.
  • I usually tell my ladies to have sexual intercourse from day 10 of her cycle, every 2 days for the next week. Example: – day 10, day 12, day 14 and day 16
  • Otherwise having sexual intercourse every 2 to 3 days is ok