Our body speaks to us all the time. Some of us may be a little dense and it takes us getting severe pain or exhaustion to get through to us. I would recommend getting to a point where you can identify the subtleties of your body and what it is trying to tell you. Especially if you are thinking you would like to start trying to have a child or would like to in the next year or two.
There are a lot of tests that can be done to tell you exactly what is happening inside your body, but like I said your body will tell you a lot if you just pay attention. There are many subtle signs your body is ready for pregnancy.
- How can I tell if I’m fertile?
- How can I tell if I’m in good health to get pregnant?
- What are the signs I’m ovulating?
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How Do I Know If I’m Fertile?
You can go to your OBGYN or a fertility specialist to run some tests to help you determine if you and your partner are able to conceive. Most doctors and specialist won’t do this for you unless you have been trying on your own for 6-12 months and been unable to conceive. I understand if that seems like a long time to wait to see what happens.
There are several different at home fertility tests that can be done. The prices and types of information may vary. Once receiving your results, you may also want to consult with a fertility specialist or your OBGYN.
Why Do I Need to Know If I’m Fertile?
With more women waiting until their 30s-40s to start families it is important to be prepared. There are physiological and biological factors that can affect our fertility as we get into our 30s. As we get older the quality and quantity of our eggs decrease. If we are prepared and understand our health, we can better prepare for our future family on the timeline that works for us. If you feel that you may have some concerns, it may be worth it to talk with a doctor even if you aren’t planning on getting pregnant in the next few years so that you are aware of your options in the future.
If you are thinking about trying to start a family or are actively trying, understand your body and what is happening may take some of the stress and uncertainty away from trying to conceive. This can be a mentally exhausting endeavor when you really want to have a baby.
Signs Your Body Is Ready For Pregnancy
Having a regular menstrual cycle off of hormonal birth control is a good indicator your body is regularly ovulating and your likelihood of getting pregnant is relatively good. You may not ovulate every cycle, but it is typically a good sign. Most regular periods are about 28-30 days.
Feel Generally Healthy
Being in overall good health is a plus when it comes to fertility. If you have any uncontrolled chronic health conditions or mental health issues it can make getting pregnant a little more challenging but not impossible. Working on your general physical and mental health can improve your chances or getting pregnant naturally on your own.
Smoking can have negative impacts on your fertility along with other aspects of your health. If you have never smoked, then that is just an added bonus. Smoking can accelerate the loss of eggs over time and can shorten your reproductive window. If you currently smoke, start taking steps to cut out smoking and quit all together.
Your Periods Aren’t Extremely Painful
If you have extremely painful periods that could be a sign of chronic issues such as endometriosis, which is when the lining normally found in your uterus is found on the outside of the uterus (typically in the pelvic cavity or ovaries). This can make it more difficult to conceive.
Your Periods Aren’t Heavy
Women with heavy periods may have a harder time conceiving as this could be related to uterine fibroids. Fibroids are benign tumors that vary in size and location. They can interfere with embryo implantation and a growing pregnancy. This will vary based on the woman and the location and size of the fibroid.
Having Regular Signs of Ovulation
Change In Cervical Fluid
Your cervical fluid is a good indicator or ovulation. It will change to a clear and sticky “egg white” like substance. This is because your body is starting to produce more estrogen that will help the egg mature prior to ovulation. This helps to create a more friendly environment to allow sperm to reach the egg.
Change In Basal Body Temperature
This is something that you will want to track over time to identify changes in your body’s basal body temperature. You will see a slight decline during the first half of your menstrual cycle followed by an incline after ovulation. Progesterone causes the change in temperature as it prepares the uterus for the implantation of a fertilized egg.
These changes in temperature are slight so you will need to purchase a basal body temperature thermometer and track this over time to guide you in your planning.
Change In Cervical Position & Firmness
Our cervix is the bottom part of our uterus and the top of our vagina. It is what dilates during labor and childbirth to allow for baby to be delivered. The cervix changes throughout our menstrual cycle. When you are close to ovulating your cervix becomes higher, softer, more open, and wet. You can check your cervix at home, but it will take time and practice for you to understand what you are feeling.
Other Secondary symptoms:
- Increased sex drive
- Increased sense of smell, taste, or vision
- Breast tenderness
- Slight cramping or pain on one side of the pelvis
- Light spotting
Learn to listen to your body. It will give you signs your body is ready for pregnancy. Track your body’s changes over time and become in tune with the flow of your cycle. As you do you will feel empowered as you move forward towards trying to conceive, planning for the future, or speaking with your provider about concerns you may have. You are your best advocate. Follow your gut as you move forward on whatever timeframe you choose. As always please reach out by commenting on this post or emailing me directly.
Jess is a registered nurse with over 6+ years of critical care experience for patients young and old and is the mother of two small children. After having her own children she felt inspired to provide mothers with real actionable guidance and education to make informed decisions throughout their pregnancy and postpartum experience.