Trying to Conceive: Just Starting Out

WebMD Live Events Transcript

Are you trying to conceive? Amos Grunebaum, MD, medical director of the WebMD Fertility Center, joined us on Nov. 8, 2004, to talk about the first baby steps to parenthood, from understanding your cycle to the ABCs of fertility charting.

The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

MEMBER QUESTION:
I am trying to get pregnant for the first time so as you can imagine I am very paranoid. I was on the patch up until the 5th of last month. When I took off my last patch I immediately got my period. My husband and I started trying to get pregnant right away. As of today I am seven days late according to my schedule when I was on the patch. I have, however, no other symptoms of pregnancy other then random nausea. Could anything else be causing my period to be so late or could I be pregnant?

DR. AMOS:
The patch works similarly to the pill. It emits hormones regularly into your body and thus it prevents you from ovulating. After you stop the patch, your body normally takes some time to readjust, so it's normal for ovulation to take some time to show up again. That may take 2-8 weeks. Until ovulation returns, your period may not come or they may be irregular.

In the meantime you may want to start charting your temperature. Keeping a BBT temperature chart will help you identify early on when ovulation returns.

MEMBER QUESTION:
I am a 28-year-old who has been trying to conceive for six months. I was on the pill (Alesse) for about five years. We are actively trying and I believe I have a tilted uterus. Would that make conception harder? I have gotten ovulation tests and we have tried to conceive on the days that I was ovulating but nothing happened. I am scared that I cannot have children. Am I being paranoid? What do I need to do to make me pregnant really soon??

DR. AMOS:
A tilted uterus is also known as a "retroverted uterus." A retroverted uterus is normal; maybe 1 in 3 women have it. It rarely if ever causes fertility problems.

Making love only on the days of ovulation is less likely to get you pregnant. It's generally suggested to make love regularly two to three times a week, every week. In addition, you should make love every day or every other day during the five days prior to and the day of ovulation. If that didn't help you get pregnant within six to 12 months then the next step is to see your ob-gyn.

You may also want your husband to have a sperm count done. That's usually a good idea before you get any further tests. In about 50% of infertile couples there is a male problem, and finding out about it early on will improve your chances of getting pregnant sooner.

MEMBER QUESTION:
I am a 20-year-old female and I have no children. I have been on the pill sine I was 17. I am currently on no form of birth control and I haven't been for seven months. Am I going to have problems conceiving a child due to being on the pill for a long time?

DR. AMOS:
The pill is rarely the reason of fertility problems. If you now ovulate regularly (do you?) and his sperm count is fine (is it?) then the next step would be to test and see if your tubes are open

MEMBER QUESTION:
Is it normal not to ovulate although you get a period every month?

DR. AMOS:
If you have a regular menstrual cycle around 28 days, then it's likely that you ovulate. Keeping a temperature chart will confirm it for sure.

"In about 50% of infertile couples there is a male problem, and finding out about it early on will improve your chances of getting pregnant sooner."

MEMBER QUESTION:
I am 23 and this is our 2nd month at TTC and I was just wondering what the percentage of getting pregnant was when you BD on all fertile days? I've been charting and everything is normal. Just wondering.

DR. AMOS:
Your chances getting pregnant are about 20% each month, and about 50% of couples get pregnant within four to five months, 85% within a year.
Good luck!

MEMBER QUESTION:
I was on the pill for 15 years. I went off birth control pills in June 2004. I have been trying to get pregnant since then. No luck so far. I am 35 years old. I use OPK monitor. Anything else I should try?

DR. AMOS:
Before we take this further, you should let us know whether you are ovulating or not. That's the very first step in assessing fertility.

MEMBER QUESTION:
From what I see on the OPKs I believe I am ovulating. I have had irregular periods since going off the pill. They range from 20 to 25 days apart. Is this a problem for TTC since they are not 28 days?

DR. AMOS:
OPKs are not a good enough sign of ovulation. With irregular and such short cycles, chances are that you have problems with ovulation. The very best next step is to keep a fertility and temperature chart. That should tell you within a short time period whether you ovulate or not. Once you know this information you should be able to proceed to the next steps.

MEMBER QUESTION:
I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow to talk about conceiving. Is there anything I should be asking her to check?

DR. AMOS:
Unfortunately, we don't have enough space here to bring up all questions, but the most important ones would be to ask what could be wrong and what you can do now to find out. If you have a temperature chart you would already have some answers.




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