Things to Consider While Planning Your Family
There are many things that you should consider if you are planning on starting or adding to your family. If you are planning on becoming pregnant, you will want to make sure that you are healthy and prepared.
You will also want to know when you are ovulating. If you are pregnant, you will want to know what normal pregnancy symptoms are and how to follow the development of your pregnancy. Keep reading to find out more about general family planning topics.
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Ovulation generally occurs halfway through a woman’s menstrual cycle. A woman’s menstrual cycle is generally 28 days, but cycles can last between 23 to 35 days. There are a few ways to determine if you are ovulating including:
- Keep a calendar - Keeping a calendar of your menstrual cycle can help you to determine what your normal cycle looks like. You will need to keep a calendar for a few months to get a good idea of what your regular cycle looks like. There are many online calendars and apps that you can also use to help you calculate when you are ovulating.
- Look for physical signs - Many women will experience physical signs that ovulation is occurring. Many women experience a series of cramps in their lower side called mittelschmerz which often signals ovulation. Keep a close watch for this feeling if you have not experienced it before. When ovulation occurs, the cervix opens and softens up. It also pulls back to allow sperm to reach the egg. Checking your cervix can allow you to help determine when you are ovulating. You should also keep an eye on your cervical mucus, which will generally become clearer and slippery the closer you get to ovulation. Once you are ovulating, cervical discharge generally becomes thicker. You may also have less cervical mucus. Tracking your cervix may take some time, but it can be very helpful if you are trying to conceive. Many women experience breast tenderness, bloating and light spotting when they are about to ovulate.
- Ovulation predictor kit - You can purchase an ovulation predictor kit in stores and online. These kits can help to pinpoint your date of ovulation within 12 to 24 hours. These kits check the levels a specific hormone through a urine test. These tests can determine if you are going to ovulate soon. Other types of ovulation predictor kits include saliva tests, sweat/salt tests, and more.
If you are trying to get pregnant or are recently pregnant, you will want to know how far along you are and when you are due. There are many pregnancy calculators that can help you date your pregnancy. Pregnancy calculators can also help you find out how far along you are in your pregnancy and what your due date is. Many pregnancy calculators will guide you through fetal development throughout your pregnancy. A few of the most popular pregnancy calculators include WebMD pregnancy calculator, Pampers pregnancy calculator, Babycenter pregnancy calculator, What To Expect pregnancy calculator and many more. Many pregnancy calculators will also include valuable information for expectant mothers including informative articles, food and nutrition ideas, health advice, and much more.
Pregnancy brings with it many physical changes. A few of the most common pregnancy symptoms include:
- Missed period - A missed period is one of the most common signs of pregnancy. If you are a woman with a regular menstrual cycle, a missed period may mean you are pregnant. If a week or more has passed since you were supposed to get your period, you may want to try a pregnancy test.
- Tender breasts - Many women experience tender breasts due to hormonal changes that occur early in pregnancy.
- Implantation bleeding - Some women will experience bleeding that is like their period but has subtle differences. The color of the implantation bleeding is often dark brown or pink. Implantation bleeding generally only lasts a few hours or a couple of days.
- Constipation - Constipation is a common complaint of pregnant women because their hormonal changes can cause the digestive system to slow down.
- Fatigue - One of the most common complaints of pregnant women is fatigue. Hormonal changes (especially at the beginning of your pregnancy) can cause you to feel extremely tired.
- Mood swings - Many women who are pregnant feel all sorts of emotions. These emotions and mood swings are very common and are due to hormonal changes.
- Bloating - Bloating is a common sign of early pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Some women may also experience belly tenderness and discomfort.
- Nausea - Nausea with or without vomiting is a common sign of early pregnancy. It is commonly referred to as morning sickness. Pregnancy hormones can cause some women to avoid certain foods.
The best way to confirm if you are pregnant or not is to take a pregnancy test. A pregnancy test detects the hormone that causes pregnancy. There are many pregnancy tests that can be done easily in the privacy of your own home. Often these pregnancy tests will test the urine for this hormone. They will often have a test strip that will change color if the hormone is present, meaning that the pregnancy test is positive. It is important to follow the directions because misuse can lead to inaccurate results. A few of the most common at-home pregnancy test kits include Clearblue, First Response and E.P.T. You can also schedule an appointment with your doctor for a pregnancy test. Your doctor will often use a urine and/or blood test to determine if you are pregnant or not.
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