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Doctors share the worst mistake women make when trying to conceive

Pregnancy is supposed to be something that occurs naturally – but for an increasing number of women experiencing infertility worldwide, things just aren’t adding up.

Whilst well-meaning friends and family might chip in with their opinions, they might end up doing more harm than good, especially when this results in unverified information being taken for the gospel truth. One misconception that many women have, according to Machelle Seibel, M.D., professor of gynecology at the University of Massachusetts, is that ovulation occurs on day 14 of their menstrual cycle, without fail. This results in women making the mistake of timing their intercourse to fall specifically on this day.

“The tricky thing about ovulation is that it differs for everyone,” explains Seibel, “and the problem arises when a woman, having been told by her doctor that her ovulation should start on a particular day, assumes that it’s the same for her acquaintances, and advises them accordingly.”

Your ovulation date is calculated based on the duration of your cycle, as well as which part of your cycle you ovulate in. Women who ovulate midcycle through a 28 day cycle, for example, will ovulate on day 14 of their cycle. However, if you have a shorter or longer cycle, you’ll need to account for that. In addition to this, it isn’t a given that you’ll ovulate midcycle – with many women ovulating as early as on day 10, and some ovulating late as well.

Whilst you can most certainly track the length of your periods and figure out your average, there isn’t a surefire method to know whether you ovulate early, in the middle, or late in your cycle. Because of this, those mobile apps that you use to keep track of your ovulation might not be entirely accurate – so don’t hone in on any one day for intercourse. Instead, what you should be doing is to have intercourse in the days leading up to, as well as the days immediately following your estimated date of ovulation.  

Understanding your ovulation date and planning accordingly is critical for women who are trying to conceive; however, for a more holistic and thorough approach, other factors such as sleeping patterns, stress levels, and exercise regimes should also be taken into consideration.

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