First Response Australia

GENERAL PREGNANCY
& CONCEPTION FAQS

We’ve compiled a number of frequently asked questions on ovulation, conception and fertility to assist you in your journey from conception to parenthood. Learn the facts, so you can avoid some of the common misconceptions about pregnancy.

PREGNANCY QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

If you are using the Pill you should stop taking it a few months before you wish to become pregnant. It takes at least a month for your menstrual cycle to get back to normal.

It can take a while to fall pregnant but most couples will conceive within one year. You should try to relax as stress can affect your fertility and upset your menstrual cycle although this is easier said than done. However, if you have failed to become pregnant after 12 months of actively trying then maybe you should consider seeing your GP who can refer you to a fertility specialist.

  • Even before a missed period you may experience breast tenderness, due to the high pregnancy hormone levels.
  • Food cravings (not fully understood but evident nonetheless).
  • Tiredness is very common and is due to all the changes the body has to make to accept a developing pregnancy.
  • Frequent urination. This is very common and is caused by the growing uterus pressing on the bladder.
  • Darkening of the areola (area immediately around the nipples). This is due to a change in skin pigmentation during pregnancy and can also affect the line between the tummy button and the pubic bone.
  • Morning sickness. This is not always in the morning and does not always cause sickness. Nausea or just a strange taste may be noted.
    It may continue throughout the whole pregnancy or may not occur. Normally, it settles in the fourth month when the placenta takes over the work of producing pregnancy hormones.
  • Basal body temperature (BBT). This will remain high following fertilisation and can be a sign that pregnancy has occurred ifassociated with other signs.
  • Missed period. If your period is late and you have had unprotected sex then there is a chance you could be pregnant.
  • Implantation bleed or crampy pains. Even if you have cramps and spotting of blood when your period is due, you could still bepregnant. Sometimes, when the embryo is becoming implanted into the uterine wall, a small amount of bleeding is experiencedand is quite normal.
Our FIRST RESPONSE™ Early Result In-Stream Pregnancy Test and FIRST RESPONSE™ Digital Pregnancy Tests are over 99% accurate (in laboratory testing)1. They can tell you 6 days earlier than the day of your missed period (5 days before period is due)2 & 3 whether you are pregnant or not – and are easy, clear and quick1. 

The first few weeks of pregnancy are critical to fetal development, so early prenatal care is important to healthy birth weight and baby survival. In addition, couples who are keen to conceive will wish to know as soon as possible so they can take steps to make sure the woman is in optimum health and in the best possible state to carry a pregnancy to term. An early result could help to reduce any stress which can occur in the days leading up to finding out if the pregnancy is ongoing or not. This in itself should produce a more conducive environment for a potential pregnancy to proceed.

With continued advances in infertility treatment many women are having assisted conception which, in itself, can be highly stressful. An early test would be beneficial if only to give them the pleasure of knowing they are pregnant before anyone else finds out (an early window of knowledge). The sooner you know you’re pregnant, the sooner you can begin making healthy choices for yourself and your baby that include, diet, nutrition and limiting your exposure to hazards.

You should make an appointment to see your doctor to confirm you are pregnant and advise your next steps.

Now that you are pregnant, it is essential that you have a healthy lifestyle. You should stop smoking, avoid alcohol as much as possible and eat a healthy diet.

A positive answer means you had enough hCG hormone at the time of testing to be detected by FIRST RESPONSE™. It may lead to a successful pregnancy but it is important to note that there can be complications, and up to 25% of embryos do not survive and are shed afew days later (this is known as a miscarriage).1

Common causes of false-positive results include:

  • Recent birth or miscarriage, because a woman’s blood and urine may still contain detectible levels of hCG for afew weeks afterwards

We advise you to test again a few days later to confirm the result.

OVULATION QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

The best time to become pregnant is during ovulation. This ‘fertility window’ will give you the opportunity to try for a baby during 3 to 4 days. Even if eggs live up to 24 hours, the sperm of your partner can live up to 72 hours (3 days). So it makes sense for the sperm to have already made their journey to the egg, for when it is released. If you wait until ovulation has happened to try for a baby, the chances of the egg and sperm finding each other reduces.

Yes there are several signs to tell if you are ovulating. Basal body temperature (BBT): daily temperature recordings show that at ovulation your temperature spikes by 0.5 -1 degree centigrade.

Cervical mucus changes: around the time of ovulation the mucus in the cervix changes from being thick and opaque to become thin, clear and stringy. This is also a sign that a woman is at her most fertile.

Blood tests and ultrasound scans of the ovary will give conclusive evidence of ovulation but are not usually required unless infertility is suspected. Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns.

Our FIRST RESPONSE™ Complete Pregnancy Planning Kit is the perfect tool to help you increase your chance of conception. It includes seven ovulation prediction tests, to help you predict your most fertile 24 hours of the month. These tests detect the ‘LH surge’.

The ovulation prediction tests are simple, easy-to-use and highly accurate (over 98% in laboratory testing) .To detect the ‘LH surge’, you simply test your urine near mid-menstrual cycle to determine an increased level of LH. (See instructions inside the package for more detailed information.) Most women will ovulate within 24 to 36 hours after the ‘LH surge’ is detected. If you have intercourse at any time during the 24 to 36 hours after you detect your ‘LH surge’, you will maximise your chance of becoming pregnant.5

Also included in the FIRST RESPONSE™ Complete Pregnancy Planning Kit. is a FIRST RESPONSE™ Digital Pregnancy Test. With its patented technology, our FIRST RESPONSE™ Early Result In-Stream Pregnancy Test can detect very low levels of pregnancy hormone2 – letting you know sooner, which is important for being able to take better care of yourself and your baby.


1 In clinical testing FIRST RESPONSE™ In-Stream Pregnancy Tests detected the hormone levels in 62% of women, 6 days before the day of the missed period (5 days before the day of expected period), in 78% of women 5 days before their missed period, in 87% of women 4 days before their missed period, in 98% of women 3 days before their missed period and in 99% of women 2 days before their missed period.

FERTILITY QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

There’s no research or clinical evidence to support that “worrying” hinders conception. Extreme stress can affect your ability to ovulate in very rare cases. “Worrying about it,” on the other hand, can be useful if it moves you to action in the form of determining your ovulation and then timing intercourse to coincide with your most fertile time.

Boxers are less constricting than briefs. They allow testicles to hang loose, away from the body — and keep cool. Testicles should stay a couple of degrees below normal body temperature to function optimally. While it’s true that sperm counts rise in cooler temperatures, it takes at least two months for cooler temperatures to positively affect the sperm — so rapid cooling, as with an ice pack, won’t help. However, staying out of the hot tub and sauna, avoiding long, hot baths, tight jeans and pants, and pants, and yes, wearing boxers instead of briefs may help.

Frequency of sex around ovulation is important and I advise my patients to have sex at least every other day during this time. I stress, unless you’re ovulating, you won’t get pregnant. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a major study found no difference in pregnancy rates between couples who had sex daily and those who had sex every other day.

It is thought that sperm with Y chromosomes (male) swim faster than sperm with the X chromosomes (female), and are able to reach the egg earlier in its journey to the uterus (i.e., right after ovulation). Although it sounds believable, a New England Journal of Medicine study found nothing conclusive to this theory.

Actually, some studies claim that a man’s sperm count may be higher in the morning. Furthermore, having sex with the man on top is recommended. The missionary position allows for the deepest penetration, placing sperm closer to the opening of the cervix, which will allow easier access to the egg.


All Information within the Fertility FAQs has been compiled with the help of Mary Jane Minkin, MD. Mary is a board-certified obstetrician/ gynecologist in private practice in New Haven, Connecticut, and a Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine.


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