What Is Conception?
You want to get pregnant. Motherhood has been one of your ultimate dreams in life and so you find yourself casting a yearning look on women holding their babies. “I will have my own someday”, you whisper to yourself. Perhaps now is the time you think you’re ready to have a baby. So you need to brief yourself with the facts of conception and pregnancy to prepare you and your body better.
Several questions may flood your mind like “when can I know that I’m pregnant?” “When does human life begin?” or “what takes place in the conception of a baby? Let’s take a closer look at the facts concerning conception and getting pregnant.
Conception is the time when the champion sperm enters the egg in the fallopian tube during sexual activity between a man and a woman. This moment is when the human life cycle begins. The sperm and egg unite called fertilization which then produces a genetically distinct individual, a unique offspring of two individuals. This is the time when a woman can consider herself pregnant. The series of steps from conception to pregnancy is surprisingly complicated, therefore, health is vital in the conception process — a woman’s reproductive tract, and the quality of a man’s sperm. So for a pregnancy to be successful, everything must fall into place. It is advisable that you be knowledgeable and acquainted with conception-related concerns such as the time of its occurrence; the intricate process following its occurrence, and the time frame of the process. Equally important are the things you need to take note to arrive at, ultimately, a healthy pregnancy.
When Does Conception Occur?
Over the years, you could instinctively tell when you have your period. During your menstrual cycle, conception can take place. This is called ovulation. Ovulation usually falls on the 14th day, the midpoint of the 28-day cycle. However, please take note that the length of normal cycles may even vary.
Now, if getting pregnant is serious stuff for you, you need to be mindful about certain health concerns that may if not greatly, affect conception and pregnancy such as your weight, lifestyle, and habits. Achieving a healthy weight before conception gives the baby a greater chance of being healthy at birth and into his growing years to adulthood. For overweight women (BMI above 24.9), even just small weight loss may help improve fertility, conception, and pregnancy health. Weight loss can be achieved with the proper diet which consists of high protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and wholegrain bread, to name a few examples. On the other hand, chips, sugary food, alcohol, pastries, and fast foods are some you need to cut back on. Exercise can surely help in weight loss, too. Avoid the temptation of just sitting, swiping, and scanning through your phone. But don’t worry. Even if these lifestyle changes do not result in weight loss, it can still make a difference to your overall health even beyond pregnancy.
Hormone imbalances due to underweight (BMI under 18.5) can cause adverse effects on a woman’s conception and the chance of getting pregnant. If you are trying to conceive and are underweight, you may need a dietician to help you put on more weight. Aside from weight management and exercise, your lifestyle plays a very important role in conception. Tight schedules and high-maintenance relationships could be stressful. Yes, they are a no-no if you’re preparing for a healthy pregnancy. Let me emphasize that a happy heart likely increases the ability for you to conceive.
How Does Conception Happen?
In the ovulation process, an egg is released by one of your ovaries which travels down to one of your fallopian tubes. The journey of the egg from the ovary down to the fallopian tube takes about 30 hours. If a sperm happens to be present in your fallopian tube, it could fertilize the egg. An egg has approximately only 12 to 24 hours for the sperm to fertilize it. The sperm, however, can survive in a woman’s body for several days and could get the woman pregnant when another egg is released days after the intercourse. It is also helpful to be aware that the health of a woman’s egg is vital. The number of eggs a woman will produce throughout her life is already determined at birth and the quality of her eggs diminishes as she ages.
If you want to get pregnant at the soonest possible time, most doctors would recommend unprotected sex starting on the third day to the sixth before you ovulate, and on the ovulation day. This is because the sperm has more chances of being present in the fallopian tube. Once the egg is released, fertilization would likely take place.
How Long Does Conception Take?
The miracle of rapid cell-division of the embryo takes place after the egg is fertilized by the sperm. Then it turns into a blastocyst (a mass of multiplied cells) after seven days. As the egg moves through the fallopian tube, the uterine lining thickens with the help of the hormone progesterone which begins to increase. Once the egg reaches the uterus, the lining will be thick enough for implantation. Altogether, the process of conception, from ovulation to implantation, takes about one to two weeks. So, if you miss your period the next cycle, you can consider taking a pregnancy test!