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Conception Explained

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 23 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Conception Fertilisation Sperm Eggs

Conception is a highly complex achievement and something that continues to amaze medical professionals and scientists every day.There are many variables that all have to be timed correctly in order for conception to take place that it may seem impossible for it to occur naturally without the knowledge of these facts and planning it well in advance.

What Happens During Conception?

Before any conception can take place the ovary must have released an egg. This egg is drawn down the fallopian tube towards the uterus and will travel for up to 24 hours. This occurs during the middle of your cycle. Whilst this is happening, the lining of the womb is preparing for the possibility of a pregnancy and thickens its lining by increasing the blood flow to the tissues at the same time as thinning the cervical mucus allowing sperm to enter.

During intercourse the sperm is ejaculated into the vagina, after which the healthy sperm swim through the cervix. Once inside the uterus, the sperm try to find the egg that by this stage is at the lower end of the fallopian tube. Once the egg and the sperm have met, the sperm enters the egg; this is known as fertilisation.

Once the egg has been fertilised it travels down into the main part of the uterus and needs to anchor itself in order to develop. The fertilised egg implants (or embeds) itself into the lining of womb from which it will grow and develop as the pregnancy continues.

How to Improve Chances of Conception

The most obvious method of increasing your chances of conception are to make sure that contraception is stopped and time is allowed for your cycle to return to normal. This can vary in length of time depending on the form of contraception used.

Try and work out when you are at your most fertile and when your egg is going to be released and have intercourse during these hours. Each woman will have an individual cycle, some lasting 21 days, others 23 days or 28 days, occasionally even longer, therefore each woman will be at her most fertile at a different time.

It is possible to work out this time by estimating when your next period will be and take-away fourteen days. It may be worthwhile investing in an ovulation predictor test or calculator as these can be worked out for each individual.

Some sexual positions might have a beneficial effect on increasing the chances of conception as the sperm will be more able to stay in the vagina and find their way through the cervix.

Body temperature has been found to increase during ovulation and it is thought that the woman is at her most fertile in the two days prior to this increase in temperature, however it is a complicated issue and can be quite demanding on the woman, especially if she has a busy lifestyle.

If You are Having Trouble Conceiving

If you have been trying to conceive with no luck for over a year and have used the predictor kits and calculators go and see your GP who will be able to advise you further or refer you to a fertility specialist.

If you are over weight it is important to try and lose some excess weight as this can improve chances of fertility. Smokers and those who consumer alcohol will be advised to stop these practices as scientific evidence has shown strong links between excessive alcohol consumption and smoking with increased risks of infertility.

Conception is an amazing but complex occurrence with many contributory factors.There are some measures that can be taken to increase fertility and improve chances of conception. Further research will be needed to understand all of the intricacies surrounding this topic.

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