Jan 13, 2010  •  In Personal

Things I Have Learned While Trying to Get Pregnant (Warning: Entire Post is TMI)

I have been poring over pregnancy, miscarriage, fertility, and TTC (trying to conceive) boards for the past few months. Here are a few things that made me go “huh” while clucking my tongue in (disgusted) surprise:

1. The woman’s body is (usually) a toxic environment for sperm.

The vaginal vault has a very low pH (acidic) of about 3 or 4, while sperm only thrive in alkaline environments (such as semen, with a normal pH of 7.2-7.8). That means that my body is prepared to kill J’s little swimmers within an hour or two of entering my body. Good to know!

The good news is that right before ovulation, a woman’s cervical mucus will turn alkaline and will create a more “friendly” environment for sperm.

(This type of cervical mucus is referred to as EWCM in baby board speak, or “egg white cervical mucus.” It looks like, and has the consistency of egg white: clear, thick, and stretchy. Have I grossed you out yet? Wait, it gets better as we move on.)

The bad news? This only allows for a maximum 5 days (it is usually closer to 2-3 days) every cycle for me to get knocked up.

As such, I have started to add “Please don’t kill the little swimmers; little swimmers are our friends.” to my post-coital pep talks to my uterus.

2. In case you were wondering, there is a way to differentiate between semen and EWCM.

When I first read about the characteristics of EWCM, the first though that popped into my head was, “Hmm that sounds a lot like my hubby’s spunk.”

Again, TMI. I know.

So how does one tell the difference between EWCM and semen leaking out of your hooha when you’ve been doing it like rabbits trying to conceive?

EWCM is very elastic. When you put it between two fingers, it will stretch without breaking apart, while semen will break apart almost immediately.

EWCM is clear while semen is a bit cloudy.

EWCM does not absorb easily. You can try the toilet paper test: if it sits atop the toilet paper even after a few minutes, it is EWCM. If it absorbs, it is semen.

EWCM will form a ball in water. Let some drop into the toilet: if it balls up and sinks, it is EWCM. If it dissolves, it is semen.

And from my personal experience, semen smells like bleach. (Don’t tell me I’m the only girl who’s noticed this phenomenon.)

3. You can increase your chances of having a boy/girl by…

…timing your sexcapades.

It usually takes 15-30 minutes for sperm to reach a woman’s fallopian tubes, where fertilization takes place. However, sperm can live inside a woman’s body for up to five days.

In addition, studies have shown that male sperm swim faster but die quicker, while female sperm swim slower but survive longer.

So with all this in mind…

If you want a boy, have sex on the day before and the day of your ovulation. This will allow the faster male sperm to get to the egg first.

If you want a girl, have sex 4-2 days prior to ovulation, and abstain from sex two days before and one day after ovulation. This will allow the slower, longer-lived, female sperm to be ready for fertilization when ovulation does occur. However, keep in mind that conceiving a girl can be more difficult since you are abstaining on your peak fertility day.

4. You are not extra-fertile right after giving birth, a miscarriage, or going off the pill.

This is a myth, perpetuated by the high reports of surprise pregnancies among women in these situations.

Think about it: after a birth/miscarriage/going off the pill, your hormones get all out of whack. Your body goes into overdrive trying to regulate itself again, and while the surge in certain hormones may help some women get pregnant again, it does not make everyone a super baby creating machine.

Meanwhile, your ovulatory cycle is most likely off so you can’t time the days you have sex. It is only natural that there is a high instance of surprise pregnancies for women who have just given birth, suffered a miscarriage, or recently went off the pill.

5. There is a sh*tload of things you can do to increase your chances of getting pregnant —

— but nothing that will knock you up.

So far I am only charting my BBT (basal body temperature) and have started taking baby aspirin every day. And based on my BBT chart, I am pretty certain that I ovulated this past Sunday…but at this point all we can do is wait under the end of the month.

I remain hopeful that this time will be it.

If it isn’t, I am prepared to pull out all the stops. Vitamin B6. Evening Primrose Oil. Pre-Seed. Progesterone. The Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor. Even charting my cervical mucus, when the mere idea of it grosses me out.

Or I could just give up, start birth control again and start drinking 6 cups of coffee a day while chain-smoking. Because that’s when everyone else seems to get pregnant, no?

41 Responses to “Things I Have Learned While Trying to Get Pregnant (Warning: Entire Post is TMI)”

  1. Ashley says:

    Charting my BBT & tracking the BD days was actually pretty informative. I started dong it because I was convinced I wasn’t ovulating regularly. Also, I bought a huge combo pack of generic ovulation strips/HPT’s from babyhopes.com and used those regularly, too.

    I had female friends that didn’t want to talk to me about EWCM because the thought grossed them out too much (one that had already had a baby, in fact, which I couldn’t believe, because she’s had far more disgusting things to deal with). It was funny.

    I’m keeping fingers crossed for you. :)

  2. I am not yet at the baby making stage, but thanks for such a well-informed article.. that was pleasantly funny to read :D

  3. Emily says:

    I feel your pain, after my husband and I had been trying for almost a year my best friend’s sister got knocked up after a one night stand. 6 months later, my friend is pregnant with number two because they "ran out of condoms" for a week. It’s really frustrating to be doing everything "right" and not get pregnant while everyone around you does it "wrong" and BAM their pregnant.

    • Mrs. Morris says:

      Amen sister! I am praying to have my tubal ligation (that I was forced to get) reversed…meanwhile someone I know had her tubal ligation done the same way mine was done (supposedly 100% impossible to get pregnant). She 100% didn’t want anymore kids, I’m desperate to have a baby with my husband…guess who gets pregnant. Yup, you guessed it, her. I pray, cry, beg, plead and try bargaining with God daily and she has an accident. It is soooooo unfair and extremely depressing. :(

      • lanesia says:

        Hi I had a tubal reversal and I was pregnant 7months after my surgery. My doctor told me after surgery to wash with baby wash Johnson and Johnsons to be exact. You and your husband both should wash with it keeps that area sterile. I have been pregnant 3 tomes since my surgery. 2 miscarriages and a baby boy now 6months. There’s an app called period tracker it really works. It help me every time. I pray this will be helpful GOD BLESS?

    • Pika says:

      I feel you! I’m thinking the same thing! Some people they get pregnant without even trying! And I like trying every steps on earth to get pregnant :(

    • Cee Cee Lamb says:

      Oh. My. Gosh.

      I have to haugh at this, for the mere sake of trying to brush it all off, and that it is soooo true on our end too!

      For two and a half years, my husband and I have been trying. Three miscarriages, and two chemical pregnancies. WTF?!

      It can be frustrating enough to make me laugh.

      We just clued up for December, with trying, and now, at 32, just last week, I am being referred to a fertility specialist.

      Granted I do have SLE, and battle the recovery of being a disordered eater for, now, 21 years, but come OOOON!!!!!!

      Fingers crossed for you!!!!!

  4. Alexa says:

    Hey there,

    I’ve been a regular to your blog since a long long time, I was here when you got married, when you stopped posting the Thursday geek-isms, when you got pregnant, when J lost his job, I even prayed for you, me, who never ever ever prays, prayed for you to solve all your problems, and when you lost the baby, I was really sorry for you.

    I’ve never thought your posts where TMI (not even this one) I don’t think they are inappropriate, I really really really love your internet persona, so, as a friend, I’m going to take a moment to tell you something that maybe a lot of people told you already, but maybe you need to hear it one more time.

    You. Need. To. Chill. Up. Really, please, stop charting whatever it is that you are charting, stop using sex as a baby producing machine and start ENJOYING IT again. You are a religious person, think that God will send you a baby when you are ready for it. You are a fertile woman, you don’t need to be doing this to yourself. Believe me. It will be better for you.

    Whatever you chose I’ll still be a regular in your blog, I, just like you, need to vent sometimes.

    Love,

    Lexa

  5. Geek in Heels says:

    @Alexa — thanks for the concern. I appreciate it — I really do.

    I guess what doesn’t always come through on this blog is that I do enjoy sex with my husband…in fact, I love it! And while I do want a baby, I do not consider procreating the SOLE purpose for having sex.

    I have never been a "chill" person. I’m the obsessive, high-strung lady with the type A personality who goes crazy when things are out of my control. When something is important to me, I have NEVER been able to let it just "go" and "happen" because that’s just not how I am. I like being informed, and being involved in the process as much as possible.

    I personally think I’m not going about this in an unhealthy way, because this isn’t consuming a huge part of my life; nor am I letting it control other aspects of my life to a point where it’s making me miserable. As a matter of fact, so far I have liked charting, learning more about my body, etc. And I hope to one day be comfortable enough with my body to check my cervical mucus, etc.

  6. anon says:

    While you’re doing the BBT charting and all, may I suggest something else? Have you considered acupuncture? It doesn’t hurt to try it, and would help with the whole trying-to-conceive notion… I know that it may be expensive to go see a Korean acupuncturist, but you might be able to try out community style places as well. Much more affordable…

    Also, I agree with Alexa. Things will happen when they happen… Becoming fixated on one thing will make things harder.
    I’ve seen many women trying to conceive, and they go through so many procedures… but nothing happens. You even hear those stories where once those couples let go of their obsession to get pregnant and relaxes, bam! they find out they’re having a baby!

    신경 너무 많이 쓰면 병이 됩니다…

  7. Geek in Heels says:

    @anon — I’ve been to a Korean acupuncturist who prescribed Korean/Asian herbal meds. I recerntly finished taking the 3-month supply she prescribed…I just haven’t written about it. Thanks for the rec tho!

  8. JS says:

    Hi Jenny – maybe the Clear Blue Fertility Monitor will help. I’ve had several friends use it (along with charting) and they like it because it is simple and straightforward, and it gives you a bit of a heads up as to when you need to start planning vs. the temps, which only tell you for sure after the fact. It might help alleviate some of the stress of the waiting game as you take your temperature each day, only to be annoyed when it jumps unexpectedly and you weren’t ready. I really enjoy reading your blog and I’m wishing you good luck and baby dust, as all those forums say!

  9. shortie says:

    RE 5: I learned SO MUCH about my body during my TTC journey. I tried literally everything out there – except for fertility sticks, which are over $50 for a pack of seven in Canada. Considering that you should ideally use them both morning and night for several days during your fertile period, it just was not a budget-friendly option.

    RE 4: I think that myth creates a lot of false hope and dashed dreams in the TTCAL community. It took my 3 months after my first loss to conceive my second, and almost 6 months after my second to conceive my third. I was SO disheartened because I was sure something was wrong with me if I was supposed to be "more fertile" in the cycles following my losses.

    RE 3: I’ve read quite a lot about the Shettles method, and I was never really convinced. I am curious though, to find out the sex of our baby now because I ovulated 3-4 days after the last time we had sex – in Shettles-speak, that would increase our chances of having a girl. Hmmm.

    RE people thinking you’re obsessed with TTC and fertility: ever yonewho TTC’s after a loss is obsessed, almost without exception. There’s something about losing something that comes so easily to people who don’t want it, that makes one obsessive about not being able to acheive it easily again.

  10. Hi, I like your post. I was searching for the same. You have included everything in your blog but you can improve it a little bit.

  11. Usually, I don’t post on blogs, but I would like to say that this weblog truly forced me to do so! Many thanks, really nice post.

  12. Eden says:

    I know I’m years late on this, but we are ttc number 2 and I wanted to thank you for this post. I appreciate the accuracy and dispelling of myths. I’m charting cm only, so we will see what this month brings. The only thing that is still confusing to me is exactly when to have sex. Is it every other day like most people say?

    • Ella says:

      You might want to try the sperm meets egg plan – seems to have worked for a lot of people. Good luck!

    • ashey says:

      hello every one i want to use this forum to thank HIGH PRIEST ASHRA for bringing joy into my marriage , i have been trying to get pregnant after my miscarriage 6years ago , but to no avail until i contacted HIGH PRIEST ASHRA of ashra spell temple and ashra made a cleanse and pregnancy spell for me , thanks to ashra am a proud mother of my baby boy and am expecting another baby very soon , you can contact ashra on email :ashraspelltemple@gmail.com or call +2348058176311
      for all your spiritual and family issues.

      thanks,

      ASHLEY AND ANDREW

      FROM UNITED STATES.

      • Alexa-Rae says:

        hi Ashley I read your response and I couldn’t help but think about how the pregnancy spelll you mentioned that changed your life could also help me with my 4 yr struggle to get pregnant. iwant to concieve so badly. it hurts my chest every time i see someone that i know or someone in my family become pregnant. of course I’m happy for them, but when will my time come. if ucould refer me to the ppl/ place that helped u I would greatly appreciate it.

  13. Kristina says:

    It always seems like the ppl who Try to have a baby never do but the super lucky ones are the ones who couldnt care less.

  14. Ella says:

    the last line made me smile – i was walking the dog earlier and saw a pregnant lady smoking! I’m giving everything a try next cycle, if that doesn’t work – i’m taking up smoking, drinking to excess and getting fatter!

    • monalisa says:

      i want to say a very special thanks to ashra for been there for me when all hope was lost, let me start by saying i have never used child control pills before or done abortion but i have been trying to get pregnant and to have my own baby , i have had 2miscarriage in 2005 AND 2009 and am now 39year old with nothing to show for it, i have gone to the doctor i have have done series of test, i and my husband and everything was said to be fine with us but why am not getting pregnant was a major concern , i took various fertility drugs and vitamins yet nothing is steel happening , my husband has gone for series of test and the doctor said he is capable of impregnating me . i just could not figure what was wrong with me.
      Every month once i see my period i feel very down and frustrated any time is comes until one day i was browsing through Google on how to get pregnant and i saw so many testimonies pf different persons and different problems testifying how they got there problem solved by ASHRA the spell caster , i then copied the email address of ASHRA and i contacted ashra and narrated everything i am passing through ,

      ASHRA Reply me immediately me with words of comfort and immediately i had peace inside of me and ashra perform the cleanse spell and told me the reason why i havent been able to get pregnant and have my baby its because there is a work of witch craft that is causing me not to have my baby thats the reason the doctors could not find any medical report , he then cast the spell and remove the dark spell that the witch craft has put on me immediately ashra cast the purification spell i feet light and it was like a huge burden has left my body, 6weeks time i did a pregnancy test and i was pregnant this my second pregnancy two years later now my baby is healthy and a happy baby and caring another pregnancy now and it such a thing of joy , my advice to other women who are finding it difficult to get pregnant or they always have miscarriage is that it might be a witch craft dark spell ,contact ashra today and that might be your break through , you can contact ashra on email address :ashraspelltemple@gmail.com or call +2348058176311

      MONALISA

      FRM UNITED STATES

    • ashey says:

      hello every one i want to use this forum to thank HIGH PRIEST ASHRA for bringing joy into my marriage , i have been trying to get pregnant after my miscarriage 6years ago , but to no avail until i contacted HIGH PRIEST ASHRA of ashra spell temple and ashra made a cleanse and pregnancy spell for me , thanks to ashra am a proud mother of my baby boy and am expecting another baby very soon , you can contact ashra on email :ashraspelltemple@gmail.com or call +2348058176311
      for all your spiritual and family issues.

      thanks,

      ASHLEY AND ANDREW

      FROM UNITED STATES.

  15. monalisa says:

    i want to say a very special thanks to ashra for been there for me when all hope was lost, let me start by saying i have never used child control pills before or done abortion but i have been trying to get pregnant and to have my own baby , i have had 2miscarriage in 2005 AND 2009 and am now 39year old with nothing to show for it, i have gone to the doctor i have have done series of test, i and my husband and everything was said to be fine with us but why am not getting pregnant was a major concern , i took various fertility drugs and vitamins yet nothing is steel happening , my husband has gone for series of test and the doctor said he is capable of impregnating me . i just could not figure what was wrong with me.
    Every month once i see my period i feel very down and frustrated any time is comes until one day i was browsing through Google on how to get pregnant and i saw so many testimonies pf different persons and different problems testifying how they got there problem solved by ASHRA the spell caster , i then copied the email address of ASHRA and i contacted ashra and narrated everything i am passing through ,

    ASHRA Reply me immediately me with words of comfort and immediately i had peace inside of me and ashra perform the cleanse spell and told me the reason why i havent been able to get pregnant and have my baby its because there is a work of witch craft that is causing me not to have my baby thats the reason the doctors could not find any medical report , he then cast the spell and remove the dark spell that the witch craft has put on me immediately ashra cast the purification spell i feet light and it was like a huge burden has left my body, 6weeks time i did a pregnancy test and i was pregnant this my second pregnancy two years later now my baby is healthy and a happy baby and caring another pregnancy now and it such a thing of joy , my advice to other women who are finding it difficult to get pregnant or they always have miscarriage is that it might be a witch craft dark spell ,contact ashra today and that might be your break through , you can contact ashra on email address :ashraspelltemple@gmail.com or call +2348058176311

    MONALISA

    FRM UNITED STATES

  16. ashey says:

    hello every one i want to use this forum to thank HIGH PRIEST ASHRA for bringing joy into my marriage , i have been trying to get pregnant after my miscarriage 6years ago , but to no avail until i contacted HIGH PRIEST ASHRA of ashra spell temple and ashra made a cleanse and pregnancy spell for me , thanks to ashra am a proud mother of my baby boy and am expecting another baby very soon , you can contact ashra on email :ashraspelltemple@gmail.com or call +2348058176311
    for all your spiritual and family issues.

    thanks,

    ASHLEY AND ANDREW

    FROM UNITED STATES.

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  18. ND says:

    Ok, this is something I have always wondered and at 27, I kind of feel embarrassed to not know it. I have cum in girls before. It just kinda drips out, Usually immediately (i produce more than most I am told). When trying to get pregnant, no pill, etc: does it get absorbed more or something? Typically the girl just goes and washes out because clearly we arent wanting kids, but when kids are the plan, do you just leave it in and let it leak/drip all over her leg or something? I mean you want as much material in her as possible to escalate the chances of success but I dont think anyone wants to just let it get all over everything. Thank you in advance for any replies I get.

  19. Ana says:

    I think there is light to the end of the tunnel. Those who get pregnant easy or by accident, in hard time moment with there children they may give up easy on fighting for there happiness or future and those lady’s that try for years do everything they can (diet ,healthy life style ) they learn so much in this period of time until conceive and when they hold there baby for the first time the are a true warrior inside there heart nothing will hold there happiness .

  20. Shannon says:

    please help my husband’s sperm count is 37% I have endometriosis we have been trying everything nothing yet I take fertility sticks I ovulate but my doc said it’s like his sperm is like running a marathon and not making it the last two miles I know sounds weird but I stand on my head but no luck any suggestions???

  21. alaina chambers says:

    Maca root for both partners…if enough is taken religiously you could be pregnant by month two……

  22. Carlos says:

    I was diagnosed with fibroid and my two tube was blocked also, it is almost a year now since i order an herbal product from (Oduduwa Ajakaye) on facebook, Today i have giving birth to a baby boy

  23. Do you have any video of that? I’d care to find out more details.

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  27. MK says:

    There is nothing disgusting or gross about our bodies’ natural fluids and cycles. I love my cervical fluid. It tells me a great deal of information about my body, and I only feel sorry for the women who can’t seem to appreciate just how beautiful our bodies are. Since charting, I have learned SO much, it disgusts me to know that these are things that they don’t teach in school! It still boggles my mind to know that I learned about MY OWN body’s natural workings AFTER college! It’s a miracle, the female body, ALL bodies!

  28. hurryupbaby says:

    This was such a fun article. Thanks for the witty write. I am currently trying to conceive and am discouraged a lot. Estimated ovulation was last Sunday, but unfortunately only a small part of sperm was released. I am crossing my
    fingers…..even though its unlikely.

  29. Lisa says:

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  30. Joe says:

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