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Simple Way To Identify Likeliest Days To Conceive

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Thursday, May 09, 2013 | 0 comments

Baby holding hands, by beeki / Dirk Schumacher
A simple way of establishing on which days in a woman’s menstrual cycle she is fertile has been identified by US and Italian fertility experts, according to research published in Europe’s leading reproductive medicine journal, Human Reproduction,* today.

Analyzing cervical secretion and time to pregnancy data obtained from a large multinational European database – the European Study of Daily Fecund-ability - they were able to demonstrate that intercourse is unlikely to result in a conception if vaginal dampness is not noticeable on that day or the day before.

All a woman has to do is to notice when she has any vaginal dampness, not associated with menstruation, intercourse or disease. Women wishing to avoid pregnancy should avoid unprotected intercourse unless they have not had vaginal dampness for 2 days.

This algorithm, which was developed by the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University, is called the TwoDay method. The research teams used their data to analyze the relationship between the presence of noticeable secretions and the daily probabilities of pregnancy in cycles when intercourse was on a given day relative to the identified ovulation day.

The TwoDay method differs from other symptom-based natural family planning methods in that it is not necessary to keep detailed records of cervical mucus characteristics and basal body temperature. This simple algorithm may outperform expensive urinary kits, which can miss the majority of the fertile interval that occurs one or more days prior to ovulation.

Dr David Dunson of the Biostatistics Branch of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in North Carolina said: "This method is effective, both in identifying the fertile days of the cycle and in predicting days within that fertile interval that have a high pregnancy rate. It’s the first direct evidence that cervical secretions are associated with higher fecund-ability within the fertile window. 

For couples of normal fertility having intercourse two days prior to ovulation on the most fertile day of the cycle, the probability of pregnancy is essentially doubled from 0.18 (18%) if secretions have not been noticed in the last two days to 0.33 (one third) if secretions have been noticed. A normal couple who abstains from intercourse during the days classified as fertile by our system would have around an 8% chance of becoming pregnant within a year of frequent intercourse – compared with a 97% chance for a couple not following our system."

*The relationship between cervical secretions and the daily probabilities of pregnancy: effectiveness of the TwoDay Algorithm. Human Reproduction Vol. 16. No. 11. pp 2278-2282. D.B. Dunson, I.Sinai, B Columbo. Biostatistics Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, North Carolina; Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University, Washington DC, Department of Statistics, University of Padua.

This story has been adapted from a news release issued by European Society For Human Reproduction And Embryology.

Source: Institute of Reproductive Health

Photo Credit: Baby holding hands by beeki / Dirk Schumacher
Public Domain photo: Creative Commons Deed CC0



TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
What Every Woman Should Know About Fertility and Her Biological Clock, by Cara Birrittieri. Publisher: Career Press (May 26, 2009)What Every Woman Should Know About Fertility and Her Biological Clock
by Cara Birrittieri

-- Until now, there has been little practical advice on what women can do about ticking biological clocks.

What Every Woman Should Know About Her Biological Clock is the first book to explore a woman's reproductive life span completely, from beginning to end.

Based on Cara Birrittieri's own experience of running up against a slowing biological clock, she shows women for the first time how to "tell what time it is" with a simple blood test that gives them a peek at the state of their ovaries.

Paperback: 224 pages - Click to order/for more info: What Every Woman Should Know About Fertility and Her Biological Clock - US | Canada | UK


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Catherine

About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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