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What is family planning?
Whether you wish to get pregnant or not, family planning is for anyone who is sexually active and is the right of each person to determine when or if they wish to fall pregnant. Whilst it certainly helps couples who wish to fall pregnant, family planning also helps to prevent unwanted pregnancies, abortions, (and especially unsafe abortions), and, according to the World health Organisation, can help to stop unnecessary deaths of mothers and children. For example, older women may face higher risks to their health or life during pregnancy, and families with more than 4 children are at a higher risk of maternal mortality.
Family planning also helps in a vast number of other ways including:
slowing the growth of the population which is quickly becoming unsustainable within many areas including the economy and environment.
How do I find out if I am pregnant?
There are a few natural symptoms which indicate pregnancy which may first alert you to the fact that you have conceived. They include a missed period, swollen or painful breasts, vomiting and nausea, aversions to certain smells or foods, more trips to the bathroom to urinate and feeling more tired than usual. Some women may also experience a light bleed, only losing a small amount of blood as the embryo is implanted. All of these symptoms will have usually started within the first 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy.
The only way to effectively know whether you are pregnant at this early stage is by taking a pregnancy test. You can do this by purchasing a test discreetly online through Click Pharmacy. The test will let you know if you are pregnant by testing the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine, also known as the pregnancy hormone which is produced by the placenta at the time the embryo attaches to the uterus. It is this hormone which is very often linked to pregnancy symptoms including sickness and is eliminated from the body via the urine. It can be detected in urine around 2 weeks after conception. In other words, if you test positive on the first day of a missed period, you are likely around 2 weeks pregnant. The at-home test is performed by collecting your urine in a plastic cup and dipping the absorptive end into it for around 10 seconds. The result will usually show in the small window on the side of the stick after about 2 minutes. Follow the directions in the leaflet which comes with your test for more specific guidance.
Alternatively you can book an appointment with your GP, community clinic, family planning clinic or nurse at your local doctor’s surgery. Occasionally they may use a blood test to confirm early pregnancy, but they will usually use the same urine testing process which is available for at-home use.
Are pregnancy tests reliable?
When used correctly, a pregnancy test is considered to be 99% effective at determining a pregnancy. A false negative which displays a negative result despite the women being pregnant is rare and tends to occur when the hCG hormone in the body doesn't react as expected with the anti-hCG chemicals used in the tests.
It is often recommended you use your first visit to the toilet of the day to perform the test as the morning urine contains higher levels of hCG due to it being less diluted after a day of drinking liquids. Usually, tests are now sensitive enough not to require this, but to ensure as accurate a result as possible, it is still a good idea to do the test first thing.
Can I buy pregnancy test kits online?
Pregnancy test kits can be purchased online without a visit to your local pharmacy or doctor being required. If you wish to have a Skype or email appointment to discuss any concerns you can do so with one of our in-house doctors. It will be completely confidential. Alternatively, you can fill in a quick and easy online questionnaire about your health which our Click Pharmacy experts will assess. You will then be able to purchase your pregnancy test kit online right away and have it delivered discreetly packaged to your chosen address by next day delivery.
What do I do if I want to conceive?
Your best chance of conceiving comes from understanding your own menstrual cycle which is what enables you to become pregnant in the first place. It generally goes as follows:
The first day of your period counts as day one of your cycle. At this time, the uterus lining breaks down causing your monthly bleed. As the first 7 days of your cycle go by the lining becomes reinstated as your levels of oestrogen increase. Once this process is complete you will ovulate for between 1 and 2 days. If the egg is fertilised by a sperm you will become pregnant. If not the egg disintegrates and the cycle of the shedding of the uterine lining begins again.
These 1 to 2 days of ovulation are the optimum time to begin trying to get pregnant with your partner, bearing in mind that the length of this stage will differ from woman to woman. Sperm can survive for anywhere up to 5 days; as such the earlier within this window you begin trying the more likely you are to fall pregnant as the sperm will be present from the initial release of the egg.
Understanding and effectively calculating your most fertile window can take months which may not suit you. As such, ovulation tests are now available to help couples accurately determine when a woman is ovulating and therefore when to have sexual intercourse to conceive. These tests, which react to the pre-ovulation surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine can raise a woman’s chances of conception and with 1 in 5 couples taking more than 12 months to conceive, being able to accurately identify their most fertile days rather than using guesswork or natural calculation can remove a lot of stress.
On the day of this LH surge, it is recommended by experts to have sex before going to sleep because the horizontal position you will then be in after intercourse will maximise the amount of sperm able to remain within the vagina. Here it will have the opportunity to fertilise the egg rather than flowing out when you stand up and walk around.
Other fantastic ways to prepare your body for pregnancy include:
Taking good care of yourself with a focus on ensuring a healthy body through eating a nutritious diet and taking regular exercise
Avoiding strenuous workouts, smoking and drinking
Taking prenatal vitamins
Taking daily folic acid tablets which prepare the body for conception by building the level of folic acid available which gives the baby protection against neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Note: you will need a higher dose of folic acid if you smoke or drink heavily.
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