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- Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:07 pm
Hello I am a 18 year old female that has some questions for you. Okay so I had a period January 31,2008, me and my boyfriend had been having unproctected sex ever since then. I took a home pregnancy test and it came back negative. My most recent period just came on February 28,2008 and I want us to try again because we want to have a baby right now. Could you please tell me when we can actually have intercourse to conceive our 1st baby? And also I am a little confused about the whole menstrual period cycling. Could you help me actually calculate the days between my periods so that I can understand them better? And also, how do I know for sure I am pregnant? I really want to get pregnant and need all the information I can get. Can you please tell me everything? And I mean everything, me and my boyfriend really don't care what the sex of the baby will be, we just want to have a baby now!
| Debbie Miller, RN
- Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:45 pm
When counting the days of your menstrual cycle, you begin with the first day of bleeding and count that as day one, then proceed daily until the first day of your next period. This is the space between your periods. Most women are fertile somewhere around the 14th day if they have regular 26 to 32 day cycles, but it can actually be at any time, especially in a young woman such as yourself. We generally think of days 8 through 19 as potentially fertile days and the others as less likely.
Once you miss a period by a few days to a week (assuming you are regular) you can take a home pregnancy test. Follow the directions exactly and they are quite accurate - not 100% but pretty reliable. You may also have other signs such as tender breasts, nausea, and tiredness.
You should be taking a daily multivitamin right now containing at least 400 mcg folate or folic acid and continue this once pregnant and throughout your childbearing years.
I hope you are thinking about the emotional and financial factors in having your first baby as well. Are you both ready for the lifelong commitment that comes with having a child? Sometimes it seems like a good idea but in reality many young parents wish they had waited a while to get their own relationship (even marriage) stabilized before adding the stress of a baby who cries a lot, needs attention and care constantly, will at times get sick and keep you up all night. It takes a high level of emotional intelligence and maturity to handle the demands of a baby. Stressed out parents who are not prepared put their children at risk. Be wise. Big decisions like this one should not be made impulsively or without really examining all the factors.
Once you are pregnant you should make an appointment with a doctor to be seen by the 13th week and you must keep all your prenatal care appointments. I also recommend childbirth preparation classes offered by your hospital.