Menstrual Cycle - Week 2
Your “fertile window” is approaching and this could be the time you conceive
Towards the end of this week, one of the eggs in your ovaries is likely to have reached full maturity. Ovulation occurs as the egg, under the influence of hormones, bursts out of its follicle. If it meets a sperm, you may become pregnant. Now is the time to enjoy lots of sex with your partner, so go for it – as often as you like. If you have any anxieties about fertility, try to put them aside and relax.
1.Cilia (small hairs) lining the fimbriae produce currents that help to move the egg into the Fallopian tube.
2.The mature egg is released from its follicle and breaks through the surface of the ovary. To meet a sperm, and be fertilized, it must enter the Fallopian tube.
3.Inside the ovary, the empty egg follicle produces the hormone progesterone, which stimulates the lining of the uterus to thicken.
4.Fimbriae , the finger-like projections at the end of the Fallopian tube, reach for the egg and sweep it gently into the tube.
5.Fluid from the egg follicle is released with the mature egg.
6.The wall of the Fallopian tube contracts and relaxes to draw the egg into the tube for its journey to the uterus.
While at this stage ovulation occurs, there is no foetus kicking inside of you yet! However, this is the best time for you to conceive as your egg is patiently waiting for a stronger swimmer sperm to fertilise it.
Your baby’s development
Although at this stage you are not technically pregnant, you would be surprised to know that your body is in a mode to produce truckloads of pregnancy hormones. Ideally, pregnancy is measured on a 0 to 40 weeks of calendar, and the first day of pregnancy is calculated on the first day of your last menstrual cycle. You only become pregnant on the end of week two or three, based on as and when your body ovulates. And soon, your baby is going to grow faster than it will at any other time of your pregnancy. Exciting, isn’t it?
Even though you are not pregnant yet, but soon you are about to release an egg, which would grow into a baby soon when it is fertilised by your partner’s sperm. Last week, a boost in the amount of oestrogen and progesterone charting through your bloodstream aggravated your uterus to form a blood-rich, lush lining of tissue to aid a soon-to-be fertilised egg. During the same time, the eggs in your ovaries were ripening in fluid-filled sacs called follicles. During this period, from an average of one of the 250 million sperms ejaculated by your mate will be swimming all the way from your vagina to your cervix, up to your uterus to the fallopian tube for the egg to penetrate. Out of these 250 million, mere 400 sperms will survive the long 10-hour journey towards the egg, out of which one will succeed in burrowing itself through the outer membrane.
Changes in you
By this time your body starts boosting the production of progesterone, a hormone that helps in preparing the uterus to host the newly fertilised egg. A phenomenon that will continue to grow inside of you for the next 38 weeks or so!
Your body is gearing up for a 40 weeks of pregnancy and it starts producing a hormone called hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin). This hormone can be detected only after a week or so. It can be first detected in your blood, via a test at your gynaecologist’s clinic and then in your urine, through an at-home screening.
As far as changes in your body are concerned, bidding adieu to your menstrual period for the next nine months or so is one of the biggest physical change you will experience. Now, your uterus is perking its production of endometrium – an enzyme that provides a healthy environment for your baby to implant.
Nutrition for you
- Managing cravings: This is the time, when you are mostly likely to witness a dramatic change in your appetite. You might crave for some foods and might not like the whiff or sight of others. You might also experience a sharp metallic taste in your mouth, as you would become super sensitive to some smells of cooking or food.
- Loss or increase of appetite: It is important to understand how a peculiar pregnancy hormone, called progesterone might make you feel hungrier. However, some soon-to-be mommies might feel a loss of appetite, because of feeling queasy due to morning sickness. It is extremely normal to not be able to bear the taste of things you used to relish earlier. These are just hormones acting up inside of you!
Foods to avoid during Pregnancy:
- No amount of alcohol is advisable during pregnancy. This is because alcohol goes through the blood from the route of placenta, potentially affecting the growth, and even the life, of the baby.
- Excess of carbonated drinks and caffeine
- Unpasteurized cheese and milk
- Food containing raw eggs
- Undercooked or raw meat, liver, fish and processed meat
- Fish that has high mercury content in them like shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish should to be avoided
Nutrition for baby
It is super essential to kick-start your eating well habit even before you conceive, as this will help in keeping your and your baby (a soon-to-be embryo) healthy:
- Kiss those junk food habits goodbye! Getting your body ready for baby-making is not just about calculating your ovulation or trashing your birth control, you also need to adhere to an eat-well campaign. Start by bidding adieu to fast food options and consume a pregnancy-friendly diet. Anything and everything that is prepared with refined sugars and white flour should be off the chart. Junk the saturated fats as it tends to increase the risk of pregnancy vomiting and nausea.
- Add folic acid in your diet –Natural ways to consume folic acid is to consume a lot of whole grains and green leafy vegetables.
- Consume a rainbow diet: Relish the right sort of fruits and vegetables by including a rainbow diet. Think about yummy yellows, such as papayas, mangos; wholesome browns, such as brown rice, oatmeal; and green veggies, such as kale, spinach, lettuce and reds and oranges like carrots, oranges, sweet lime.
- Ditch the habit of skipping meals: This is because you are soon going to be feeding for two people, and when you skip a meal, your baby would skip it too.
Finally, take a wide-eye look at your diet and dietary conditions (such as, anorexia nervosa or bulimia) and talk to practitioner and try to reshape your eating habits accordingly.