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3 WEEKS, 3 DAYS

256 days to go...

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Your baby today

The embryo is implanted and is 10 days old. The entry point at which the embryo buried into the lining of the uterus is now covered by a clot, and this prevents blood loss and protects the embryo.

Try to stay busy to distract yourself from constantly wondering whether you're pregnant, and think positively.

Waiting for your period to start-or better yet, not start-can be quite stressful when you're trying to conceive. If your menstrual cycle is irregular you may not know when your period is due and therefore may not know if you're late and potentially pregnant or not. The uncertainty is likely to make you anxious and every time you go to the bathroom you dread seeing that your period has started.

Whether or not you know you have fertility problems, the wait can be difficult. If you do get your period, the disappointment can be hard. The cycle of having your period, waiting for ovulation, hoping you're pregnant, and then finding out you're not can become very wearing month after month.

If you have been trying to conceive for a year with no luck then you should go to your doctor for tests. Or go at six months if you are over 35 or know that you may have fertility problems, such as blocked fallopian tubes. Try confiding in a good friend about your problems so that you have someone to talk to, but try not to become obsessive and let it dominate all your relationships.

If you've only just started trying, remember there is a only a one in four or five chance that you will conceive each month, so you're unlikely to get pregnant in the first month of trying!

As A Matter Of Fact

Around half of pregnancies in the US could be accidental.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, 49 percent of all US pregnancies, and 31 percent of US pregnancies resulting in a live birth, are unintended. Data collected is from 60 percent of US births in 31 states and one city.

mature couple discussing fertility with doctor

If you're over 35 and have been trying to conceive for six months, speak to your doctor about fertility tests. You should both be checked because your partner's sperm will need to be tested too. You will be given blood tests.

Ask A... Doctor

I did an early pregnancy test and have failed to conceive again, for the sixth month. Could it be because I have irregular periods?

Menstrual cycles that vary more than a few days in length from month to month are considered irregular. An irregular cycle can be troublesome when trying to conceive, but being aware of the signs of ovulation can help you determine when you are approaching your short window of fertility.

Irregular ovulation and menstruation account for around 30-40 percent of fertility problems. Many factors determine how fertile a woman is, such as her age, whether her cervical fluid is wet enough to sustain sperm, or whether her fallopian tubes are open, but the most important factor is whether she ovulates regularly. Sometimes, a condition called anovulation occurs, in which there is irregular menstrual bleeding but no ovulation. If you don't release an egg each month, you won't have as many chances to conceive. You may be given medication to stimulate egg production and boost ovulation.

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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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