The process of conception has often been shrouded in mystery due to poor science, religious interference, and the refusal of teachers to let dudes see the “girls only” video from Sex Ed. It’s often hard to separate the truth from the myth, even if you own the necessary genitalia to conduct experiments. Luckily, the sexologists (which is totally a real thing) here at WeirdWorm can help set the record straight. Brace yourself, this might be pretty cold.
It Is Possible to Get Pregnant on the Rag
Thanks to the Bush Administration, millions of Americans have attended classes where they learned that sex is wrong, their bodies are sinful and everybody waits till marriage before getting it on. Since at least two of those three are outright lies (hey, we’re not here to judge the sinfulness of your body) many kids might be ready to dismiss the entirety of their questionable sex ed experience. Unfortunately some of it might have a ring of truth, even the parts that don’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.
A woman’s period typically signals the end of her monthly cycle (or beginning, it’s all the same when it comes to cycles). This should be the longest point away from ovulation. Therefore, it would make sense that, if you’ve got a strong stomach, you could earn your red wings with no risk of baby spawning.
This is sadly not the case. Thanks to either a blind, absentee god or a cruel, unloving universe, women’s cycles are not tightly regulated or wholly predictable. Toss in the fact that sperm can survive for the better part of a week inside a woman, and without protection you’re looking at the possibility of a shotgun wedding, heavy flow day or not.
You’re More Likely to Have Twins When You’re Older
The standard reproductive cycle is pretty regular for most women. One egg is released, left unfertilized it is shed, and then things get all menstruate-y. Taking things like fertility drugs can cause multiple eggs to be released, which means there’s greater possibility of producing twins. Oddly, even without the miracles/horrors of modern science, women can increase their odds of having some double trouble. In fact, many women are unintentionally increasing their odds these days, since all it takes is a little waiting.
Women who conceive in their late twenties through to their forties are much more likely to have twins. As their moods start to become more even and predictable, their lady parts do the opposite, sometimes releasing more than one ovum each month. With the addition of male fertilizer, they could start growing twice as many babies as one might expect.
And if you thought that just means starting an additional college fund, think again. Two buns in the oven can mean more cravings, more time at the doctor and probably more morning sickness too. Try to remember that for your speech for whichever kid ends up getting married first.
Women’s Bodies Throw out a Welcome Mat
While it is possible for ladies to ovulate early, late or even more than one ovum at a time, women are usually pretty stingy when it comes to the whole egg sharing thing. Whatever part of their cycle it comes on is usually the same every time. In fact, there is only about a 48 hour windows where they can actually conceive. And the end of those 48 hours aren’t even ideal, instead the sperm desperately scrambles to close like a frat boy at last call.
During the actual ovulation period, there are a number of telltale signs. All of them have varying success rates in terms of predicting the point of ovulation. They also all have varying levels of creepiness. One of the most simple is to track the body temperature. When it’s time for babymaking, women literally start getting hot, even without a preliminary screening of the Notebook.
A second, more “sciencey” method uses ovulation kits to track hormones. Reproductive hormones in women function like a Swiss watch that got left in the rain: very precise except when they aren’t. Luteinizing hormone has been found to peak just before ovulation, and so with a simple daily pee-on-a-stick routine, it can be tracked.
The third, most accurate and easily most cringe-worthy method comes from monitoring for fertile cervical mucus. This comes as a discharge from a lady’s downtown that is supposed to resemble “raw egg-white”. The volume (shudder) will peak in the days leading up to ovulation. All that’s left is to then convince a man to willingly entrust his most prized organ to something oozing goo, even after he’s probably seen the movie Alien.