This year being the Year of the Dragon, obstetricians have recently observed an increase of about 10 percent in the number of patients visiting obstetrics departments and infertility clinics. In one instance, a couple in which the husband and wife live in different places walked into the clinic and asked straight off for artificial insemination so as to get a made-to-order dragon-year baby. Doctors advise that women who get pregnant before May 15 will have a chance of giving birth to dragon-year sons and daughters.
Frank Wu, an attending physician at the gynecology and obstetrics department of Taipei City Hospital’s Heping Fuyou Branch, says that dragon years are peak times for childbirth. That, together with the large number of weddings that took place last year — the centennial of the Republic of China — has led to a marked increase recently in the number of women who want to get pregnant. In December last year a husband and wife aged about 34 or 35 visited Wu’s clinic. Because the husband is away working in Southeast Asia most of the time, the couple asked straight off for artificial insemination without bothering to have tests for infertility first, in the hope of hearing some good news before the start of the Lunar New Year.
Wu explains that the last day of the Lunar Year of the Dragon will be Feb. 9, 2013. At a rough estimate based on the average 40-week pregnancy, the due date for women who get pregnant when they ovulate in May will almost certainly fall within the Year of the Dragon. More precisely, this refers to women who get pregnant before May 15, since a pregnancy of 37 weeks results in a full-term delivery.
Wu says that the way to estimate a woman’s due date is to count nine months and seven days forward from the first day of her last menstruation. For example, if the first day of your last menstruation was Jan. 1 and you count forward nine months and seven days from that date, then your due date is Oct. 10. It should be borne in mind, however, that each woman’s pregnancy is different, so the due date is only an estimate.
Wu says that many women who visit his clinic do not know their own menstrual cycles, so he reminds them that if they want to get pregnant they should make a record of their menstruation.
Women who have regular monthly periods can subtract 14 days from the number of days between the first days of their menstruations and estimate their ovulation accordingly. For example, if your menstrual cycle is 32 days and you subtract 14 that leaves 18, so ovulation will take place on the 18th day after the start of menstruation. Having intercourse many times during the couple of days before and after ovulation should have the desired result.
Wu says that women who have irregular periods can find out when they ovulate by measuring their basal body temperature or by keeping track of it with regular ultrasound scans. Then, when their ovarian follicles are mature, they can have sex more than usual during the days before and after their ovulation as predicted by a doctor.