Top Ten Tips for Getting PregnantIf you are thinking about starting a family, you may be wondering how long it will take you to conceive. All couples are different, and while one may conceive the very first time they have unprotected sex, another couple may spend a year trying before they see a positive pregnancy test. Not knowing how long it will take can be frustrating, but there are things you can do to increase your chance of a speedy conception.
The following tips for getting pregnant could help you to conceive sooner:
1. Prepare your body
Being in optimum health increases your chance of conception. Ideally, you should be a healthy weight, eating a healthy, balanced diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and good fats. You should exercise at least three times a week, and take steps to reduce your stress levels. You should drink at least six glasses of water a day, and reduce your intake of caffeinated drinks. You should avoid drugs, stop smoking and reduce your alcohol consumption. And, in an ideal world, you should start taking a folic acid supplement at least three months before you start trying. All of these steps will help to ensure your body is in the best shape for conception and pregnancy.
2. Prepare his body
You might be the one with the uterus, but you’re not the only one who needs to make lifestyle changes whilst trying to conceive. Healthy sperm is just as important as good egg health for conception. Like you, your partner should aim to improve his health at least three months before you start trying to conceive. Your partner should reduce his alcohol intake, stop smoking, and avoid drug use for optimum sperm health. He should also try to eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in key nutrients such as zinc, calcium and vitamin C. Regular exercise can help with sperm production, so your partner should aim to exercise at least three times a week. Stress can affect male fertility, so your partner should find ways to reduce stress. Heat kills sperm, so your partner may also want to stay clear of saunas, hot tubs and hot baths whilst you’re trying to conceive.
3. Stop taking birth control
This may sound like an obvious one, but timing is key here. You should stop taking birth control a few months before you plan to start trying. This will give your body chance to readjust, and your cycle time to return to normal. It’s important to keep track of your menstrual cycle whilst trying to conceive, so giving up birth control a few months before will allow you to get used to your natural cycle again. After years of taking birth control, it can be hard to remember exactly what your cycle was like, especially if you have irregular periods. Once you stop taking your birth control, you will need to start using another method of contraception, like condoms, until you’re ready to start trying.
4. Get to grips with your cycle
In order to become an expert in your own fertility, you must understand your cycle. Ideally, you should know when you ovulate, when your fertile days are, and when your period is due each cycle. If you have a like-clockwork 28 day cycle, you are likely to ovulate on day 14 (day 1 being the first day of your last period), so aim for that as being your most fertile day. If you have a regular cycle, ovulation is most likely to occur 14 days before the first day of your next period. If you have irregular periods, you may find it useful to use an ovulation kit which can work out your fertility calendar tell you exactly when you are at your most fertile. If you don’t fancy splashing out on an expensive kit, you could keep track of signs of ovulation, such as vaginal discharge, to work out when you are likely to be ovulating.
5. Have regular sex
This might seem like a no-brainer, but with demanding schedules, work stress, and busy social lives, many couples find it difficult to pin down that quality one-on-one time. Having regular sex increases your chance of conception. Try to have sex every 2 or 3 days from the time your period ends until at least a week before your next period is due. This frequency proves to give better sperm quality when compared with daily sex. This frequency is also good enough to make sure that sperm is present in the fallopian tubes when you ovulate.
Trying to conceive doesn’t need to be all about temperature charts and tightly scheduled sex. It can also be about great sex. Give yourselves more opportunity for intimacy, and put sex at the top of your agenda. Sex is a great stress reliever, so this can be a good way of taking the stress out of baby-making.
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6. Have sex at the right time
Regular sex is important, but to increase your odds, you need to make sure you’re having sex at the right time too. As well as having sex every 2 or 3 days from the time your period ends until a week before your next period is due, couples are advised to have sex on the day of ovulation, as well as on the day before and the day after. Sperm can survive in the uterus for up to 48 hours, but having sex each day increases the chance of sperm being there at the right moment. The egg, however, will only survive for between 12 and 24 hours after ovulation, so having sex each day increases the likelihood of sperm meeting egg.
7. Have an orgasm
An orgasm is not necessary to help you conceive, but it could increase your chances. During an orgasm, the vaginal muscles spasm, allowing for sperm to be pulled up towards the cervix. At the same time, the cervix spasms and dilates slightly, allowing for sperm to travel more easily into the uterus. Experts are unsure of the importance of the female orgasm during conception. Some believe that women who orgasm may be more likely to enjoy sex, and therefore have more of it, increasing their chances of conception. You can still get pregnant without having an orgasm, though there’s no need to tell your partner that.
8. Enjoy yourself
Deciding to start a family is a huge and very exciting step. As you start planning for the future, and daydreaming about what it might hold, don’t forget to focus on the present. Deciding to start a family isn’t just about the future. It also means you get to spend time having sex. You can prioritise sex over work, television schedules and almost anything else. Sex can officially become a part of your to do list. In a good way! Have an early night, have a lie in, take a weekend break together, and give yourselves the chance to focus on enjoying each other.
9. Try not to worry
Having a baby isn’t instant, as well as the 40 weeks of pregnancy, you also have to wait to conceive. You may not fall pregnant during your first month of trying, but try not to be disheartened. Stress can affect your chances of conception, so try to avoid feeling stressed about trying to conceive. Relaxation, regular exercise, and positive thinking can help you to avoid stress. Trying to conceive can be wonderful at times and daunting at others. False pregnancy tests are far from a welcome sight, but remember, there is always a next month.
10. Give it time
If you didn’t conceive immediately, it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong. Having a baby takes time. It can take up to two years for perfectly healthy couples to conceive naturally. Research has found that conception times vary from couple to couple. 20% of couples will conceive during the first month of trying, and this number rises to 70% by the six month mark. Around 85% will conceive in the first year of trying, and 95% will have conceived by two years after they first started trying.
If, after a year of trying, you have not fallen pregnant, you should make an appointment with your healthcare provider. If you are aged 36 or over, you may want to make this appointment sooner, as your age could play a factor here.