So you want to get pregnant. It sounds pretty simple, right? You stop using birth control. You have sex with your partner. You get pregnant. You have a positive pregnancy test that confirms it and Wala! Congratulations are in order.
Sorry, but unfortunately, it does not happen this easily or quickly for most couples, although it does for a lucky few. There are some tips that may help improve your chances of getting pregnant.
There are a lot of articles, advertisements, and products on the market these days designed to lure you in with claims and promises to help you get pregnant. You have probably seen some of them in magazines or on websites.
There are products that claim to help you conceive faster. Ads that offer a holistic approach to boosting your fertility without drugs. Also, the fast acting fertility treatments, and products that claim to get you pregnant in 60 short days. Oh, and there is no evidence that if you remain lying down after ejaculation or having sex in the mission style will increase your odds of getting pregnant.
Once you have made the decision to get pregnant, one of the first things you and your partner should do is to get a physical exam. Some refer to this as a “preconception checkup”. This is a great time to ensure that your bodies and all the parts necessary for conception are in proper working order. This is an ideal time to get any chronic issues under control beforehand. You and your doctor should discuss discontinuing birth control, and whether you should begin taking a prenatal vitamin.
Women are fertile for only five or six days during each cycle. This means you have a “window of fertility” in which you can get pregnant. This window opens five days before ovulation and closes on the day of ovulation. Having sex during the time you are most fertile will increase your chances of getting pregnant, so it is critical to figure out your window of opportunity.
Here are three ways to help you figure out when you are ovulating:
- The Calendar Method – This method works best for women who have a regular cycle. First, determine what day your next period will start, then count back 12 + 4 days. This will give you a five day range that you will likely be ovulating. If you have a 28 day cycle, there is a good chance you will ovulate on day 14.
- Track your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) and your Cervical Mucus for a cycle or two. These methods are natural and free, but will take a bit of time and effort on your part. A few days after ovulation, your BBT will raise a mere .4-1.0 degree Fahrenheit. To track any changes, you will need to take your temperature every morning with a special thermometer. Cervical Mucus will change substantially during your cycle. It will begin to increase as you near ovulation, and it will change in consistency to that of a raw egg white which will appear clear, stretchy, and slippery. You can examine excretions by feel or appearance.
- Purchase an Ovulation Predictor Kit that will measure your luteinizing hormone levels. This requires you to pee-on-a-stick and wait for the results. You will get a positive result a day or two before you ovulate, so you will know when to have sex that hopefully will result in a baby. These kits are available at drugstores without a prescription.
Let’s not forget our counterpart: the sperm. They say it makes two to make a baby, and so it makes sense that sperm should also be in tip top shape. For healthy sperm, males should avoid drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco. They should also take a multi-vitamin to ensure that they are getting proper nutrients including zinc, folic acid, and calcium. Moreover, since heat kills sperm, it is best to avoid taking hot baths or lounging in hot tubs during this time of trying to get pregnant.
As you get older, your fertility will decline. If you are under age 35 and have been unable to get pregnant after trying for a year, seek professional help. Seek help after six months of unsuccessful results if you are over age 35.
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