Once you start trying to conceive, you learn that actually getting pregnant isn’t always as easy as having a basic comprehension of the birds and the bees. Some people seem to get pregnant by just thinking about it, while others try for years and can’t figure out why it’s not working. The process of getting pregnant varies for everyone.
Fertility specialists exist for a reason, as there are a myriad of issues that can cause infertility or trouble getting pregnant, but if you’re just starting out and want to know if there is anything you can do to help the process along, read on…
Know When You Ovulate
Healthy couples with no reasons for infertility will often make the mistake of thinking that if they just “do it often,” they should be able to get pregnant easily. But, the truth is, you’ve got a relatively small window each month.
You can only get pregnant when you are ovulating and you are only ovulating a few days a month. So, the best way to speed up the conception process is to figure out when you’re ovulating and make sure you make it happen on those days.
Your most fertile days are the two to three days before you ovulate through the day of ovulation.
One way you can figure out when you ovulate is to count the days. This method will only work if your periods are very regular. You start with the day of your next expected period, count back twelve days and then another four. This five day range is when you’re most likely to make a baby.
If you want a little digital help counting the days, there are countless ovulation calculators you can use, like this one.
A more accurate way to figure out your ovulation schedule is to chart your body’s signals. If you invest in a special thermometer, you can track your basal body temperature (this is different from your regular body temperature). You will also have an increase in cervical mucus as you approach ovulation.
The easiest way to track your ovulation is to purchase an ovulation predictor kit, which you can find in the family planning section at any drug store
As with pregnancy tests, all that is involved in these tests is peeing on a stick/strip. These tests work by tracking your hormone levels, which change when one of your ovaries release an egg.
Here’s a helpful tip from Baby Center for when ovulation day comes – “If you and your partner are waiting to have sex until your most fertile time, make sure you haven’t gone through too long of a dry spell beforehand. Your partner should ejaculate at least once in the days before your most fertile period. If he doesn’t, there could be a buildup of dead sperm in his semen when it’s go time, and dead sperm can’t get you pregnant.”
What You Can Do
Prenatal vitamins are not just for pregnant ladies. Start taking your prenatal two or three months before you start trying to conceive. This is important mainly because of the folic acid. Folic acid is key in growing a healthy baby. The Bump says, “…you should start getting at least 400 mcg of folic acid each day as far as a year or two in advance.”
Many women suggest doing a headstand after sex, or really just tilting your pelvis so that gravity can help you get the sperm to swim toward your cervix.
Making sure that you orgasm during sex is also helpful, as the pulsing contractions you experience can help the sperm reach their destination.
Don’t use any lubricants. Lubricants (even saliva) can act as a barrier and block sperm.
What Future-Daddy Can Do
For the father of your future-child to have the healthiest sperm with the best chance of making a baby, he should cut back on alcohol and tobacco, avoid hot tubs and saunas (heat kills sperm), and eat plenty of zinc, folic acid, calcium, vitamin C and vitamin D.
If you’ve been tracking and trying for several months and you still haven’t had any luck, you might want to consider visiting your OB/GYN or seeing a fertility specialist who can help you get to the bottom of why you’re having trouble getting pregnant and offer solutions.