A planned pregnancy can be a fine balancing act between your hormones, time and in some cases – luck. We help tip the balance in your favour by providing some helpful tips on not just only improving the fertility of both you and your partner, but some important information on timing and making sure the efforts you make have maximum affect in helping you reach your goal
1. Have a Check-Up
Before you take on any project, it’s always important to make sure you have all the information you need. It is best to make an appointment with your GP if you feel that becoming pregnant may be made difficult with any long-standing health problems you may have.
2. Track Your Cycles
Knowing when you are most fertile is paramount when planning your pregnancy. This can help you make your efforts to get pregnant more effective. Knowing how long your cycle is and which day you ovulate allows you to locate the small window in which you are most likely to have an egg waiting for your partner’s sperm.
3. Have Sex at Peak Fertility
To maximise your chances, it is best to have sex in each of the five days leading up to your day of ovulation. This increases your chances of becoming pregnant as you will have built up a good stock of viable sperm that are already close to the egg as they have had time to swim to the site of fertilisation.
4. Look For Fertility Signs
You know your body best and you are most likely aware of the small changes in your body when you pass through the stages of each menstrual cycle. There are three main ways to monitor your natural fertility signs. These are:
- Basal body temperature
- Cervical position
- Cervical mucus.
5. Invest in a Test
Deciphering when you are most fertile using only your own cycle calendar can make you miss the best opportunity. Sometimes you may need a little help in focussing your window of success, which is best for you to conceive. This is done by detecting the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge which indicates impending ovulation.
Ovulation kits can be bought from any chemist, some supermarkets or online. You use them to test your urine for hormone levels.
6. Take Folic Acid
Taking note of your intake of folic acid is not only important once you have conceived – it can also improve your chances of becoming pregnant in the first place. This important B vitamin is necessary in all aspects of the replication of your genes and research has shown that those who take this supplement have less chance of complications when producing eggs – the second biggest reason for infertility in women.
7. Eat Healthy
Making sure your body provides a healthy place for your baby to grow and mature is paramount when you are looking to become pregnant or are pregnant. It is well understood that what you put into your body has a direct affect on what happens on the inside and your chances of becoming pregnant can be improved if you eat a nutritious well-balanced diet.
8. Try to Relax
Trying for a baby can be an extremely stressful event – especially when it has taken longer than you expected. Little niggling doubts and feelings of failure seep into your psyche, which can leave you stressed, anxious and even depressed. These feelings are not good for your fertility, cortisol, the stress hormone competes with progesterone and always wins – without enough progesterone a fertilised egg cannot be maintained.
9. Stop Trying
With all the planning and stress becoming pregnant can become more like a military operation. Many couples do not fall pregnant instantly and most take months to achieve. In fact, the average time for a normal couple to conceive is six cycles (ie six months in a woman with a 28-day cycle). So there are times where you should just take time out and let things take their course.
This can be so much more enjoyable without performance anxiety, which can be a limiting factor for your hopeful pregnancy because this can lead to stress and strain within the relationship.
10. Have Sex Often
Couples who have sex regularly, and not within a small window of time – have a greater success rate when trying to fall pregnant. Those who have sex at least a couple of times a week on a regular basis are more likely to conceive earlier than those who do not.
11. Do it Missionary Style
The positions you and your partner are in once he ejaculates can improve the possibilities of you becoming pregnant. The best positions offer the deepest penetration and present more of the sperm to the cervix. In this scenario, the missionary position is the best because it allows the semen to pool around the neck of the womb and allows less wastage.
12. Avoid Regular Lubricants
The vagina is a dangerous environment for sperm, or any foreign cells, which do not belong to the potential mother. However, the women’s secretions just after ovulation are slightly alkaline, and so provide protection for the sperm against the acidic environment usually found inside a woman’s vagina.
The use of artificial lubricant can have an effect on this process and so can leave the sperm in a dangerous place without the beneficial interaction with the women’s natural secretions to save them.
13. Stop Smoking
It is well documented that smoking while pregnant can have a negative effect on the development of your baby. Many women attempt to quit before trying for a baby, which is a great way to improve your odds of becoming pregnant. Research shows that on average, a smoker has to wait an extra two months compared to a non-smoker to fall pregnant. If you have stopped smoking for a year, you have the same odds of becoming pregnant as someone who has never smoked.
14. Be at a Healthy Weight
Making sure you’re at a healthy weight when you start to try for a baby is important. Being overweight places many obstacles in your way when you’re trying for a baby. An unhealthy female body is more likely to suffer from menstrual irregularities, which can make planning difficult. This is due to fat cells producing more oestrogen, which can interrupt a woman’s cycle.
15. Get Enough Sleep
A lack of sleep can not only get in the way of your reproductive organs being in tip top condition but also make you more susceptible to factors which can decrease your fertility. Research suggests that those who sleep for less than five hours a night are more prone to obesity or becoming caffeine dependant. Both of these factors can get in the way of you becoming pregnant.
Article by Ryan Maclean and taken in part from http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/
For help pre, during or post pregnancy call Mediterranean Quality Care Services and our qualified nurses will give you the support and peace of mind you need.
All content on this website is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Always consult your own GP if you’re in any way concerned about your health.