You are ready to get pregnant. now. Once you’re ready to start a family, waiting is the last thing you want to do.
While Mother Nature has a hand in timing, there are some things you can do — or not — to help increase your chances of getting pregnant ASAP. Read on for seven expert-approved tips for getting pregnant.
1. Get a Preconception Checkup
Before you officially start trying, get a checkup. Ask your doctor about prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid, which helps protect against some birth defects, such as spina bifida. Folic acid works in the early stages of pregnancy, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough folic acid before you get pregnant.
“Do this cycle before you start trying,” says Paula Hillard, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University. “If you have any underlying medical problems, you need to get them under control before you can safely get pregnant.”
How much do you know about your period? Hillard says that really understanding helps you know when you’re most fertile. Ovulation is the best time to get pregnant. “It’s time to focus on sex,” says Hillard.
It helps to be aware of signs of ovulation, such as changes in your cervical mucus. When you’re most fertile, it’s usually thin and slippery. Some women may also experience a one-sided twinge of pain.
Ovulation prediction kits can also help you predict the best time to get pregnant, says James Goldfarb, M.D., director of infertility services at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland. Not only can they help reassure you that you’re ovulating, “If you’re having intercourse infrequently, it can tell you when to have it to increase your chances of getting pregnant.” Should,” he says.
2. Get to Know Your Cycle
How it works: The first day of your period is considered the first day. “Start testing on day nine and continue until you test positive.” Joanne Pacitelli, MD, an associate professor of gynecology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., suggests that women with 28-day cycles ovulate on day 14. But many women have long or short cycles, so casting a wide net can help you be confident.
What if you are using birth control? Do you need to wait a while before trying to conceive? Not really, says Goldfarb. “Years ago, the conventional wisdom was to wait a certain amount of time after stopping birth control, but that’s no longer true. You should only try to get pregnant after you stop birth control,” says Goldfarb. can begin.” The only thing to keep in mind is that you can get pregnant before your period, so it can be difficult to track ovulation, and it can be difficult to track your due date. For this reason, “some people may find it better to wait until they get a period on their own,” he says.
3. Don’t Worry About the Best Positions for Getting Pregnant
Myths abound about the best positions to get pregnant, but they are just that – myths. There is really no scientific evidence that the missionary position is better than being on top of a woman when it comes to maximizing the chances of having children.
“Very rarely, a woman’s cervix is in an abnormal position where certain positions can make a difference,” Goldfarb tells WebMD.
Certain gravity-defying positions, such as sitting or standing during intercourse, however, can discourage sperm from traveling upward. “It’s a matter of gravity. You don’t want all the minis to go away — and minis are quick little critters,” Hillard says.
4. Stay in Bed Right After Intercourse
You’ve probably heard it — lie in bed with your feet in the air after sex to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Decision? (Completely) Not true.
“It’s good advice to lie in bed for 10 to 15 minutes after intercourse, but you don’t have to put your feet up,” says Goldfarb. “When you put your legs in the air, your pelvis doesn’t move.” Don’t go to the bathroom during this time, they say. “If you wait 10 to 15 minutes, the sperm that’s going to enter the cervix will be in the cervix.”
5. Don’t Overdo It
Having sex every day, even during ovulation, does not necessarily increase your chances of getting pregnant. “In general, every other night around the time of ovulation helps increase your chances of getting pregnant,” says Goldfarb. Sperm can live in your body for up to 5 days. The best advice is to have sex regularly — when you’re ovulating, and when you’re not.
Speaking of sperm, “wearing tight-fitting clothing can negatively affect sperm count,” says Piscitelli. So you can also spend time in the hot tub or jacuzzi. Your man’s cell phone habits may also need some work. A study in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that men who used a hands-free device with a mobile phone and held their phone close to their testicles had poorer sperm quality.
They may also need to eat edamame and other soy foods for a while. According to a study published online in Human Reproduction, men who eat more soy foods may have lower sperm count than men who don’t eat soy foods.
6. De-stress Any Way You Can
Try not to stress about starting a family. You might roll your eyes if someone says “relax and it’ll do,” but stress can actually interfere with ovulation. So the more relaxed you are the better!
Anything that helps you relieve stress is fine, as long as it’s healthy. “There is some evidence that acupuncture can help reduce stress and increase your chances of conceiving,” says Goldfarb. And while it’s not smart to drink too much alcohol while trying to conceive, a glass of wine won’t hurt.
7. Live a Healthy Life
Exercising is a healthy habit—especially if it helps you stay at your ideal weight. As with anything, though, you can have too much of a good thing. “Too much exercise can cause you to not ovulate,” says Goldfarb.
What is too much? It can be different for different women. If you’re a heavy exerciser and still have regular periods, your exercise routine probably isn’t the problem, he says. But, Goldfarb adds, your period isn’t the first thing you notice if you’re exercising a lot. “The first thing that happens is that the second half of your cycle is shorter. You should have your period 14 days after ovulation, but too much exercise can shorten this phase.” This will be the first clue you need to cut back on your fitness routine. He recommends tracking how long it takes you to get your period after you ovulate as the best way to know for sure.
Goldfarb says the best way to increase your chances of getting pregnant while reaping the health benefits of regular exercise is to get moderate exercise — think brisk walking — two and a half hours each week (or at least less than 30 minutes, 5 days a week).
“Stop smoking to increase your chances of getting pregnant,” says Hillard. In addition to all the other negative health effects of smoking, the nasty habit also reduces fertility. “It affects estrogen levels and ovulation. Affects.”
And don’t worry too much about your day planner. “Fifty percent of women will get pregnant within a year of trying,” Hillard says.