Thinking of getting pregnant? Well, the truth is, getting pregnant might be harder than you think and there is homework to do, other than engaging in unending sexual intercourse. Although learning about your body and your menstrual cycle is key, there is much more to it when trying for a baby.
With experts chiming in on various ways to increase your chances of conception, it is more than just your menstrual cycle you should take note of.
Here are 10 tips on how you can increase your chances of getting pregnant:
1) Track your ovulation
Tracking your ovulation is a one of the most helpful ways when trying to conceive. It is important to learn at which stage of the menstrual cycle you are in, in order to facilitate the conception process.
Why? As we know, fertilization can only occur when you ovulate, which typically lasts between 3-4 days around your ovulation period. With just a small window that allows for conception to happen, it is crucial to find out when to accurately engage in intercourse, in order to coincide with your ovulation. When intercourse is engaged during this window of ovulation, this increases the chance of conception.
What to do: It is important to track your ovulation period during your menstrual cycle. Buy a Basal Body Thermometer to aid you in this tracking process. You will realize that your body temperature is lower in the first part of your menstrual cycle where your body temperature is between 36.1 and 36.4 °C. However, your body temperature increases to between 36.4 to 37 °C when you ovulate. When your body temperature increases during your menstrual cycle, you should engage in intercourse as much as you can, to increase the chance of pregnancy.
2) Eat more food rich in antioxidant
Nutrition is key when it comes to fertility. Start eating more foods that are high in antioxidant in order to boost fertility rate.
Why? Because antioxidants help to eradicate free radicals that cause significant damage to our cells. Foods that are high in antioxidant can help to improve egg quality and help the regularity of your menstrual cycles. Foods such as berries, beans and green leafy vegetables help block free radicals before reaching the eggs in your ovarian reserve. This helps protect the quality of your eggs which increases fertility rate.
What to do: Start eating foods that are high in antioxidants such as Green tea, spinach, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, goji berries, blueberries, raspberries, kale, beans, dark chocolate, pecan, artichokes
3) Say bye to trans fats
Trans fats is known to have negative effects on our health and that is no different when it comes to fertility. Studies have shown that women who eat foods containing more trans fats is vulnerable to ovulation-related infertility.
It has been revealed that women have a 73% chance of developing ovulatory infertility with just 4 grams of trans fat in a daily 1,800 calories diet. The same can be said for your male partner since increased trans fats intake results in low sperm count and may adversely affect fertility.
Why? Because trans fats disrupt your cell receptor function which is important in the ovulation process.
What to do: Cut down foods that are high in trans fats such as fast foods, coffee creamer, doughnuts, frozen foods, snacks, pizza, cakes, cookies, margarine, biscuits, French fries, instant foods
4) Pop your multivitamins
Multivitamins are great helpers when you are trying to conceive and they help prepare your body with the appropriate nutrients required for you and your baby, Studies have shown that there is a correlation between multivitamin supplement and reducing risks of ovulation problems. Women who took multivitamins were likely to conceive faster and have a healthier pregnancy.
Why? Because multivitamins help to reduce stress and anxiety levels in female. Also, folic acid, which is essential in conceiving, is found in multivitamins and this reduces the rate of infertility.
What to do: Start taking multivitamins consistently and get into the habit of taking 1 a day.
5) Watch your weight
Weight is something to look out for when trying for a baby. Studies have shown that women’s fertility is affected by an unhealthy weight.
Why? Because having an unhealthy weight introduces a host of conditions which are unfavourable to fertility. Having an unhealthy weight causes hormonal imbalance and problems with ovulation (the release of egg from the ovaries). Also, obesity may also result in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) that causes low fertility or in worst case scenario, infertility or miscarriage.
Being of a healthy weight does not only apply to women. Men too, are required to reach a healthy weight to improve the chance of conception. This is because being in a healthy weight range ensures a healthier sperm quality.
What to do: Start exercising and embark on a healthier diet.
6) Meditate your stress away
When it comes to conceiving, stress is a big no-no. A study that took women’s saliva to detect stress levels revealed that saliva that contains high levels of alpha-amylase, an enzyme that detects stress, took hose who have high levels of the enzyme alpha-amylase, which is associated to stress, took 29% longer to conceive as compared to those who were less stressed.
Why? Because when one is stressed, it increases the stress hormone (cortisol) in the body. With increased levels of cortisol in the body, it disrupts the signals between the brain and the ovaries which affects the ovulation cycle.
What to do: Take up yoga and meditating classes to relieve stress. Also take on less stressful workload and prepare your body for pregnancy.
7) Get moving – start exercising
One of the most common myths that surrounds fertility is that exercise may be too taxing on your body. However, contrary to popular belief, exercise is highly encouraged while trying to get pregnant.
Studies have shown that regular moderate exercise prior to trying for a baby is ideal as it helps ensure a healthier pregnancy and even easier birth.
Why? Because exercise helps to prepare your body for pregnancy and it also helps to improve the rate of fertility. Also, with regular exercise, this will help your pregnancy positively by reducing chances to having gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.
What to do: Doing low impact exercise like walking 30 minutes a day daily is recommended to bring up your heart rate.
8) Have sexy time at the right time with the right position
We all know that sex is required in order for conceiving to occur. But sex at the right time with the correct position help to expedite the process! Studies have shown that the best time to have sex is not on the day of ovulation itself, rather, 3-4 days prior to ovulation. Also, it is said that missionary position and doggie style have higher chance of conceiving.
Why? Females are the most fertile 3 days before ovulation and thus, increases the chances of fertility. Also, because the sperm has a window of 72 hours, it gives it more chance for fertilisation as conceiving is impossible 12-24 hours after ovulation. For higher chance of conceiving, it helps when the sperm is bring in very close proximity to the cervix. Missionary and doggie positions are the positions that allow deeper penetration and thus, may increase the chance of conceiving.
What to do: Start having sex 3 days before ovulation with either missionary or doggie position. Also, put yourself in a position where the semen is allowed to pool around your cervix for a period of time after sex. This position can be you lying on your back with elevated hips for about 30 min to an hour after intercourse.
9) Trim down on the caffeine
Limit your caffeine intake is one of the most common advice we hear when trying to conceive. It turns out that, caffeine truly does impede on your attempt at trying for baby. Studies have shown that women who drink large amounts of caffeine took a longer time to conceive and also had a higher risk of miscarriage.
Why? Although there is not known why caffeine affects fertility, it is wise to keep to a lower amount of caffeine intake when trying for a baby.
What to do: Limit your caffeine intake to 1-2 2cups of 200ml coffee a day.
10) Get that orgasm
Who says that trying for a baby has to be a chore? In fact, make the process fun and exciting and end with, not 1 but 2 orgasms (both you and your partner). Studies have shown that when female reaches an orgasm, chances of getting pregnant is higher and that when female has an orgasm up to 45 minutes after the sperm is deposited in the vagina, sperm retention is much higher.
Why? Because when the female reaches an orgasm, it causes the uterus to contract. The act of contraction allows the sperm to be sucked into the uterus and thereby increasing the chance of conceiving. Also, the female orgasm releases high levels of estrogen which provides the ideal environment for sperm to survive and swim to the cervix.
What to do: Explore your body and learn the different ways and positions for you to achieve an orgasm. Also, time your orgasm if possible in order to increase your chance of pregnancy.