While getting pregnant comes easily for some women, there are those that need to adjust their lifestyle so as to increase their chances of conception. The following are some tips that can help you conceive:
- 1 What Should I Eat?
- 2 What Not To Eat When Trying To Conceive
- 3 What Supplement Should I Take?
- 4 How Do I Know When I Am Ovulating?
- 5 Are There Any Signs Of Ovulation?
- 6 When Should You Have Sex When Trying To Conceive?
- 7 How Often Should We Have Sex?
- 8 Are There Particular Positions That Will Improve My Chances Of Conception?
- 9 Is It Important To Remain Lying Down After Sex?
- 10 Do I Need To Stop The Sperm From Leaking Out After Sex?
- 11 Do I Need To Orgasm To Get Pregnant?
- 12 How Long Should We Try To Conceive Before Seeking Help?
What Should I Eat?
Many women do not realize that what they and their partners eat when trying to conceive might affect their success rate. Healthy, fresh meals are the only food you should consider during this vital time.
- Dark leafy greens are an absolute necessity. These include spinach, kale and broccoli. These foods are high in folate which improves ovulation and sperm count in men. You should, therefore, make an effort to include them in at least two of your meals on a daily basis. These greens can also be complemented by fresh vegetables and fruits that up the vitamin count in your body, keeping you healthy and fertile.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are also extremely important as they ensure that there is increased blood flow to all your reproductive organs, as well as regulating all the hormones in your reproductive system. Omega-3 Acids are found in fish, but you should focus mostly on tuna and salmon, while avoiding fish that might have high mercury levels, such as swordfish and tilefish.
- Proteins should not be overlooked in your diet. It is highly recommended that you focus on plant proteins versus animal proteins, as they are considerably healthier, and, therefore, more beneficial when trying to get pregnant. Based on comprehensive research conducted by Harvard University, women who consumed high levels of plant protein, such as lentils, chia seeds, tofu, beans and nuts, had a higher chance of conception when compared to women who did not incorporate these foods in their daily diet.
What Not To Eat When Trying To Conceive
- Alcohol and alcoholic products should be avoided when trying to conceive and especially when pregnant. While some researchers state that you can have a drink or two per day, it is best to abstain from alcohol if you want to bump up your chances of a healthy and problem-free conception. Alcohol has been linked to abnormal levels of both progesterone and estrogen, and a lack of ovulation. This coupled with the fact that alcohol could harm your unborn baby and lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, is reason enough to replace alcohol with water.
- You should also eliminate coffee and caffeine products from your routine as caffeine is linked with infertility problems and the inability to absorb iron, which is very important during conception and pregnancy. You can still have a single cup of coffee a day if you absolutely cannot live without it, but you should start weaning yourself from it early for the sake of the precious bundle coming your way soon.
- While you may know that smoking is not acceptable during pregnancy, you may not realize that quitting cigarettes while trying to get pregnant could be very beneficial. For one, it helps you practice the “no smoking rule” for when you ultimately get pregnant. Also, smoking has also been linked to ectopic pregnancies, genetic abnormalities, miscarriages and difficulties in conceiving. By quitting, you escape all these problems and give your lungs a break too!
What Supplement Should I Take?
- Folic acid is an important supplement that you should take during conception, and even after you are pregnant. Folic acid ensures that your baby is protected from birth defects, especially spina bifida. If you start taking it before you conceive, you are assured that your body has the right amount to keep your baby healthy.
- Zinc should be taken by both you and your partner if you are hoping to conceive. Zinc increases a man’s testosterone and sperm production. In women, it is able to increase fertility and ovulation, both helpful in your quest to conceive.
- You should also take iron supplements. While you are getting some iron from your diet, your body might require higher levels to ensure your health and that of your fetus. Women who take non-heme iron supplements have a 60% higher chance of conceiving, but you should ensure that you follow the prescription given as excessive amounts of iron could be dangerous to your health.
How Do I Know When I Am Ovulating?
Ovulation occurs when you release an egg from any, or both, your ovaries. Ovulation occurs every month and it is very important to know exactly when you are ovulating so you can take advantage of when you are at your most fertile. Research indicates that you are at your highest chance of conception three days prior and on the actual day that you are ovulating. Your chances of getting pregnant reduce after this until the next ovulation period.
While the general rule of ovulation is that it occurs mid-cycle, e.g. on the 14th day of a 28-day cycle, a 35-day cycle ovulation occurs on the 21st day instead of the 17th. So as not to get confused, and to be as accurate as possible, it is recommended that you use an ovulation calculator.
Are There Any Signs Of Ovulation?
- “Egg white” cervical fluid production is one of the signs that you are ovulating or close to doing so. While different women will have varied cervical fluids, you will notice an increase in the production of this fluid and a difference in its consistency. The day that you have most amount of this cervical fluid is when ovulation takes place.
- Keeping track of your temperature is also important when looking for ovulation signs. On regular days, your temperature levels will be quite consistent but these temperatures will fall as you approach your ovulation day. You are, therefore, able to strategically plan for intercourse when you notice this drop in temperature. Once you note that there has been a rise in temperature, your ovulation period is over.
- Cramps, quite similar to what you might experience during your periods, are another notable sign of ovulation. If you are not having your periods, then you should take advantage of this ovulation period to try and get pregnant. These cramps should only be slightly uncomfortable, not painful. If they are too much of a bother, a mild painkiller should eliminate any discomfort.
When Should You Have Sex When Trying To Conceive?
The general rule is that the more frequently you have intercourse, the better your chances are of conception. However, there are times when you are more likely to conceive. There are times during your cycle when you are more fertile than others. Ovulation generally occurs about 14 days prior to your period, so you should have sex every day you are ovulating. You should also have frequent intercourse prior to ovulation, as sperm can live inside you for several days after sex. Daily sex is recommended during pre-ovulation as well.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you are not regular, it is possible to ovulate early, so it may be beneficial to start daily sex even earlier in your cycle if that is a factor for you.
How Often Should We Have Sex?
Have sex at least once a day during ovulation as well as during pre-ovulation. Each time you have sex increases your likelihood of conception, so having sex more than daily will improve your chances as well. Of course, your own mental health is an important factor before and after conception, so if you and your partner are feeling overwhelmed by the stresses of trying to conceive, it is absolutely okay to skip a day. All things considered though, your chances are best when you engage in intercourse at least daily.
Are There Particular Positions That Will Improve My Chances Of Conception?
It is not known for sure whether there are specific sexual positions that will increase the chances of conceiving, as there have been no conclusive studies completed on this matter. However, it is widely believed that the missionary position is the best position for conception, as this position can improve the likelihood of the sperm reaching the Fallopian tube. It is also recommended to try other positions that allow for deeper penetration, as this is believed to increase the chances of conception. Many doctors however, also caution that the best positions for improving the chances of conception are the positions that feel the best for the couple.
It’s important that sex stay fun, otherwise couples may not continue to pursue it with the frequency necessary for the best conception chances.
Is It Important To Remain Lying Down After Sex?
Each ejaculation contains millions of sperm, so it may not be crucial to lie down following sex. However, it does not hurt your chances and may help. What is recommended is that you lie down on your back following intercourse, positioning yourself so that your hips are slightly elevated. You can achieve this by sliding a pillow underneath you. The reasoning for this is that it may make it easier for the sperm to reach the egg, as lying down prevents the sperm from having to swim upstream.
It is suggested that you remain in this position for 15 to 30 minutes following sex. When trying to conceive however, having frequent sex is more of a priority than the opportunity to remain in a prone position after sex, so don’t avoid sex because you don’t have the time to remain lying down afterwards.
Do I Need To Stop The Sperm From Leaking Out After Sex?
After sex, some sperm will naturally leak out of you. Because millions of sperm are released during ejaculation, it is likely that even if much of it leaks out, there are still thousands, if not millions of sperm inside you. However, it may slightly help your chances of conception if you try and position yourself so that the sperm does not run out immediately following sex. If you are having sex in the missionary position to improve you chances of conception, you are already in great position to do this. Elevating your hips with a pillow will also help prevent sperm from leaking out.
Do I Need To Orgasm To Get Pregnant?
Woman can conceive without reaching orgasm. Typically what is required for pregnancy is that the woman is ovulating or near ovulation, the male ejaculates, and sperm reaches the egg. Technically, a woman can conceive if the male never reaches orgasm either, as there is fluid that leaks from the penis – called pre-ejaculate- prior to orgasm. This fluid contains semen, although in much smaller amounts than ejaculate does.
However, it is not likely that you will get pregnant without male orgasm occurring. It is recommended that couples who are trying to conceive still aim for mutual satisfaction, as women are more likely to continue to have intercourse with the frequency recommended if they are reaching orgasm during sex.
How Long Should We Try To Conceive Before Seeking Help?
When you are trying to conceive, it can be easy to become anxious if you do not become pregnant quickly. In reality, it can take a while to become pregnant. How long you should wait before seeking the help of a medical professional depends on your age.
- If you are under 35, it is recommended that you give it at least a year before seeking medical assistance in becoming pregnant.
- If you are between 35 and 40, you should try for six months before seeking assistance.
- If you are over 40 and are trying to conceive, you should consult with your doctor and seek their advice on your best options.
At any age, try not to stress over not conceiving immediately, as some believe that high levels of stress can affect your ability to conceive.
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