Have you been wondering how to increase the chances of getting pregnant? Many would argue that getting pregnant precisely when you want to is not an exact science and that there is no way to guarantee pregnancy. You can certainly try to have as many odds stacked up in your favour as possible though. Preferably make them scientific odds.
Ideal sex position
To start with, let us quickly dispel the myth that any particular sex position will assist you in trying to conceive. There is no research to suggest that positioning affects anything. You can get pregnant standing up in the shower. There is no sex position that will guarantee that you get pregnant.
How can I increase my chances of getting pregnant naturally?
- Work on minimizing stress
Stress can lead to an abundance of physical and mental problems. These include eating disorders that could develop consciously or unconsciously, difficulty sleeping and staying asleep, and hormonal imbalances. All these examples can lead to difficulties in getting pregnant. Your body in general is not functioning as well as it should be when you are stressed out because you are producing high amounts of the enzyme alpha-amylase – a stress marker. One study found that this enzyme was present in high levels in the saliva of women who were finding it difficult to conceive.
- Get your hormone levels checked
You may choose to do this even before you start to try to get pregnant. In order to check your fertility, your doctor would be checking your follicle-stimulating hormone levels (FSH), estradiol, progesterone and lutenizing hormone (LH). when these are not within an ideal range, it may be an explanation for why a woman finds it difficult to conceive.
- Use Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs)
Also called ovulation test strips, OPKs work by detecting your LH levels and indicating when they have surged. Once you know there is a surge, you have an idea of the ideal time to have sex in order to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Some tests can be difficult to understand and in general, some people may find it tough to understand how exactly to use OPKs. Be sure that you are reading the test correctly and are sure of how to use it.
- Track your cycle
If you do not already, start to keep track of your menstrual cycle. Outside of trying to conceive, it is helpful to know how regular you are and how your periods differ each month. This information becomes useful when you want to increase your chances of getting pregnant because you are able to determine more easily when you are ovulating.
- Maintain a healthy body weight
Being either extremely underweight or overweight can affect the ease with which you manage to get pregnant. Research has found that getting yourself closer to your ideal Body Mass Index (BMI) increases your chances of getting pregnant. Get to and maintain a healthy body weight in preparation for trying to conceive.
- Have plenty of sex
If you find that you are occasionally having sex but not getting pregnant, you may well be having sex on days that are not your most fertile. While this may work just fine for someone else, you may need to either be more strategic with when you have sex (see #3 above) or have sex more frequently than you currently are. Having sex more often means that you are increasing the chances of getting pregnant sooner.
- Stop “trying”
Perhaps it is time to relax. Stop trying so hard to conceive and start to enjoy sex the way you used to. I do not buy into the advice given to women who are trying to conceive to not think about the fact that you are not yet pregnant. If it is something you want badly enough, your brain will take you there whether you want it to or not. However, you can choose to face the thought but focus on something else. Focus on your partner and your relationship instead and try to see this waiting period as a time to enjoy each other instead.
- Eat healthily
Hopefully you will be trying to eat healthy every day anyway but when you are trying to conceive, it will benefit you to be getting the kinds of foods that will nourish your body. Eat less processed foods and more high fibre foods.
- Quit drinking and lock up the alcohol
If you are trying to have a baby, you should cut out smoking altogether and you should also attempt to stop drinking alcohol. Research has found that women who smoke are twice as likely to experience infertility as women who do not smoke. Do not wait till after you get pregnant as you do not want alcohol or smoking to adversely affect you while you are pregnant either.
- Stay conscious of your biological clock
The use of the phrase ‘biological clock’ of course While you should not stress about being able to conceive, you should also be realistic. If you are hoping to increase your chances of getting pregnant but are above the age of 40, for example, you may want to speak to your doctor about any extra steps you should take as you try to conceive.
- Get sufficient sleep
The importance of sleep is, I believe, greatly underestimated in this day and age and yet it is arguably when we need sleep even more. The various stresses of life for millennials, for example, means that we need to consciously make more time to not just relax but actually get sleep in order to repair and rejuvenate our minds and bodies. Not doing so is what leads to mismanagement of stress and therefore, the side effects of stress (see #1 above).
- Take pre-natal vitamins
There are many prenatal vitamin brands on the market at a range of prices. Your doctor may recommend that you start on folic acid when you begin to try to conceive as it prevents spinal defects in babies.
The added benefit of taking a prenatal vitamin when trying to get pregnant is that it gives you the extra nutrition that you may need in order to balance out your diet (see #8 above). They have also been found to reduce the risk of pre-term birth.
Just be sure that you are taking a pre-natal vitamin as any other may not have the vitamins that you need in the correct amounts.
13. Check your blood sugars
Having issues with your blood sugars may not stop you from getting pregnant but it may affect how smooth your pregnancy is once you do achieve conception. High blood sugar can also affect the quality of your egg cells and your partner’s sperm. This is why diabetes is associated with low levels of fertility.
What have you done to increase your chances of getting pregnant (quickly)?