When couples decide they want to try and conceive, women especially feel ready to be pregnant, yesterday! Conceiving isn’t always as simple as it sounds. Some couples can take up to 6 months or even a year until they have successfully conceived.
When things don’t go according to plan, it can be a stressful time for a couple. They can start doubting their ability to conceive. Whether a couple has just started or has been trying for months, a common question they ask is “what can I do to help me get pregnant?”
There’s not always a simple answer for this. It really depends on the health of the couple and various other lifestyle factors. However, there are some general tips you can follow that have proven to help couples along the way.
1.Focus on your health
While a frugal lifestyle with none of life’s pleasures is definitely not required to conceive, healthy living can help. Here are some helpful tips:
- Eat a diet dominated by fresh fruit and vegetables
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake
- Completely avoid smoking – both of you!
- Identify and minimise you and your partner’s exposure to chemicals and artificial preservatives
- Reduce sugar and enjoy moderate exercise for more regular ovulation
2.Have regular sex
Some couples have less frequent intercourse than others and are happy with that. However, to state what may not be obvious, you have to have quite a lot of sex to improve your chance of getting pregnant. So get your romance on!
3.Get the timing right
Eggs are flighty, able to be fertilized for only a brief 24-hour window. However, sperm is persistent and can hang around in the female body for several days.
Sperm can ultimately catch the egg on its way from ovary to the fertile surrounds of the fallopian tube. After meeting en route, sperm and egg combine to form an embryo which journeys further down to implant in the uterus (or as it is better known, the womb).
The fertile window refers to the 5 days leading up to the day of ovulation. Timing sex during this time will help you get pregnant. Sex every second day is the minimum effort advised.
A little bit of cycle to cycle variation of ovulation timing happens. For the average woman with a 28-day menstrual cycle, trying from day 10 to day 16 should have your bases covered for an excellent chance of conception.
4.Be patient with the process
When you compare us humans to other species, we aren’t very fertile. Every month for fertile couples, there is a one in 5 chance of getting pregnant. Unfortunately, once you are pregnant, there is also statistically a one in 5 chance of having a miscarriage.
Be positive, be persistent and have fun. Statistics show 80% of couples are pregnant within 6 months of trying and 90% are pregnant within 12 months.
5.After 6 months, seek professional advice
If you are a woman and are aged over 35, fertility is known to decline. It’s not a cliff or a light switch moment, but it’s not a myth either. Time is precious for older parents, so if there’s a real underlying problem, it’s best to identify it early. This ensures that if fertility treatments are needed, they are used at a time where they have the best chance of working.
If you are under 35 and have been trying for 6 months, you and your partner can get checked out if delay to pregnancy is causing you stress. However, it is also reasonable to try naturally for a few months more, taking on board the tips above.
If something is obviously wrong, (like for example, you don’t have a regular cycle, or you are experiencing painful periods and are worried about endometriosis), seek help more immediately. You don’t have to wait for 6 months, and relatively minor fertility treatments may help you conceive naturally.