Tips for getting pregnant are designed to prepare your body for pregnancy and ensure the health of both you and your baby. These tips will help to increase your chances of conception, while also teaching you ways to lead a healthier lifestyle before, during and after pregnancy.
Tips for Getting Pregnant: Preparing Your Body
If you’re trying to conceive, one of the best tips for getting pregnant involves a preconception checkup. These checkups will include a physical and pelvic exam. Make an appointment with your gynecologist who can perform genetic testing, STD testing and a pap smear, in order to give you the go ahead for conception. If you don’t have these tests done prior to conceiving, they will take place during your first prenatal visit. For most new moms to be, getting these test results back can be a nail biting experience, so it’s best to get them over with, for peace of mind. If you’re over the age of thirty-five your physician may want to conduct an ultrasound in order to view your ovaries and determine whether it’s possible or safe to get pregnant.
During your doctor’s visit, if he or she gives you the go ahead to try and get pregnant, they will recommend taking prenatal vitamins. They will also advise you to start taking a folic acid supplement, in addition to your prenatals. So start taking the folic acid now. Folic acid has been proven to prevent neural tube defects in babies, if taken three months before conception and during the first month of pregnancy. Studies have shown that by taking a daily folic acid supplement, women can reduce the risk of birth defects by more than fifty percent. If you want to add more folic acid to your diet, drink an eight ounce glass of orange juice each morning.
Break Bad Habits to Increase Your Chances of Conceiving
If you smoke, it’s important that you quit before you get pregnant. Studies have shown that smoking half a pack a day can reduce your chances of conception by fifty percent. This also goes for your partner. Smoking can reduce sperm production and motility by forty to sixty percent, depending on how much your partner smokes.
If you’re a coffee drinker, you may cringe when you learn that drinking more than three cups of coffee a day can also reduce your chances of conception. Caffeine can also prevent your baby from growing because it restricts blood flow to the uterus. While it’s hard to give up that morning cup of coffee, fertility experts recommend switching to decaf as soon as possible.
In order to make the vaginal environment sperm friendly, avoid using scented pads and tampons, or vaginal sprays. Also steer clear of douches because they can alter the natural bacteria in the vagina, causing an infection.
If you’re monitoring the consistency of your vaginal mucus, in order to pinpoint your fertile days, do so before you go swimming or shower. Water can affect the amount and consistency of cervical mucus.
Boosting Your Sex Life: Why Frequency Matters
If you’re determined to conceive, another great tip for getting pregnant involves increasing the frequency of sex. While having lots of sex may seem like a no-brainer, it’s important that you know more about how ovulation works, when to have sex and why the frequency is so crucial.
According to studies, a woman is at her most fertile, five days before she begins to ovulate. These five days are considered the peak baby-making days. As ovulation approaches, a woman’s cervix will begin to rise up in the vagina. The cervix will begin to soften and slightly open. If your menstrual cycle is shorter or longer than twenty-eight days, generally, you won’t begin to ovulate until the 14th day. However, women who have irregular periods may need to begin having sex much sooner than five days before their expected period. To increase your chances of conception, have sex at least every other day. The semen can live in the body for two to three days. Ovulation can last one day or as little as twelve hours, so it’s very important that you have semen ready and waiting during these peak hours. Keeping track of ovulation will be your best bet. If you have irregular periods, or you’re unsure if you’re ovulating, purchase an ovulation kit. Once you have finished ovulating, it can take up to twelve days before a pregnancy test can pick up the pregnancy hormone in your urine and for some women it can take up to eighteen days.
For most couples, a negative pregnancy test can be very frustrating. Sex may begin to feel like a chore for couples who have tried to conceive for several months with no luck. Try to keep it fun and relax. The increased stress and pressure you’re experiencing can actually prevent you from conceiving.
If you have tried for at least six months to get pregnant and you haven’t had any luck, it may be time to have your partner’s sperm tested, in order to determine whether a low sperm count or poor sperm motility is the cause. Your partner can also meet with his doctor and learn about the changes he can make to increase his sperm count and motility. This can be as simple as losing weight and making dietary changes.