If you are ready for little baby and want to know how to get pregnant, you should know that getting pregnant often takes a bit of luck and patience. There are several key pieces of information that can increase those odds.
1. Predict Ovulation
Ovulation generally occurs at a preset time in the menstrual cycle. There are several ways to predict when a female is ovulating.
- Calculate the Days. Ovulation generally occurs at the midpoint of the menstrual cycle. For a woman with a 28 to 30-day cycle, ovulation most likely occurs 14 days after the day of the last period. Women who have longer cycles may experience ovulation as late as 20 days after the last period.
- Watch Cervical Mucus. Cervical mucous is affected by hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. Just before ovulation the mucus becomes slippery and very thin making it easier to become pregnant. Once the mucus becomes thick and cloudy, the chances of pregnancy drop off. The consistency of the cervical mucous affects the ability of sperm to swim to the appropriate location.
- Monitor Basal Body Temperature. A subtle temperature rise occurs just before ovulation. Use a thermometer specifically designed to measure basal body temperature. By plotting this data on a graph, a pattern will emerge making it easier to predict ovulation. Fertility will be highest in the several days before the slight rise in body temperature that occurs during ovulation.
- Use OTC Ovulation Kits. Specific hormones surge inside the body and trigger ovulation. These hormones can be measured in the urine by using an OTC ovulation kit. Be sure to follow the directions carefully to maximize the chances of success.
2. Boost Fertility
There are several key elements to remember when trying to become pregnant. Follow the guidelines below to maximize your chance of success.
- Have Regular Sex. Having sex at regular intervals throughout the week will increase the likelihood of getting pregnant. Plan for two to three times a week and intercourse will likely happen during a fertile period. Having sex even more often stacks the deck in favor of success.
- Have Sex During Ovulation. As the time of ovulation approaches, plan to have sex once a day. It is unlikely that daily sex will reduce the sperm count in the male partner to any significant degree.
- Enjoy The Process. Have fun with the process and don't let stress get in the way. The anxiety over trying to conceive can actually have a negative impact on the hormones that trigger ovulation. Enjoy your partner and try not to rush.
- Take Vitamins. Being as healthy as possible is a great way to increase the odds of getting pregnant. Prenatal vitamins and folic acid supplements decrease the risk of certain birth defects. Plan to start taking vitamins a few months before you start trying to become pregnant.
3. Change Lifestyle Habits
- Ban Taking Contraceptives. Birth control pills contain hormones that alter the body's ability to become pregnant. It may take a few months for the body to readjust after stopping birth control. Other methods, such as the depo provera injection) may take three or four months for the body to reset itself. Implantable birth control and IUD's require a trip to your doctor to remove.
- Stay Physical and Promote Well-Being. Being healthy is a great overall strategy to increase the chance of becoming pregnant. Consider getting a prenatal checkup to see if any health issues need to be addressed to help you become pregnant. This is a chance to focus on your overall health and well-being and will get the pregnancy started on the right foot.
- Keep Off Certain Things. Avoid stimulants and antidepressants. These drugs have negative affects on the likelihood of becoming pregnant and can be harmful to the baby as well. Talk to your doctor before just stopping these types of medicines. Smoking and caffeine have a negative impact on getting pregnant. It's best to avoid these during pregnancy so now is the perfect time to stop these habits.
4. Watch for Your Diet
- Foods to Eat. Current research and traditional medicine both show that certain foods increase fertility and sex drive. Plant based diets that include nuts, grains, fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals. Also, the antioxidant properties in these natural foods improve health at the cellular level. Evidence also shows that the uterine lining becomes healthier when the diet is rich with natural foods. Protein sources that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, iron and selenium boost fertility. Choose tofu, chicken, eggs and some types of seafood to increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
- Foods to Avoid. Many fruits and vegetables are coated with pesticides that can affect the odds of getting pregnant and are also harmful to the baby. Organic foods are a perfect option. Processed foods and baked goods are high in trans fats and increase infertility. Raw foods, particularly fish and unpasteurized cheeses, can lead to illness and decrease pregnancy chances.
5. Seek Professional Help
- Get a Prenatal Checkup. Certain medical conditions make becoming pregnant more difficult. Conditions that affect hormone levels such as thyroid disorders, polycystic ovarian syndrome and diabetes can all have an impact on getting pregnant and your health in general. Schedule a prenatal checkup several months before you start trying to become pregnant.
- Deal with Sexual Dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction can occur in either partner. Address this sensitive issue early on in your journey to becoming pregnant. Sometimes a simple medical condition can be addressed to solve these issues. Seek guidance from your regular physician to solve these issues and move forward.
- Set a Deadline Before Seeking Help. A good rule of thumb is six months of consistent trying before seeking help for those 35 and older. If you are under 25 and having at least twice weekly sex, give it one year before seeking assistance. It may take older women longer due to the natural decline in hormones that occurs with aging.
- Check for Common Fertility Problems. Being sick and stressed out has a negative impact on the chance of getting pregnant. A physician can also check for other medical causes of decreased fertility such as sexually transmitted infections, hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, physical or structural problems such as birth defects or abnormal development of the uterus and polycystic ovarian syndrome. A sperm count and measurement of motility can also provide valuable data.
- Consider Fertility Testing. If both you and your partner are healthy and have been consistently trying for one year, consider seeking in-depth testing. Females can undergo measurements of various hormones such as: thyroid, pituitary, luteinizing and follicle stimulating hormones. A pelvic exam and ultrasound also provide valuable information to help determine the cause of infertility. Male partners should undergo semen analysis and also measurement of hormones such as testosterone.