Sometimes conceiving a child is more than just luck. If you want to know how to get pregnant, you really need to understand how to get pregnant. Some couples have an easy time getting pregnant, but for others, it takes plenty of patience and that’s completely normal. Here’s what you should know about getting pregnant:
Timing is essential – Learn How to Predict Ovulation
Conception is based on a series of events. Every month, your hormones from your pituitary gland stimulate your ovaries to release an egg, this is known as ovulation. Once your egg is released, it travels to one of your fallopian tubes. So if you want to conceive, plan to conceive during your ovulation cycle. If you aren’t sure about when you’re ovulating, keep an eye on your calendar. Use a day planner to mark the day your period begins each month. Also, track the number of days each period lasts. Ovulation is most likely to occur at the midpoint of your cycle. If you have a consistent 28 day cycle, your ovulation is likely to begin about 14 days after the day your last period began. If you happen to have a longer cycle, for example 34 days, your ovulation will most likely start about 20 days after your last period.
Consider tracking your basal body temperature because ovulation can cause a slight increase in your overall body temperature. To monitor your basal body temperature, it’s recommend you use a thermometer specifically designed to measure one’s basal body temperature. Take your temperature every morning before you get out of bed and write down your daily temperatures. You may notice a pattern in your temperature overtime, but you’ll be most fertile during the 2-3 days before your temperature rises. The increase in temperature will most likely be less than one degree.
If you’re still having a tough time figuring out when you’re exactly ovulating, then pick up an ovulation predictor kit. Buying an over the counter ovulation kit can be helpful because it tests your urine for an increase in hormones, and this generally happens before your ovulation takes place. Ovulation kits can provide you with a signal before you start ovulating. For accurate results, simply follow the instructions on the predictor kit.
Here are the do’s and don’ts for maximizing your chances of fertility:
- Have sex regularly
If you’re healthy, there is no such thing as having too much sex. Sometimes, this is all it takes for couples because you’re more than likely to hit a fertile period.
- Have sex once a day near the time of ovulation
Your partner’s sperm concentration will drop slightly, but the reduction in sperm isn’t an issue for men that are healthy.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices
Manage your stress and incorporate moderate amounts of physical activity in your daily routine
Eat healthy and limit your caffeine
- Consult a Doctor about Preconception Planning
Your doctor can help assess your overall health and help you with lifestyle changes that will most likely improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy. This type of planning is vital if you or your partner have any history of health issues.
- Take your vitamins
Your folic acids play a big role in a baby’s development. A daily prenatal vitamin or folic acid supplement beginning a few months before conception can reduce the risk of internal tube defects.
- Do not smoke
Tobacco is very detrimental to the cervical mucus, it can prevent sperm from reaching the egg. Smoking tobacco can also increase the risk of miscarriage and deprive your baby of oxygen and nutrients. If you’re already a smoke, consult your physician and ask for help. It’s best if you quit smoking before conception.
- Do not consume alcohol
Medical professionals say it’s best to avoid alcohol if you’re trying to conceive. Once you’re pregnant, alcohol is also off limits.
- Avoid taking any medication without your doctor’s approval
Don’t take any medication, even those that are available without a prescription without consulting your doctor. Certain medications can make it difficult to conceive and others may not be safe once you’re actually pregnant.
- Don’t depend on lubricants
Over the counter lubricants, such as K-Y Jelly can decrease fertility. Saliva can also have the same effect, if you really need a lubricant, then ask your doctor for suggestions. Most doctors generally recommend using mineral oil or canola oil.
- Don’t engage in strenuous activities
We encourage moderate physical activity because it promotes fertility, but over working your body can be terrible for your body. Research shows that more than seven hours a week of high intensity activity can impair your chances of fertility.
Most healthy couples can conceive within a year with frequent sex, but others need a bit of help. Consulting a doctor is a great idea if you’re having a tough time conceiving. Infertility can affect both men and women, and treatment is always available. Here are other alternative ways to get pregnant:
Intrauterine Insemination – known as IUI, is sometimes called artificial insemination. In reality, there’s nothing artificial about it because it’s a real alternative for getting pregnant. Many women use IUI to get pregnant for various reasons. Women whose partners have no sperm use sperm banks to find a sperm donor that matches their needs. They have the sperm shipped to a fertility clinic and they undergo the insemination process before or during their ovulation. Women who have partners who are sub-fertile also use their partner’s sperm for insemination, in this case, the sperm is concentrated in the fertility lab first to increase its potency. Infertile women can also take fertility medication to help them produce better quality eggs before artificial insemination is done.
In Vitro Fertilization
Commonly called IVF, In Vitro Fertilization involves taking fertility medications to stimulate the ovaries, then undergoing an egg retrieval, this is where eggs are removed from the follicles in the ovary and fertilized in the lab. After a few days, embryos are placed back into the uterus where they implant and emerge as babies 9 months later. Women and Men who are infertile can benefit from IVF because fertility medications help women who don’t usually ovulate to produce eggs. The lab specializing in IVF can fertilize eggs by injecting a single sperm right into an egg, this process is known as ICSI, because it helps men who have weak sperm. The sperm which looks strongest in the sample are used for ICSI, the sperm chosen must be shaped right and swim well, these tend to be the healthiest sperms and the ones most likely to succeed at fertilization.
Women who can no longer produce eggs on their own can get pregnant by using donor eggs. For example, another woman will undergo IVF and donate her eggs to the infertile woman. The embryos are then transferred into the recipient after she takes medications to prepare the uterine lining for implantation by thickening it. The woman’s partner’s sperm is used to fertilize the eggs, the child is produced genetically his and carried by her, however not genetically hers. If both partners have fertility issues, both donor eggs and donor sperm can be used as well.
Some couples who go through the IVF process produce more embryos than they can use, they can donate these already made embryos to an infertile woman. If the woman has a partner, neither of them is the genetic parent of the child she gives birth to. Embryo adoption will involve taking medications to thicken the uterine lining so it becomes a good place for the embryo to implant. Some IVF centers don’t offer services with matching embryos for couples, but they will transfer the embryos once a couple is matched. Embryo adoption is similar to traditional adoptions except it takes place at the cellular stage.
Many couples who continue to have trouble with pregnancy consult a professional for advice. A fertility specialist can prove to be beneficial for a couple in this case. If either of you are infertile, then consider contacting a gynecologist or urologist. Fertility can also decline as you get older, so if you’re over 40, make an appointment right away.