Making the decision to ‘try’ for a baby is an exciting time in a couple’s relationship. Sadly, for some people having a baby isn’t as simple as just having sex and then falling pregnant quickly. While many people have a smooth route to pregnancy, other couples struggle to conceive, with 1 in 7 couples experiencing fertility issues.
Sometimes people ‘over plan’ pregnancy sex and can succumb to avoidable mistakes that can affect conception goals. Having helped patients with fertility problems for over 20 years, here are my top tips on what mistakes to avoid and how to try and correct them:
Zita West’s top fertility tips:
2) Mistiming ovulation
If you have an ovulation predictor kit, or if you're charting your basal body temperature or using the calendar method
to try to identify ovulation, you may think it makes sense to get physical the day of ovulation - but that may be too late.
After ovulation, the egg can be fertilized for only about 24 hours. If you're wrong about ovulation, you'll have to wait to try again the next month. Also, as sperm has the potential to survive for up to 24-48 hours, it is highly recommended for you to have sex on alternate days 4 to 6 days prior to ovulation and continue doing so for another 4 to 6 days after it.
4) Neglecting your own health & wellbeing
To maximise your fertility, it’s important to make nutritional
and lifestyle assessments of your diet, work-life balance, your relationship, and also your knowledge and awareness of your own fertility.
I believe that the best way to conceive is to start by looking at five key areas in your life - medical, nutrition, relationship, mindset and lifestyle.
So, mind, body, emotional and psychological factors such as stress levels or poor diet and how you are managing them can all adversely affect your chances of conception.
Meet the expert: Zita West is a fertility expert and midwife based in London. Her clinic, the Zita West Clinic, opened in 2001 and focuses on getting couples into the best possible shape for fertility.
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