You’ve had the chat, abandoned the birth control and are ready to start trying to conceive. But your body doesn't always act fast, so make sure you're clued up on how to prepare and stay healthy in the meantime, in order to conceive naturally.
Before you leave everything in the hands of fate, here's some useful advice on how to maximise your chances of getting pregnant and fast!
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Most of the time, a healthy couple having frequent, unprotected sex, will become pregnant within a year. A study by the Mayo Clinic showed that 38% fell pregnant after one month, but that rose to nearly 70% after three months, 81% after six months and 92% after 12 months.
So, for those of you in your early thirties or younger, it is usual and healthy to try for a year before any success. This is because technically, you only have a 1 in 5 chance of conceiving every month, so luck plays a big part in how long the process will take, even if you're monitoring your ovulation cycle closely.
If you're over 35 and aren't pregnant after 6 months of trying, it might be worth visiting your doctor and looking into fertility treatment options.
Boost your chances of getting pregnant sooner
To really increase your likelihood of getting pregnant fast, think about your lifestyle. Here are the tips the experts want you to know:
4) Take a folic acid supplement
It's recommended you take 400 micrograms a day until 12 weeks pregnant
, or a prenatal vitamin that includes folic acid, which is essential for healthy foetal development.
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How to align your pregnancy plan with your ovulation cycle
Women are only fertile for a few days each month, so knowing you are having sex at the right time will definitely improve your chances of getting pregnant.
Once the egg is released during ovulation, the egg will live between 12 and 24 hours so needs to be fertilised in this time. The sperm can live up to seven days inside a woman so if you have sex in the days leading up to ovulation the sperm will have had chance to travel up the fallopian tubes and wait for the egg to be released.
Have you tried our ovulation calculator? Just put in the first day of your last period and the length of your cycle and it’ll show you the optimum days to try and conceive every month. It's also worth buying an over-the-counter Ovulation Test Kit, so you can keep track of your fertility window and boost your chances.
Sex tips to maximise conception
- Don't use lube, as though it might be more comfortable, some lubricants are not sperm-friendly and could cause the sperm to die before reaching the egg.
- Don't do anything to actively raise your body temperature after sex. For example, strenuous exercise or having a hot bath. Sperm start to lose their motility and viability, the higher the temperature of their environment.
- Read our definitive guide to The Best Sex Positions For Getting Pregnant
How to boost his sperm count naturally
A low sperm count has often been linked with factors such as a zinc deficiency or a lack of vitamins. So, making some nutritional changes can be a great way to bring that sperm count up.
Check out our complete guide on boosting his sperm count for pregnancy.
Can my weight affect my chances of getting pregnant?
Your weight can not only play a role in how quickly you become pregnant because it can affect the frequency of ovulation, it can also affect your health during pregnancy.
Work out your body mass index by putting your height and weight into an online BMI calculator. If the results show you’re over or underweight, your GP may refer you to a dietician or recommend an exercise programme to help you reach your ideal BMI and get your body in the best condition to conceive.
What foods help you get pregnant?
Diet isn’t only important for health, it can impact your fertility, too. Making sure you include certain healthy foods in your diet will ensure your body isn’t deficient in any of the key baby-making nutrients and vitamins. Here are our recommendations:
- Fortified cereals
- Beans, lentils, nuts
Spinach is a leafy green that is key for healthy egg and sperm production as it contains zinc. Bananas are rich in Vitamin B6, which helps regulate hormones, and eggs and fortified cereals help you get your fair share of Vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D has been associated with increased rates of infertility. Lastly, beans, lentils, and nuts are known as fertility-boosting as they are full of great plant-based protein!
Take a look at fertility superfoods for lots more ideas.
When to seek medical advice
If it’s been over a year, then visit your GP. They will be able to refer you to specialists who will run a range of fertility tests to see if there’s an underlying medical reason why you’ve been struggling to conceive.
Good luck! And for lots more advice on how to get pregnant, take a look at our Pregnancy Planning section.
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