Starting a family is an important decision in your life. The journey through pregnancy and raising a child is indeed an exciting time for you and your partner. Keep in mind, though, that getting pregnant is not as easy as it may seem. In fact, 25% of couples have problems conceiving. If you fall into this group, there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances, including making sure that you're trying at the right time, that you're having sex regularly, and that you're eating right and getting enough exercise.
Check Your Timing
Pregnancy is dependent upon a couple's fertility, and a woman is most fertile during ovulation, when her ovaries release a viable egg. Although chances of conception are highest during ovulation, the fertile period actually begins four to five days before and continues up to two days after it. It is possible that you and your partner are having sexual intercourse outside your fertile period.
To avoid improper timing, start monitoring your menstruation cycle closely. If you have an average 28-day menstruation cycle, your ovulation will probably occur on day 14. Therefore, your fertile period lasts from day 11 to day 16, and days 13, 14 and 15 bring you the highest likelihood of getting pregnant. Since sperm can live in the body for four to five days, have sexual intercourse just before your ovulation in order to maximize your chances.
Have Sex Regularly, the Right Way
Regular sexual intercourse is important when attempting conception. This is because long periods of abstinence increase old sperm count in the semen, decreasing its ability to fertilize the egg. Having sex every two or three days refreshes semen, resulting in better sperm quality. Nevertheless, simply having sex regularly may not be enough. Also consider your positions during intercourse.
Pregnancy is most likely when sperm is deposited as close as possible to the cervix, and certain positions are more favorable to help this happen. The missionary position and entry from behind are best, because they allow for deeper penetration, encouraging ejaculation closer to the cervix. Avoid positions that cause sperm to leak out of your body. These include female superior, standing, or sitting positions.
After intercourse, lie flat on your back with your hips elevated at a 30° angle for about 20 minutes. This prevents the sperm from leaking out. It also relaxes your vaginal and cervical muscles, easing your cervical mucus flow and consequently assisting the sperm in making its way to the egg.
Change Your Diet
Being overweight or underweight affects your ability to become pregnant. In addition, the type of food and drink you consume has an effect on your reproductive system. Therefore, maintain a balanced diet by eating moderately, including food and/or drinks with nutrients like vitamins C and D, antioxidants, calcium, zinc and folic acid.
Cut down or eliminate the alcohol and caffeine in your diet. Research shows that consuming any amount of alcohol reduces your chance of pregnancy by 50%. Drinking even one cup of coffee each day has the same effect on your fertility.
Xenoestrogens in your food should be minimized as well. These are female hormones that are used in pesticides and other environmental chemicals. When ingested, xenoestrogens can cause a hormonal imbalance in your body, and may make it more difficult to get pregnant.
Get Enough Exercise
Low impact exercises such as aerobics, cycling, walking, and swimming help you maintain a healthy body weight while improving fertility. An ideal body weight keeps your hormones in balance, encouraging pregnancy. Over exercising can be just as detrimental as not exercising at all, however, and exercising too hard and for too long every day drains your body of the energy it needs.
The stress of trying to conceive also has an impact on your chances of getting pregnant. Do not worry unnecessarily if you have not become pregnant after one or two attempts. It usually takes at least six months to a year for most couples. If you have been trying for more than a year without any success, consult your doctor or a fertility specialist to discuss possible fertility issues in either you, your partner, or both.