Note: Information provided on this page is for general education only, please seek medical assistance when in doubt
Some couples may get pregnant in their very first attempt however in reality for most of the couple it take several attempts and some time even a healthy couple can take up to 2 years to conceive
First step before planning to get pregnant is to maximize your fertility and the following tips may help you become more fertile:
- Do not smoke. Smoking ages your ovaries and depletes your eggs prematurely.
- Do not drink alcohol as drinking alcohol appears to decrease fertility and can harm a developing baby.
- Avoid unwanted medicines as few medicines can make it difficult to conceive.
- Do not use vaginal lubricants as they can decrease fertility.
- Do not use Saliva for lubrication as they appear to decrease fertility.
- Avoid strenuous exercise, although moderate physical activity helps promote fertility, too heavy vigorous exercise decreases fertility.
- Stop using contraceptives. As some birth control methods have a longer readjustment period than others, be aware that you might not conceive right away.
- Figure out when you're fertile. If you can time it right, your odds of becoming pregnant will be much higher.
- Start having regular sex slightly before ovulation, when and how often you have sex can influence how quickly you conceive.
- Do not use spermicides, lubricants, or chemical stimuli. Products aimed at enhancing pleasure or preventing conception should be avoided during intercourse if you are trying to achieve pregnancy.
- Don't make the sperm work against gravity instead of getting up immediately afterward, lie back and relax for a few minutes. Lying flat for 15 minutes after sex can increase your odds of conception by about 50%.
Gauge when you ovulate:
- Ovulation often happens around day 14 of a menstrual cycle, although the exact timing might vary among women or even from month to month.
- Watch for changes in cervical mucus. Just before ovulation, you might notice an increase in clear, slippery vaginal secretions.
- Track your basal body temperature. Ovulation can cause a slight increase in basal body temperature typically by about 1 F (0.5 C).
- Use Over-the-counter ovulation kit to test your urine for the surge in hormones that takes place before ovulation.
- Get a pre-natal checkup, some pre-existing health conditions can be aggravated or significantly worsened by pregnancy. Your doctor will probably conduct a pelvic exam and order some basic blood tests.
- Get healthy. If you're not conceiving right away, take this opportunity to focus on your physical well-being. You'll improve your odds of getting pregnant.
- Take pre-natal vitamins starting before you get pregnant will build up the necessary nutrients in your system for a developing embryo. Folic acid plays an essential role in a baby's development. A daily prenatal vitamin or folic acid supplement beginning a few months before conception significantly reduces the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects.
- Watch what you eat as some substances are harmful to your chances of conception, while others can harm your newly developing baby.
- Eat foods thought to increase fertility. Certain foods promote or decrease fertility and sexual appetite. Eat a diet rich in organic plant-based foods that includes grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
- Encourage your partner to eat foods that promote sperm health like taking a multi-vitamin that contains vitamin E and vitamin C, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and avoid excessive alcohol, caffeine, and fat and sugar intake.
- Avoid excessive caffeine intake like chocolate and drinks like coffee. Women who drink more than three cups of a caffeinated beverage daily are significantly less likely to get pregnant.
- Keep a positive and healthy mindset. Stress can overwhelm your health and also chance of getting pregnant. Make healthy lifestyle choices, maintain a healthy weight, include moderate physical activity in daily routine, eating a healthy diet, limiting caffeine and managing stress. The same good habits will serve you and your baby well during pregnancy.
When to consult a doctor:
- Only handful of couple gets pregnant in their first attempt for most healthy couple conceives within one year and some healthy couple may even take up to 2 years before they actually conceive. Don't get discouraged too soon as only out of 100 couples trying to conceive every month only 15 to 20 will succeed. However, 95% of couples trying to conceive will get pregnant within two years.
- If you're in your early 30s or younger and you and your partner are in good health, try for one year before consulting a doctor. Consider seeking help sooner if you're age 35 or older, or you or your partner has known or suspected fertility issues.
- If you’re over 35, see a doctor after six months of trying. Women over the age of 35 and women who are peri-menopausal may experience difficulty in getting pregnant due to the natural decline in fertility that occurs as women age. In most cases, pregnancy can still be achieved but may take longer and require more targeted intercourse and lifestyle changes.
- Infertility affects both men and women and fertility treatment is available. Depending on the source of the problem, your gynecologist or your partner's urologist or your family doctor might be able to help.
- Speak with a trusted health professional before visiting a fertility clinic. Fertility treatments can be expensive, stressful and time-consuming. Take some time to consider the commitment before you get started. Discuss it with your partner. Make sure you're both ready to commit financially and emotionally to such an exhaustive process. Talk about how long you're willing to try treatments, what you're willing to spend, and when or if you'd both want to consider other options, such as adoption.
- See a fertility specialist right away in a few special cases. If you have endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, prior cancer treatments, endometriosis, a history of miscarriages or you're over 40, make an appointment with a reproductive specialist as soon as you want to conceive.