Many of us have spent most of our adult life trying not to become pregnant, so when the day come that we decide we are ready it can’t come fast enough. I am at the age where everyone is getting married or having babies and for those of us creeping up on the 35 mark, it is difficult to ignore the very loud sound of our biological clocks. I want to first start out by acknowledging that not all families are made in the “traditional” manner and many families use surrogates, artificial insemination, adoption, etc. However, I will be focusing on the ways a women can boost her chances of conceiving through the “old school” method.
Hopefully, if you are planning a pregnancy you have looked into preconception health advice. These tips usually include taking a good prenatal vitamin approximately 3-12 months before you try to conceive. Women are also encouraged to cut back on their consumption of alcohol, quit smoking and use of harmful substances, check with their doctors if they are taking a prescription medication, lose weight if they are overweight or obese, make sure they are checked for STI’s, have vaccines updated, have any current medical problems under control, and finally stopping their BC method about a month to three months before ready to conceive to have a better gauge on when they ovulate.
Now that all of the basics are covered you are ready for the fun part. I want to reiterate: the fun part. Please do not make sex into a chore or get frustrated if you don’t get pregnant right away. If you are trying to have a little help in speeding up the process, here are a few tips that may increase your chances.
Tip #1 - Have a lot of sex and make it hot sex! According to Dr. Joanna Ellington, an American expert in reproductive physiology, the better the sex, the better the chances of conception. She states that the more excited they are, the further back in the testicles they are going to draw on their reserve sperm. This would then produce more sperm and increase the likelihood of the male releasing healthier sperm that are of a higher quality. For women, more orgasms not only make sex a more pleasurable experience but also increase the chances of conception. Many studies have documented the muscular contractions women have during orgasm and believe that their bodies helps suck the sperm through the cervix and then into her uterus. Check out a short clip on how this occurs from the Discovery Channel’s documentary on Why Sex Is Fun.
Tip #2 - The Pillow Method. After sex, you should put a pillow underneath you to elevate your hips and give his swimmers some extra help with the beginning of their journey. Some say a few minutes and others up to 45 minutes. I have been told by a few friends that the pillow thing has sealed the deal.
Tip #3 - Avoid lubricants. If you can, do not use lubricants during sex because they can affect the sperm’s motility.
Tip #4 - Track your ovulation. You can use a calendar, an application on your phone, an ovulation kit, or the Fertility Awareness Method.
Tip#5 - Improve partner’s sperm quality. Your partner can do his part to increase your chances of conceiving by: taking a multivitamin, reducing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing alcohol consumption, avoiding tobacco or illegal drugs, increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, regular exercise, avoiding masturbation around the time of ovulation, avoiding hot tubs and steam baths, and let “the boys” breathe by wearing boxers instead of briefs and placing something between himself and his laptop.
Remember, these are just tips, not a sure-fire way to get pregnant. It is a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor before you try to conceive just to make sure your health is where it should be. If you are having trouble conceiving after a year or more of diligent trying, you may want to consult an infertility specialist. Best of luck in your baby-making endeavors! Plan those Parenthoods!