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We are planning to try for a baby, what should we do to increase our chances?

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Introduction: Preparing to embark on the journey of starting a family can be both thrilling and overwhelming. To boost your chances of conception, there are several proactive steps you and your partner can take. While we cannot guarantee pregnancy, medical professionals agree that certain lifestyle adjustments can significantly enhance fertility. In this article, we’ll outline seven key changes that may improve your odds, offer tips on understanding your menstrual cycle, and dispel common myths about conception. Whether you’re just beginning or have been trying for some time, these insights aim to support you on your path to parenthood.

Planning for Pregnancy

If you and your partner are planning to try for a baby, there are few things that you can do that could increase your chances. Of course, there are no guarantees that you will become pregnant with these changes, but medical professionals all agree that they will give you the best chance. Both you and your partner must make lifestyle changes as men play just as an important role in the process as women!

If you have been trying to conceive for more than one year and had no success, it would be a good idea to speak to your doctor. They may recommend some further changes to your lifestyle or suggest that you visit a reputable fertility clinic in Bangkok, which could conduct some additional tests. However, if you are still at the planning stage, here are seven relatively small changes that you could make from the outset.

Preconception Checkups

It is always worth consulting your doctor before you actively start trying to conceive. They may be able to recommend certain prenatal vitamins or folic acid, which may improve your rate of fertility. Also, these supplements can reduce the chances of your baby having any congenital disabilities.

Your doctor will also probably do some blood tests and other health checks to be sure that you don’t have any underlying health issues which haven’t been diagnosed.

Healthy Living

We all know that we should lead a healthy lifestyle, but it is even more important if you are trying for a baby. Eating a balanced diet and doing moderate exercise will help you to maintain a healthy weight, but you mustn’t do over-exercise as this can affect fertility in men and women.

For women, one sign that you are overdoing it is changes in your menstrual cycle, most commonly that you have a shorter second half of your cycle. A healthy female should have a period 14 days after ovulation, anything shorter than this may be caused by too much exercise. The old adage of “everything in moderation” is definitely appropriate.

Of course, avoiding tobacco and alcohol is also strongly advised.

A couple jogging together, emphasizing a healthy lifestyle.

A couple jogging together, emphasizing a healthy lifestyle.

Managing Stress

We all lead increasingly stressful lives, but this stress can affect your fertility. Trying to conceive in itself can cause additional stress, but this can interfere with ovulation. Of course, being told to relax is easier said than done, but it will significantly increase your chances of getting pregnant.

Doctors suggest that 85% of women become pregnant within the first year of trying. How you de-stress is very much a personal thing, but we would strongly advise against resorting to alcohol, tobacco or any illegal drugs. Yoga, acupuncture and massage are far better alternatives.

Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle

Although it may not sound particularly romantic and a little too scientific, you both should become familiar with the female’s menstrual cycle. Knowing when ovulation is taking place and timing sexual intercourse around this is by far the best way of increasing your chances of getting pregnant.

In our experience, it is recommended that you take note of physical changes such as the cervical mucus becoming thinner and more slippery. Another sign could be a one-sided pain in the abdomen. Still, the most reliable indicator is to purchase a home ovulation predictor kit which you can buy at most pharmacies.

Adjusting After Birth Control

A slight aside from this would be to allow your body to recover and settle down again if you have recently stopped taking birth control pills. The pills are designed to alter your cycle, and if you have been taking them for any length of time, your body may take time to adjust and return to a more natural cycle.

Impact of Sexual Positions

Sexual positions have little impact on your chances of becoming pregnant. We have all heard the old wives’ tales regarding the best positions for getting pregnant, and while they may be fun trying them, they are just myths. It is only in very rare circumstances where the woman’s cervix is in a position where altering how the female is penetrated will make a difference to her chances of becoming pregnant.

If the male has a lower sperm count, some gravity-defying positions may actually reduce your chances of conceiving so are perhaps best avoided.

Post-Intercourse Tips

Remain laid down after intercourse. It is advisable to remain laid down for 10 to 15 minutes after the male has climaxed to give the sperm the highest chance of reaching the egg. There is no need to keep your legs in the air or adopt any other strange positions which are again commonly repeated myths that are passed down from one generation to the next.

Doctors suggest that any sperm that will make it into the cervix will do so within 15 minutes, so there is no need to remain in bed all day – unless you want to!

Frequency of Intercourse

Don’t try too hard! If you have sex every day, even if that is just the pattern around ovulation, it is unlikely that it will increase your chances of getting pregnant. Indeed, it may actually have the opposite effect.

Many experts recommend having intercourse every other day to increase the chances of conception, although regular sex is advisable. For the record, sperm can survive for up to five days inside the female’s body.

Male Fertility Considerations

Men should also avoid wearing tight underwear in the three months before you actively start trying for a baby. Keeping the testicles cool will also help to increase sperm count so minimizing time in a hot tub of Jacuzzi is advisable. Avoiding soy-based products is recommended for the male by some experts, although there is insufficient evidence at this time to support this.

Seeking Additional Advice

Do you want more advice?

At First Fertility, we understand your concerns and challenges. If you would like more information about increasing your chances of becoming pregnant or perhaps you have been trying for some time without success, you can contact us. Our team will be happy to listen and offer any help and advice they can.

Conclusion: Embarking on the journey towards parenthood involves making informed and healthy choices. From preconception checkups to maintaining a balanced lifestyle and reducing stress, every step can enhance your chances of conception. Monitoring your menstrual cycle and understanding ovulation are also crucial. Remember, seeking guidance from professionals is always beneficial if challenges arise. Every couple’s journey is unique, and expert advice can provide the support needed to navigate this exciting time. Here’s to a hopeful and healthy path to parenthood!

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is a preconception checkup important?

A preconception checkup is vital because your doctor can recommend prenatal vitamins or folic acid that may improve fertility and reduce the chances of congenital disabilities in your baby. They can also perform blood tests and other health checks to identify any underlying health issues.

2. How can a healthy lifestyle impact our chances of conceiving?

Leading a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, doing moderate exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol can significantly improve fertility for both men and women. Over-exercise can negatively impact fertility, so balance is key.

3. Does stress affect fertility?

Yes, stress can significantly affect fertility by interfering with ovulation. Finding ways to manage stress, such as yoga, acupuncture, and massage, can help increase your chances of conceiving. Avoid resorting to alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs for stress relief.

4. How can understanding the menstrual cycle help in conceiving?

Understanding the menstrual cycle, particularly knowing when ovulation occurs, allows you to time sexual intercourse to the most fertile days. Observing physical changes like cervical mucus and using ovulation predictor kits can aid in identifying ovulation periods accurately.

5. Do sexual positions affect the chances of getting pregnant?

Sexual positions have little to no impact on the chances of becoming pregnant for most couples. In rare cases, where the woman’s cervix is uniquely positioned, certain positions may help, but focusing on timing rather than positions is more beneficial.

6. Is it really necessary to stay laid down after intercourse to improve chances of conception?

Yes, staying laid down for 10 to 15 minutes after intercourse can help the sperm reach the egg more effectively. However, there’s no need to keep your legs in the air or remain in bed all day. Sperm that can make it into the cervix will generally do so within 15 minutes.

7. How frequently should we have sex to increase our chances of getting pregnant?

Having intercourse every other day is often recommended to increase the chances of conception. Regular sex is beneficial, but daily intercourse, even around ovulation, may not necessarily improve odds and could reduce sperm quality.

8. What lifestyle changes should men make to improve fertility?

Men should avoid wearing tight underwear, keep the testicles cool, and minimize time in hot tubs or Jacuzzis. Abstaining from soy-based products may be advisable, although more research is needed. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet is also essential.

9. When should we consult a fertility specialist?

Answer: If you have been trying to conceive for over a year without success, it’s advisable to consult a fertility specialist. They can offer additional tests and suggest treatments or lifestyle changes to help improve your chances of getting pregnant.

10. How can we get more advice on increasing our chances of conception?

For more information on increasing your chances of conception or if you have been trying without success, you can contact us. Our team is happy to listen and offer help and advice tailored to your situation.

  • Published on : Saturday June 20, 2020
  • Last updated : Monday July 1, 2024
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About the author

Michelle Tan is an IVF Consultant with 12 years of experience in fertility consulting. Having personally undergone IVF and surrogacy, she brings firsthand insight and empathy to her work. Based in Singapore, Michelle frequently travels to clinics in Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and Bishkek, sharing her expertise and supporting patients on their fertility journeys.