How To Get Pregnant - 9 Tips To Help You Conceive
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You'd think most people would know how to get pregnant, but many couples find out that it isn't as easy as just having sex. Many things can make getting pregnant harder than you expected.
If you choose to follow the advice, these nine tips can help increase your chances of getting pregnant.
What You Should Start Doing - Fertility Friendly Habits
1) Most Important How To Get Pregnant Tip - Know When You Ovulate!
Knowing when you ovulate is one of the biggest things you can do to help improve your chances of getting pregnant each month. You are only fertile for about five days each month, with the day you ovulate being your highest fertility day. You will need to have sex during this fertile period if you are trying to conceive. On average, women typically have a 28-day cycle. Cycle length is calculated from the day you start your period to the day before your next period starts. For 28 day cycles, you will ovulate around day 14 of your cycle.
The counting days method of figuring out when you are ovulating is better than guessing, but it might not be as accurate as you need. If you have been using an ovulation calculator or app for a while with no luck, you might need to try a different method. You may want to change to a different method of determining when you will ovulate.
Ovulation test kits are invaluable in determining when you will be ovulating. BabyHopes offers ovulation tests that are inexpensive and reliable. They help predict ovulation with more precision than an ovulation calendar will. Once you get a positive ovulation test, you and your partner need to get busy! ;-) A positive result means you will ovulate in about 24 to 36 hours.
Just an FYI: Sperm can survive up to 5 days after ejaculation. As long as you are having sex around this time, you should be okay. There is no need to create a "We need to do it RIGHT NOW!" situation. :)
2) Start Taking a Good Quality Prenatal VitaminIf you are trying to get pregnant, you will want to take a good quality prenatal vitamin. Regular multivitamins do not contain enough folic acid. Folic acid, a B vitamin, helps decrease the chance of birth defects that affect your baby's brain and spinal cord.
3) Consider Doing a Fertility CleanseHormone balance is vital for both the woman and the man. Today's lifestyle exposes us to so many harmful toxins. Environmental pollutants and exposure to day-to-day chemicals overwhelm our bodies. The toxic buildup can lead to diminished egg quality and poor sperm health. Both of these issues make it harder to get and stay pregnant. A fertility cleanse will improve the fertile condition of your body and improve your chances of conceiving.FertileDetox is formulated for both men and women, and Pre-Conception Fertility Tea is formulated for women.
4) Reduce Your Stress With Moderate Exercise and Meditation
In addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight, regular exercise helps lower your stress levels. Excess stress can negatively impact sperm health and semen quality in men. For women, too much stress can lead to a hormone imbalance. Hormone imbalances can cause irregular menstrual cycles and a lack of ovulation. Both are important to have functioning optimally if you want to get pregnant.
Meditation is a terrific way to help you get into a less stressed state of mind. The more relaxed you are, the better your body functions. Meditation has many scientifically proven benefits. In addition to supporting fertility, it benefits emotional health and physical well-being.
5) Use Fertility Friendly Lubricants
If you need to use lubricants, be sure to use a fertility-friendly brand. Lubricants like KY can harm the sperm and make them unable to swim as well as they need to. (Think being stuck in the mud.) Sperm friendly lubricants protect the sperm and help little guys travel to where they need to be.
6) Eat Fertility Friendly Foods
The convenience diet that we typically fall back on is not necessarily the type of food you should eat if you are trying to get pregnant. You can make a couple of changes to your diet to improve your overall fertility health. (They aren't that radical. I promise!)
- Eat organic whenever possible. Organic foods and organic free-range meats are the absolute best for your overall health. If much of the food you currently eat is high in processed carbs, making the changes below, whether organic or not, will improve your overall fertility and health.
- Limit the number of processed carbs you eat. These include products with white flour-like cookies, white bread, cakes. White rice is another processed food to avoid. (Brown rice is a suitable replacement.) Replace the "bad" processed carbs with fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
- Shift your protein from high-fat red meat to more plant-based protein like nuts, beans, and tofu. These protein sources are lower in calories and usually higher in healthy fats. If you are a diehard meat eater, go for the leaner types of meat like turkey, chicken, and lean beef.
- Believe it or not, all those low-fat yogurts you are eating may be affecting your ability to get pregnant. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that switching a low-fat version with a full-fat one can help improve your odds of getting pregnant. Just keep in mind the calories you are taking in. Adding full-fat dairy products to replace the low or nonfat varieties will also up your daily calorie intake.
- Add foods with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids to your menu rotation. Salmon, sardines, and herring have high levels of fatty acids. You can also find them in non-fish sources like flaxseed, walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds. If these options don't appeal to you, your local store will carry omega-3 supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids help increase blood flow to reproductive organs.
What to Stop Doing - Habits that Hurt Fertility
7) Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, Drug Usage
If you smoke, drink alcohol to excess, or take drugs, you should stop if you want to conceive.
In regards to actually getting pregnant, smoking lowers your chances. Statistics show that women who smoke are 60% more likely to be sub-fertile or infertile. Men who smoke have sperm that can be less able to fertilize the egg. If they manage to, the resulting fertilized egg has a higher chance of failing to develop properly.
These habits can also harm your developing baby. Smoking, drinking, and taking drugs have been linked to lower birth weights, miscarriages, and premature labor.
8) Caffeine Intake
Sorry to tell you, but if you drink more than a cup or two of coffee, you may be increasing your chances of a miscarriage.
A Danish study showed that women who drank 8 cups of coffee a day had double the risk of stillbirth than non-coffee drinkers. Studies show that 200 mg of caffeine a day is generally considered a safe limit.
Caffeine isn't just in coffee. Read the labels and do your research. Each can of Coke or Pepsi has about 40 mg of caffeine. Some over-the-counter medicines like Excedrin are also caffeine culprits. Oh, and let's not forget chocolate is also a caffeine carrier.
Watch your intake, and you should be fine.
9) Weight Does Matter
Studies show that underweight women with BMI less than 20, or overweight, BMI over 30, typically have a more challenging time getting pregnant. Loving your body into a healthy BMI range of 21 to 29 will help with your goal of becoming a parent. (You can get a reasonable estimate of your BMI by using the National Institute of Health's BMI calculator.)
Sorry, Guys, you aren't off the hook. Men who are overweight can have lower testosterone levels, making the desire to have sex lower. Having sex is a vital part of getting pregnant. If you don't do it, you won't have a baby in the future.
Being overweight can also lower the quality of your semen, resulting in lower sperm count and reduced semen volume upon ejaculation. If you are concerned about your sperm health, some supplements can help while you are trying to get to a healthier weight.
It's a Fertility Improving Journey
Making all these changes can seem pretty daunting, but you don't need to do a complete lifestyle redesign all at once. If you make positive changes slowly but surely, you should see your fertility improve.
Improved fertility = positive pregnancy test sooner.
Change isn't easy, but really, is it as hard as not getting pregnant? This journey to parenthood is full of all sorts of twists and turns. BabyHopes is here to help you and provide an ear when needed. We do care about helping you get pregnant.
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Greenwood DC, Alwan N, Boylan S, Cade JE, Charvill J, Chipps KC, Cooke MS, Dolby VA, Hay AW, Kassam S, Kirk SF, Konje JC, Potdar N, Shires S, Simpson N, Taub N, Thomas JD, Walker J, White KL, Wild CP. Caffeine intake during pregnancy, late miscarriage and stillbirth. Eur J Epidemiol. 2010 Apr;25(4):275-80. doi: 10.1007/s10654-010-9443-7. Epub 2010 Mar 21. PubMed PMID: 20306287.
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