Now that you’ve planned and made up your mind to get pregnant, you wish it happens as soon as possible! However, don’t get impatient if it takes time. There are a couple of things you should do and some things that you should avoid to increase your chances.
Once you’ve made up your mind about having a baby, visit a gynaecologist to get a check-up done. There’s a lot you need to learn and know about pregnancy and getting your doubts cleared by an expert is a good idea. Ask your doctor about prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid, which will decrease your risk of having a baby with neural tube defects. If you have any medical problems, they need to be brought under control before you become pregnant.
1. This is how you get pregnant
About 14 days before your next period is scheduled to arrive, your left or right ovary (which switch off every cycle) releases an egg in a process known as ovulation, explains Maria Sophocles, board-certified gynecologist and medical director of Women’s Health Care, a private practice in Princeton, New Jersey, and a mother of four who’s delivered more than 8,000 babies. The egg travels down the fallopian tube and waits for sperm to show up. During penetrative vaginal sex involving ejaculation, millions of sperm enter the vagina and travel through the cervix into your uterus. There, they pick a path: The left or right fallopian tube. The sperm that pick the tube where that month’s egg resides get all up in there, burrowing into the egg. To become an embryo that becomes a fetus that becomes a baby, one dominant sperm needs to get far enough into the egg to fuse with it — hence the need for strong swimmers! Then, the egg and alpha sperm plant itself in the wall of your uterus and begin to grow.
2. Have sex frequently
It may seem like a no-brainer, but given many couples’ hectic schedules, it’s easy to overlook this one. If you’re not timing your cycles or you have irregular periods, you can cover your bases by having sex every other day, say fertility specialists.
3. Go sober
New recommendations say no amount of alcohol is safe to drink while you’re pregnant, but it can take weeks to confirm you’re pregnant — and god knows you can throw back a whole case of wine in that window. Because the most important time to lay off booze is during the earliest stages of pregnancy when the baby’s heart and spinal cord begin to develop, you’re better off stone-cold sober than sorry while actively baby-making.
4. Certain sex positions
There’s no evidence that certain sex positions improve your chances of getting pregnant. But certain kinds of sex — like anal, oral, or non-penetrative sex, will certainly reduce your chances: Only vaginal penetration can get you pregnant, for the record. While the missionary position is favoured by many, sitting or standing makes it difficult for the sperm to travel upstream. Stay in bed for 15 to 20 minutes after having sex and avoid going to the bathroom, too. Just because you’re in a hurry to get pregnant doesn’t mean you should have sex all the time. Sometimes this could result in your man’s sperm count getting depleted due to constant ejaculation. Give it a break sometimes. Ensure your man avoids wearing tight-fitting clothes and spends little time in the jacuzzi.
5. Avoid Stress
Women who reported feeling highly stressed during their fertile window were 40 percent less likely to conceive in that particular cycle, compared to less stressful months, according to a recent study from the University of Louisville, published in the journal Annals of Epidemiology. The participants who reported feeling most stressed were also about 45 percent less likely to conceive than women who were less stressed.
6. Enjoy yourself
“The most important thing to remember is to keep sex fun,” says Felicia Stewart, M.D., coauthor of Understanding Your Body: Every Woman’s Guide to Gynecology and Health. When it becomes a chore, it’s easy to view sex as just one more item on your to-do list.
7. Give it time
Barring fertility problems and other conditions or habits that can interfere with conception, half of all couples get pregnant within six months, says Dr. Stewart, and 85 percent do so within a year.