If you want to get pregnant, you might have already heard that there’s nothing to worry about unless you’ve been trying for a year unsuccessfully. But once you are ready to bring a baby into your life, patience is a virtue not many of us have!
If you have decided on your own or with your partner that you’re ready to start a family, there are a few actions you can take to help Mother Nature speed up the process. Your chances of a successful pregnancy are high if you have sexual intercourse in the four days before ovulation, and decrease thereafter. Using the methods below, you and your partner can chart the best course of action to create your family as fast as possible.
Tips to get Pregnant Quickly
Make Sure Your Body is Ready
Before a woman begins these methods, she’ll want to make sure her body is in the best possible shape to create a nourishing environment for a baby. This includes taking prenatal vitamins (and ensuring to get plenty of folic acid) and supplements if necessary. While being healthy may help speed up a pregnancy, it’s even more important for your baby to have a safe and nurturing home prepared for his or her nine-month stay!
Using a Calendar
The simplest method is to track your ovulation cycle. Mark the start of your period in a calendar from month to month and find out how long your cycle is. If you have a 28-day cycle, subtract 14 days from when you will start your period, and you’ll find your fertility window. Because sperm lasts in the body for two to three days, planning intercourse in the days around your ovulation creates the best chance for fertilizing your egg.
There is a number of websites that can do the math for you, but you’ll need to know the date of your last period in order to enter the correct information.
If you’re too anxious to wait in order to track a month or two of your menstruation cycle, there are other indicators you can use to plot when you’re in your most fertile days or ovulating.
Hormone Indicators in Urine
Science has led to great innovations for women hoping to start a family. Lutenizing hormone, released by the pituitary gland, triggers ovulation. With new ovulation predictor kits, women can find out when their LH increases in advance of ovulation and plan accordingly. These urine analysis tests alert you to the increase in LH anywhere from 12 to 36 hours prior to ovulation. Experts recommend that women plan intercourse for that day along with the next day.
Mineral Indicators in Saliva
There are also ways to predict ovulation by measuring the mineral content of a female’s body. The mucus lining of the cervix thins before and during ovulation to create a less hostile environment for sperm, and if a woman’s saliva is high in salt and estrogen, this indicates that ovulation is about to take place.
The pattern a woman wants to see is a “ferning” image—where the saliva branches out to create a fern. If this is the image a woman sees, she will ovulate within the next two to three days and should plan intercourse if the goal is to become pregnant. If it is a complete and large fern, this means that the woman may be ovulating right at that time.
These indicators can be used repeatedly, as opposed to urine analysis tests, but are initially more expensive than hormone indicators.
There are also several brands of wristwatches that track the sodium content of a woman’s body. You begin wearing this type of watch on the first days of menstruation, and it alerts you to the fertile days before ovulation and to the first day of ovulation.
This method requires you to know your base body temperature. At the start of each day, take your temperature and record to the tenth decimal point; for example, write down if your temperature is regularly 98.6 or 97.9 degrees.
When some women have ovulated, their base body temperature will increase by about .4 degrees. There are two caveats with this method: One, not every woman’s temperature increases after ovulation, and two, this only alerts that ovulation has occurred, which doesn’t give you time to plan ahead.
The Male’s Side of the Bargain
It might seem that the onus is on women who want to become pregnant, but there are actions your partner can and should take to increase his virility and sperm count. Too much heat is one thing that can create sluggish sperm as well as decrease sperm count. In addition to eating healthfully, men can do the following to increase or maintain virility:
- Wear boxers instead of “tighty whities” to keep the testicles away from the heat of the body
- Stay away from hot tubs and hot showers
- Place laptops on desks and tables—not in the lap
- If the man sits a lot on the job (or anywhere), stand up often and walk around
- Avoid alcohol and drugs, which can slow and decrease sperm
- Don’t smoke
- Avoid certain lubricants during sex that can harm sperm
Experts say that at least 40% of the sperm in a man’s semen should be able to swim well and survive in the female reproductive tract for a pregnancy attempt to be successful. In addition to ovulation indicators for females, drug stores also offer sperm tests for males to find out if their sperm meets that requirement.
If the test reveals that the male doesn’t have as many “swimmers” as he should, then visiting a virility doctor earlier may be necessary.
When to Seek Medical Advice for Fertility
If you have tried these methods and planned sexual intercourse correctly for six months and you’re still not pregnant, consult a fertility doctor. He or she will test you and your partner for fertility and virility and can plan the next move, whether that’s hormone injections or something more in-depth.
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