Are you thinking of having a baby? While women get pregnant all the time without any advice or help, but if you are anxious to get pregnant, here are some things that can help.
Be Familiar with Your Body
Think back to high school biology. If you paid attention, you’ll remember some of this. Women have ovaries that contain eggs. About 14 days (on average, a little more for some women, a little less for others) after a woman’s period begins, an egg pops free of the ovaries and starts a journey down the fallopian tubes to the uterus. If you have had sex without a condom or similar method of contraception, there are sperm swimming around looking for that egg. If one of those little swimmers manages to make that connection, you’re pregnant. If the connection isn’t made, the egg dies and is flushed from the body with the next period and your body tries again. Awareness of your specific cycles will help you determine the optimal times to have a little fun with your partner in order to get pregnant.
Know the Odds
The chances of getting pregnant in any given cycle is only about 20 percent, so don’t be too surprised if you don’t get pregnant right away. You have a window of about 3 days in which to have sex in order to make it happen. After you have sex, sperm has a long way to swim upstream to find the egg. There’s no need to worry unless you’ve been trying to get pregnant for at least a year. If you’re over 35, call if you’ve been trying for six months.
Start preparing yourself to grow a baby well in advance of getting pregnant. Start taking prenatal vitamins, or a multivitamin containing at least 400 mcg of folic acid, as soon as you decide to start trying. (There are lots of prenatal vitamins to choose from. We really like Pregnacare Conception from Vitabitoics and Trying for A Baby vitamins from Seven Seas)
Taking folic acid before and in the early weeks of pregnancy will lower your baby’s risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects. Folic acid is found in foods such as spinach, black beans, strawberries, and orange juice.
See Your Doctor
While it’s not necessary to worry if you don’t get pregnant right away, and you’ll be seeing your obstetrician frequently once you’re pregnant, it’s still a good idea to go in for a preconception check-up. At this appointment, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your medical history, dietary habits, and learn of any factors that could cause you difficulty getting pregnant or complications once you are.
What Are You Waiting for?
Don’t worry too much about timing in the first couple months. Fact is, women tend to be more interested in sex during ovulation anyway, so if you are feeling sexy, act on it. If you really want to maximize your chances, here are some tricks:
- Use an ovulation test to determine your peak fertility and know your best odds.
- Tilt your pelvis up for a few minutes after sex. This will make it easier for sperm to swim up into your cervix.
- Have an orgasm. This is another way that knowing your body, specifically what turns you on, will help you attain your goal. When you have an orgasm, the pulsing helps the sperm get into your uterus to do their job.
- Skip the lube. Many lubricants can make the journey more difficult for sperm to get where they need to go. If you do want some help, use a “fertility friendly” lubricant such as Conceive Plus or Pre-Seed.
Photo by Menno van der Horst on Flickr