How to Enhance Your Chances Naturally

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While you probably have heard many old wives’ tales about getting pregnant as well as many stories about unplanned pregnancies, it actually can be somewhat challenging to conceive. In fact, a healthy couple at prime reproductive age has about a twenty-five percent chance of conceiving each month.

If you are starting to think about getting pregnant or are already trying to conceive, knowing the facts about conception can increase your chances of becoming pregnant naturally.

Get the Right Advice

Standing on your head after sex.  Sitting in a chair after a pregnant woman.  Such old wives’ tales about how to get pregnant may be entertaining, but it takes a little more than looking into the eyes of a pregnant woman for a couple to conceive.

If you are just starting to try to conceive, there are some simple steps that may help you become pregnant naturally.

  • Talk with your doctor.  It’s important to know if you have any health conditions or habits that may affect your chances of natural conception.  See your doctor to alleviate any concerns you may have and keep an open dialogue going with your health care team. As you begin the process of natural conception, be sure to discuss key health factors with your doctor, such as high blood pressure, weight, and alcohol and tobacco use.  Click here to learn other questions to ask your doctor.
  • Say goodbye to birth control. If you use a hormonal form of birth control such as birth control pills or the vaginal ring you may need some time for your body to return to its natural cycle of menstruation and ovulation before you can become pregnant.  Because different forms of birth control can affect your hormones differently, it’s important to consult your doctor about what to expect when discontinuing use.
  • Know your cycle.  Since sperm can live a few days in a woman’s reproductive tract, she is more likely to get pregnant in the few days leading up to and the day following ovulation.  For most women, the most fertile day is fourteen days before their next period starts.
  • Monitor Ovulation.  A woman’s body usually provides hints that ovulation is underway.  Here are some ways to determine if you are ovulating include:
    1. Take you basal body temperature (BBT). Use an oral thermometer first thing in the morning.  Your BBT will dip about one half degree 24 hours before ovulation then will climb a whole degree after ovulation and through the beginning of the next cycle.
    2. Monitor your vaginal mucus. Women generally produce more vaginal mucus several days a month around ovulation. The consistency of this mucus is different that the rest of your cycle to enhance sperm motility.
    3. Use an ovulation predictor kit. These kits can be purchased at drugstores.
  • Practice makes perfect!  There is no proof that any one “position” is best for making a baby, but frequency can make a difference. But, if you are not timing your cycle, don’t overdo it.  Having sex every other day-not every day-can actually help increase your chances of conception.
  • Tell your man to loosen up.  Men should wear loose fitting pants and boxers instead of briefs for at least two months before trying to conceive.  Tight pants can cause overheating that may lower sperm count.  Additionally, men trying to have children should avoid places with high temperatures, such as saunas or hot tubs, and avoid extended bike riding.  Also, don’t “loosen up” with alcohol use or tobacco.
  • Educate yourself.  Learn as much as you can about fertility and conception.  Resources presented by Focus on FertilityT campaign, provide couples with valuable information about fertility facts and possible infertility risks for men and women.

“When a couple decides it is time to begin a family, they will most likely have many questions,” says Executive Director of the IVF Authority  “Remember it takes time to make a baby, naturally or otherwise, but the results are well worth it.”


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