Changes In The Cervical Mucus
As the ovarian follicle, a small sac in the ovary that contains the maturing egg, develops, the level of estrogen increases. This increase in estrogen causes the cervical mucus to become thin and soft. You may also notice an increase in cervical mucus. As you begin to see these changes, you should start having sex every day or every other day until ovulation. Once ovulation occurs, the cervical mucus will become thick and sticky.
Using Ovulation Predictor Kits
Ovulation predictor kits are available from chemists and are fairly simple to use. They work by detecting a hormone in your urine that increases when ovulation is about to take place.
The simplest urine kit tests for luteinising hormone , which increases 24-36 hours before ovulation. This will help to identify the best two days for conception, although a woman can be fertile for a day or so before and after this time.
It is best to become familiar with your usual menstrual cycle to help figure out when you should start testing. If you have an irregular cycle then an ovulation predictor kit can help you identify the time of ovulation but expect to use more of the test strips.
Check Those Iron Levels
Its time to start pumping iron. The supplement kind, that is. Consuming iron supplements and non-heme iron, which comes from plant-based foods, may decrease the risk of ovulatory infertility.
A recent 2019 study concluded that heme iron had no effect on fertility and non-heme only had some benefit for women who already had iron deficiency.
More evidence is needed to confirm whether iron supplements should be recommended to all women, especially if iron levels are already healthy. But making sure your iron levels are solid with your doctor is a good step.
Non-heme iron sources are more difficult for your body to absorb, so try taking them with foods or drinks high in vitamin C to increase absorption.
Alcohol consumption can negatively affect fertility. However, its unclear how much alcohol is needed to cause this effect.
One 2016 study found that having more than
involving 7,393 women found that a high alcohol intake was associated with more infertility examinations.
However, the evidence on moderate alcohol consumption is mixed. One older study found no link between moderate consumption and infertility, while other studies report that moderate intake can affect fertility.
Ultimately, avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol is recommended. Talk to you doctor about your own intake to ensure the best outcome for you.
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Get Your Partner Involved
- Stay fit and healthy Your partner should try to be as active as possible, reduce alcohol, stop smoking and eat a healthy diet.
- Use sperm-friendly lubricantMake sure any lubricant you use isn’t ‘spermicidal’ or toxic to sperm. You can buy that are specially formulated.
- Keep testes coolYour partner should wear loose underwear and avoid hot baths. Consistent or prolonged ‘heating’ of the testes can reduce sperm quality.
Common Signs Of Ovulation
Mother Nature gave couples who are trying to conceive a few signs for when its time to get it on . When ovulation is around the corner, women may notice:
- Cervical mucus that resembles the white of a raw egg
- Breast tenderness
- Change in basal body temperature
- Increased energy
Tracking these ovulation symptoms ensures you are having sex when it matters most for conception.
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What Time Of Day Should You Have Ttc Sex
If you’re wondering what time of day to have sex to conceive, the morning may be your best bet. Or, specifically, after your partner gets a good night’s rest, says Melissa M. Goist, M.D., Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Ohio State University Medical Center.
When sleeping, their body regenerates the sperm lost during the day. Although the average sperm cell has a pretty short shelf life, even stalwart swimmers can hit their expiration date early if they get too warm from hot tubs or exercises like bike riding, Dr. Goist says.
According to one study in Zurich, the best time to have sex to conceive a baby is before 7:30 a.m. during the months of March, April, and May. That may sound odd, but it turns out that sperm may be at its healthiest during the spring months. Not only that, but sperm appears to have it’s own internal 24-hour clock that helps it determine the best time to travel to an egg.
Ways To Increase Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant
Maybe cool it on the lube?
Once you and your S.O. have successfully kept an animal alive for a few months , you might start thinking youre ready to take the plunge into parenthood.
That is the hard part after all, right? Deciding if you want kids or not. The other stuffditching the birth control, turning on the Marvin Gaye, getting it onshould be easy enough.
Not exactly…conception is a tricky business: Its influenced by a lot of factors, including your overall health and daily habits, and, TBH, women dont exactly have a ton of time to get pregnant .
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Still, there are ways you can increase your chances of getting pregnant. Stash Marvin away for special occasions and try one of these ob-gyn-approved tips instead.
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When Is The Best Time To Get Pregnant
The best time to conceive is during your “fertile window,” which includes the days leading up to and the day of ovulation. Ovulation occurs when the ovaries release an egg, which travels down the fallopian tube and survives for 1224 hours.
The chances of fertilization are highest within 24 hours of ovulation and one day beforehand. But because sperm can live for three to five days in the reproductive tract, it’s also possible to get pregnant by having sex in the five days leading up to ovulation.
To track your ovulation, consider using a period and ovulation tracker to track your fertile signs , which can help you plan when to have sex to improve your odds of conceiving.
Identify Your Fertile Window And Start Tracking Ovulation
Your fertile window usually occurs mid-cycle and is when you have the highest chance of getting pregnant. During this window, ovulation when an egg is released from an ovary occurs. Once this happens, conception is possible.
Tracking your cycle helps set you up for success by narrowing down your fertile window. But the next step to further improve your chances of getting pregnant is identifying when youre ovulating. Since conception cant happen until an egg is released, knowing your ovulation window helps you better time sex.
From monitoring your cervical mucus and basal body temperature, to ovulation predictor kits, there are several methods to help figure out your most fertile days.
Want to know more? Check out our guide to fertility and ovulation.
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Have Fun And Don’t Rush
Some research has found that lengthier foreplay and increased sexual arousal may increase the quantity of sperm in men. For women, foreplay often means more cervical fluids. Cervical fluids are essential in helping sperm swim and survive the vaginal environment.
Longer foreplay also may increase the , another possible boost to conception. If you only have time for a quickie, by all means, don’t skip having sexespecially if it’s a fertile time of the month. But whenever possible, take your time. Even if your lovemaking doesn’t yield a pregnancy, it will likely enhance your relationship and help to ease any anxiety you may be having around trying to conceive.
Get To Know Your Cycle
How much do you know about your menstrual cycle? Really understanding helps you know when you’re most fertile, says Hillard. Ovulation is the best time to get pregnant. “This is the time to focus on having sex,” Hillard says.
It helps to become aware of the signs of ovulation, such as a change in your cervical mucus. It usually becomes thin and slippery when you are most fertile. Some women may also feel a one-sided twinge of pain.
Ovulation prediction kits can also help you predict the best time to get pregnant, says James Goldfarb, MD, director of the infertility service at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland. Not only can they help assure you that you are ovulating, “if you are having infrequent intercourse, this tells you when to have it to increase your chances of getting pregnant,” he says.
Here’s how it works: The first day of your menstrual period is considered day one. “Start testing on day nine and keep going until you get a positive,” advises Joanne Piscitelli, MD, an associate professor of gynecology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. Women with a 28-day cycle tend to ovulate on day 14. But many women have longer or shorter cycles, so casting a wide net can help you be sure.
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How Can You Track Ovulation
Many people follow the textbook “rule” that ovulation occurs 14 days after the first day of their periodbut the reality is that cycle lengths vary, and ovulation doesn’t always occur at the same time each month, says Machelle Seibel, M.D., Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Some people can detect ovulation symptoms. “If you’re in tune with your body, you may notice that you have an increased clear egg-white-like vaginal discharge a few days before ovulation,” says Yvonne Bohn, M.D., OB-GYN and co-author of The Mommy Docs Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth. But many miss this, and some mistakenly think their normal discharge is a sign of ovulation.
Instead of guessing, Dr. Seibel says that using an ovulation predictor kit can give a more accurate answer. The kit looks similar to a pregnancy test but instead of looking for the pregnancy hormone hCG, it is searching for a surge in luteinizing hormone , which precedes ovulation .
Charting your basal body temperature can also help identify ovulation for the best days to get pregnant.
The Ones You Can Control
Lower stress in a stressed out world
We know this is probably the thousandth time youve heard this and it seems like an impossible request, but if youre TTC, try to reduce stress as much as possible. Sadly, our modern world normalises even celebrates a high-stress life. But prolonged stress is a known factor affecting fertility.
In men, studies have shown that stress can impact sperm density and total sperm counts . In women, high levels of alpha-amylase have been linked to a prolonged time to pregnancy .
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How Do I Get Ready For A Pregnancy
There is growing evidence that your lifestyle will affect the health of your pregnancy, delivery, and baby. Not only that, but taking a few months to prepare your body can even make it easier to get pregnant when youre ready.
Dont worry though this doesnt mean that you have to swear off chocolate, and spend hours in the gym every day. Instead, add lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and full fat dairy products to your diet. Dont forget to start taking a prenatal vitamin or multivitamin with at least 400mcg of folic acid each day as well.
If you dont exercise regularly, just try to find a little time each day to move more. Believe it or not, exercising too much can actually make it more difficult to conceive.
Another consideration? Your weight. Being underweight or overweight can decrease your chances of pregnancy.
Now is also the time to quit smoking and using illegal drugs and start cutting back on drinking alcohol, especially if you are a heavy drinker. You may also want to speak with your healthcare provider about any medications that you take or medical conditions that could affect a pregnancy.
Dont forget your partner! Getting him on board with your lifestyle changes and having him start a multi-vitamin a few months before starting to try for a baby can help improve the health of his sperm.
How To Increase Your Chance Of Getting Pregnant
If you want a baby, here are five tips to increase your chance of getting pregnant.
Pregnancy is only possible if you have sex during the five days before ovulation or on the day of ovulation. This is called the fertile window. Having sex during the fertile window, especially the three days leading up to and including ovulation, gives you the best chance of getting pregnant.
So how do you know when youre ovulating? It depends on the length of your menstrual cycle. It happens about 14 days before your period starts so if your average cycle is 28 days, day one is the first day of your period and you ovulate around day 14. This means your most fertile days for sex are days 12, 13 and 14.
If your average menstrual cycle is 35 days, ovulation happens around day 21 and your most fertile days for sex are days 19, 20 and 21.
If you have a shorter cycle, say 21 days, ovulation happens around day seven and your most fertile days are days five, six and seven.
Use this ovulation calculator to help you pinpoint your fertile window.
If you have an irregular cycle and cant work out when you ovulate, having sex every two to three days should improve your chance of getting pregnant.
For women and men, working towards a healthy weight increases the chance of pregnancy. Being in good shape will not only boost your fertility and your general health, it will also give your baby the best start in life.
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How Long Does It Take To Get Pregnant After Sex
Conception results from sperm fertilizing the egg in the reproductive tract, which could happen up to six days after having sex depending on where in your cycle you were at the time. From there, the fertilized egg will travel to the uterus and implant in the uterine lining to begin the pregnancy. So how long after sex does implantation occur? Usually around six to 12 days. Some people notice implantation symptoms like light spotting or cramping, while others don’t .
But how long do you have to have TTC sex before you finally get pregnant? That answer depends on a variety of fertility factors, but up to 90% of people trying to conceive will get pregnant within a year.
Avoid Alcohol And Reduce Caffeine Intake To Increase Your Fertility
Too much alcohol and coffee, more specifically caffeine, can harm your ability to get pregnant. Therefore, a piece of good advice is to stop drinking alcohol when you decide to try to get pregnant.
Additionally, research has shown that caffeine can reduce fertility, but the amount of caffeine must be fairly high before it has a direct impact on your ability to get pregnant. By avoiding alcohol and caffeine you can increase your fertility and your chances of becoming pregnant. Remember that tea and soft drinks also contain caffeine.
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When You Decide You Want To Get Pregnant
All of these habits can be beneficial without pregnancy in mind. However, the plan should be set in motion when you decide youre ready to have children. This is a new beginning and a new chapter in life!
Planning starts immediately!
Talk to your doctor about your concerns and pregnancy plans. They will check for conditions and family histories that may include depression, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and anything else that may complicate a pregnancy.
This is where your doctor will suggest many lifestyle changes and prenatal vitamins to help prevent some birth defects.
Your doctor may also suggest genetic counseling or prenatal genetic diagnostic testing to help provide the best information to help you plan.
When Am I Most Fertile
Each month, women have around 6 days that are the best time for them to conceive. These are the five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation itself. What can be tricky is to figure out exactly when those 6 days will be ahead of time, especially if you arent familiar with tracking your cycle.
Keeping track of your periods and any related symptoms can help you figure out useful patterns that will make conception easier. For example, if your cycles are around 28 days long, ovulation will most likely take place around day 14 of your cycle . You can then clear your schedule in the days leading up to your anticipated ovulation date.
There are many different ways that you can figure out when you are in your fertile window:
- Ovulation tests: These are similar to home pregnancy sticks, but instead of the pregnancy hormone, they detect another hormone known as luteinizing hormone, or LH. LH is produced right before ovulation occurs. When you get a positive result, youll know its time to try!
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Can Oral Sex Affect Chances Of Conception
One prevailing myth about oral sex and conception is that saliva can be a sperm killer. While there is a little bit of truth to the claim, like all things in trying to conceive, it’s complicated.
According to some studies, large amounts of saliva can produce a “shaking” effect in up to 12% of sperm, which dramatically reduced their motility and progression. In other words, large amounts of saliva killed some sperm. The National Library of Medicine notes that this is a particular issue for couples dealing with infertility issues that include a low sperm count.
So if oral sex helps you get in the mood, go for it!