When a couple decides they are ready to conceive, they hope they will be able to quickly so they can begin their lives as parents. However, for over ten percent of women in the United States, conceiving will be a problem, and they will struggle with infertility. Plus, men are just as likely to have problems that make conceiving difficult.
For a couple to be considered infertile, they have to have experienced no success in conceiving even after a year of unprotected intimacy. If the woman is over 35 or not ovulating regularly, she may be declared infertile after only six months and told to see a specialist sooner.
Fertility specialists are amazing resources for couples, and they can often help them find the source of their problems and offer treatment to help. However, seeing a fertility specialist is expensive and involved, and it shouldn't be a couple's first step when trouble strikes. While it's true some couples do need extra help to get pregnant, others may be able to tweak a few things at home and find themselves able to conceive.
Before running straight to the doctor, both partners have opportunities to make sure they are doing their best at home to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy. Small changes can have big effects, and there are plenty of tricks and tips out there to help a couple. Fertility specialists will always be out there to offer a guiding hand, but couples shouldn’t overlook these simple strategies to increase their chances of conceiving on their own.
12 Check The Lube
Sometimes it's more comfortable to have a little extra help in the lubrication department, and that's okay. However, if a couple doesn't read their lubricant container properly, they may be killing their chances of conceiving.
Many lubes contain spermicide. Spermicide is actually considered a form of birth control since it inhibits sperms' ability to move. Birth control is obviously not what partners want to use if they are trying to have a baby.
There are plenty of lubricants on the market that don't contain spermicide, but lubricants also have a bad rap for causing infections and messing up the pH balance of a woman's lady parts. This is not something women want ever, but especially not if they are trying to conceive.
Consider using natural options like aloe vera or coconut oil to ensure there are no issues with chemicals entering the body that don't need to and no chance of spermicide.
11 Wait It Out
One of the hardest parts of not conceiving when we want is waiting the recommended amount of time to see a fertility specialist. Once we want a baby, we want a baby now, but that's not always how our bodies work. Our minds and hearts can desire something, but our bodies may take a while to catch up.
For women who are under 35, waiting a full year to see a fertility specialist is a good idea. If there have been no prior issues, such as endometriosis or other problems, then most doctors won't refer mom to a fertility specialist until she has been actively trying for a year.
During this time, mom should try not to stress every month she does not conceive since stress can actually be a fertility killer. She should also use this time to get in the best shape she can so her body will be able to carry a pregnancy easier.
10 Try Some Acupuncture
Cornell University did a study over a decade ago, and the results were clear: acupuncture can help couples conceive. Even if a woman has a fear of needles, it's worth it to give this a try.
Acupuncture performed by a professional can get the blood flowing to the organs in our reproductive system, the uterus and ovaries. This can help increase our chances of conception. Plus, acupuncture can regulate hormones, and hormonal imbalances often end up to blame for a couple's inability to conceive.
For best results, women should commit to acupuncture for at least three months, ideally six. Once women experience the relaxation and stress reduction acupuncture can offer, they probably won't have any problems continuing to go. Acupunctures' ability to reduce stress is also a reason it can be a fertility booster. There's every reason to give this one a try.
9 Cough Syrup With Mucolytic
Mucolytic, as the name implies, has a bit to do with mucus, and so many people are surprised to find it can help sperm make it to their destination easier. The reason was discovered by accident, but women who want to get pregnant are now encouraged to give it a try.
Mucolytic is used in cough medicine because of its ability to break up mucus and therefore lessen a person's cough. Applying this logic to conceiving, researchers found that mucolytic can also thin out cervical mucus. Since the normal consistency of cervical mucus is sticky, mucolytic can stop some of that and give sperm a better chance of surviving and arriving to get mom pregnant.
In women with polycystic ovary syndrome, mucolytic is found to help tremendously. In fact, women with PCOS see a three times increase in conceiving when using mucolytic.
8 Stay Horizontal After Intimacy
During the afterglow of the lovin', don't rush out of bed, and definitely don't hop straight into the bath or shower. While sperm will swim up no matter what position mom is in, studies in other areas have shown that mom staying on her back may increase her pregnancy chances.
A study on intrauterine insemination(IUI) showed that women who stayed horizontal for 10 minutes post-intimacy showed an 11% increase in conceiving. The women did not need to pull their legs to their chests or put their feet in the air as previously suggested. Simply staying in the bed horizontally increased their chances.
Of course, this study was not done on women who were having intercourse with a partner, but many researchers think it might be a good idea to learn from this study anyway. Resting after intimacy can't hurt, and it just might help.
7 Semen Analysis
Women oftentimes carry the burden of feeling like they are the cause for infertility. However, studies prove that's not the case. Studies show that men and women suffer equally from infertility, and in a quarter of cases, couples fall victim to more than one source of infertility. That means it's very likely both partners have problems that contribute.
Before a woman runs to make an appointment with a fertility specialist, it's a good idea if her partner sees a doctor for a sperm test and check up. These tests don't have to be conducted by a fertility specialist, and they are usually much less invasive than everything women have to go through once fertility specialists are involved.
Tests on sperms' motility and abundance will be performed, and possible solutions may be offered that solve this problem before other fertility procedures take place.
6 Try Certain Supplements
There are a wide variety of supplements on the market that can help boost a woman's chances of conceiving. Vitamin B6 helps regulate the body during the time between ovulation and a woman's period, and since this is the time to become pregnant, B6 can help make sure hormones are functioning at the optimal level for conception.
Myo-inositol is also a supplement that can help women who ovulate in unpredictable patterns. Women who are insulin sensitive or have polycystic ovarian syndrome will benefit from myo-inositol because it helps with insulin issues and may contribute to getting ovulation back on track.
Myo-inositol can be found in supplement form, but for women who like grapefruits and navy beans, consuming this nutrient naturally is an option.
Women need to let their doctor know what supplements they are on to make sure they don't interfere with other medications. If a woman gets the go ahead, these supplements may give her that extra boost to conceive.
5 Weight Check And Lifestyle Check
Weight matters, but not because we want to be able to fit into that new pair of skinny jeans. And our lifestyle can also impact fertility if we have over indulgences or bad habits. When it comes to fertility, having a body mass index (BMI) that is not in the ideal range can kill our chances of conceiving, as can certain vices.
Women who have a BMI of over 25 and have certain health issues are at risk of having problems conceiving, so they need to focus on responsible weight loss for the right reasons. They also need to make sure to build muscles since weight is not the only factor that affects BMI. How we carry it and whether we are strictly storing fat matters.
Women whose BMI is too low also need to deal with this problem. If a woman's BMI is less than 18.5, she is at risk for problems with her fertility, as well. Out of whack BMIs can affect our hormones and our ability to ovulate, so it's more important than ever that we deal with them when hoping to conceive.
4 Track Ovulation
There are pros and cons to tracking ovulation, but it is worth it as long as couples keep a few things in mind.
Using an ovulation tracking kit can help mom predict when she is going to ovulate, and that helps her plan ahead to make sure she and her partner are intimate at the right time. Ovulation tracking kits are also ideal for women who do not ovulate regularly and never really know they've ovulated until it's over.
One thing to keep in mind is that couples don't need to narrow down their intimacy days to only the ovulation period. Of course it's important to be intimate when a woman is ovulating, but because sperm can live in the body for days, it's fine to be intimate outside of this small window of time. Use the ovulation tracking kit, but don't become a slave to it.
3 Keep Hydrated
Never underestimate the power of water. We need plenty of it, and when we're trying to conceive, it's especially important.
Water helps us flush toxins from our bodies, a process that is necessary for us to become pregnant. Water also helps us produce cervical mucus. Though it's not a bad idea to use mucolytic to thin out the cervical mucus, we still need it to help us conceive. It performs the important function of protecting the sperm and helping them get to where they need to be. Without water, women may not produce enough cervical mucus.
Water also helps keep us energized, and since the road to pregnancy can be long and exhausting, it's important to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep our energy levels high.
Drink water when thirsty and make sure to drink it all day long.
2 Getting Enough Sleep
It's important to understand how sleep helps our bodies function properly. Without a proper seven to eight hours a night, we miss out on our cells recovering and repairing.
Sleep is extremely important for women trying to conceive, and some researchers even recommend eight or nine hours a night for women who are hoping to become pregnant. Why the extra hours? Because hormone regulation also takes place during our sleep, and without our hormones functioning properly, it is unlikely we will be able to conceive.
Leptin is an important hormone that makes it possible for us to ovulate, but without enough sleep, our leptin production can suffer. That means our ovulation may become irregular, and that makes it even harder to get pregnant.
Lack of sleep also adds to the stress our body feels, and stress and lack of sleep combined are not good for a woman trying to get pregnant.
1 Be Intimate Often
This one may seem obvious, but many couples try so hard to schedule intimacy for their fertile days that they miss out on days they actually could conceive. Plus, they are adding fire to their stress levels trying to boil getting pregnant down to a science.
While it's good to plan as much as we can in order to conceive, being intimate several times a week is key, no matter what. Many couples think they need to save up the semen for the fertile days, but predicting the exact time of fertility is tricky, and sperm can live in our bodies many days after we are intimate. Going back to the basic of sex frequently is one of the best ways to conceive.
Also, frequent intimacy means not worrying about planning as much, and this can lower stress levels. High, constant stress has an affect on our bodies, and it can be a fertility killer.
Sources: Verywell, Bustle, Fit Pregnancy, Parents, WebMD