No one knows the depths to which they’ll venture to get pregnant until it doesn’t happen as quickly as they wanted it to. Everyone thinks they will never be that couple, until they are. Most couples who are actively trying to conceive have been waiting some time to start to. When they’re ready, they’re ready.
Given that it can take a year or longer for many couples to get their bun in the oven, it is hard to relinquish the control they wish they had over their own bodies.
Sometimes it’s not just about getting pregnant, but shooting for more than one baby. Some couples might have a whole basketball team at home and they’re hoping to add a little girl for their team mascot. Others might have just the opposite.
From unheard of supplements and dietary restrictions to astrology and animal waste, some hopeful parents will do whatever it takes to get what they want, even if everything they’re doing has no effect at all.
Still, nature has its own course and the path is often an uncharted one. Since desperate times often call for desperate measures, many couples will resort to exploring old wives’ tales and the like to push things along. Truly, there’s no harm no foul in any of these.
At the end of the day, there is no science behind most of them, but they sure can help to pass the time and make for a good memory couples can look back at and laugh about.
15 The Shettles Method
The theory for timing conception is credited to Landrum B. Shettles, founder of the popular conception plan named the Shettles Method. This method asserts that male sperm swim faster and therefore they are more likely to reach and egg first compared to female sperm.
Thus, if a couple is shooting for a baby boy, they will want to try to conceive very close to ovulation so that the male sperm can reach the egg swiftly. The claim is that this method guarantees a 75 to 90 percent success rate for conceiving the desired gender.
That said, couples who are dreaming of a little girl may want to abstain from sex close to the ovulation date and try to conceive in the days leading up to ovulation only, even as many as two or three days beforehand. It is thought that by giving both male and female sperm time to get through to the cervical opening that many of the male sperm will die since they are weaker.
Female sperm are stronger and more likely to live through the waiting period until an egg is released. At that point, they are essentially there waiting on it.
14 Handstands And Headboards
One would think this is just stuff they do in the movies. Well, people laugh at it because on some level they relate to it. Can gravity help you get pregnant? A lot of Moms would tell you it worked for them. Truly, there’s no science that says gravity has anything to do with conception.
Women don’t always know the condition of their partner’s swimmers. They might be in the race for the Olympics, or the story may be more akin to the tortoise and the hare. When pregnancy doesn’t happen right away, some ladies might start worrying that their man’s sperm aren’t up to snuff. Truthfully, male factors are an issue in 30 to 40 percent of cases of infertility.
That being said, gravity has no part in conception. So the next time you’re TTC and get the urge to prop your feet up on the top of the headboard and hang out for a half hour, remember that all it’ll really get you is an excuse to browse Facebook uninterrupted.
13 Gender-Friendly Grub
Some people would have you believe that what you eat can affect what gender you end up having. I’m not inclined to believe this right off the bat. If it were true, I think the majority of America would be having the same gender, because the majority of America is eating the same Americanized diet. Yuck.
I digress. One theory — the Trivers-Willard Theory — posits that boys are more likely to be conceived by mothers who eat high nutrient, high calorie diets, while girls are more likely to be bestowed upon women who skip breakfast and eat less fat.
Here’s the thing: the gender of a baby is chosen by the male sperm, not the female. So we know for sure diet has nothing to do with gender on her end. It might affect egg quality, but the egg has nothing to do with gender. However, the male sperm— whether X or Y — may be impacted by the cervical mucus, which could technically be changed by dietary measures. If there any proof of this, though? Nope.
There are supplements that have been shown to increase the odds of hyper-ovulation. This means the woman ovulates more than once, allowing for the release of separate eggs. For twins to result, both eggs would have to be fertilized.
Twin births occur in roughly 3 out of every 100 births. If it occurs, the result would be fraternal twins that gestate at the same time but they are born from separate eggs.
The most popular choice when trying to conceive two babies is having Mom take cassava root. This woody shrub comes from South America. It can be taken in capsule form or eaten. Some women will opt for fertility blend teas.
These elixirs are usually comprised of herbs like rose hips, dandelion root and nettle leaves and come with the promise of optimal fertility. Of course, if they don’t work, no one owes you anything.
Others may opt for fertility drugs like Clomid or Femara while using intrauterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization to increase their odds, even if only slightly. Women who do desire twins should think long and hard about the potential side effects of such an undertaking, too. Raising two babies who are the same age isn’t the only trying part of twins.
The risk of miscarriage is higher with twin pregnancies at 9 percent for both and 27 percent for one of the babies. In addition, the need for interventions like induction and C-section are also greater. First, think twice.
Alright, this one actually isn't so dumb. There is some scientific backing to this trick of the trade. Robitussin, or other drugs like it such as Mucinex, can be used — orally, folks — to help things along in the mucus department.
If you are tracking your cycle then you are already aware of egg white cervical mucus — EWCM in the TTC world — and that it shows up during your most fertile days of your cycle.
This mucus has a purpose. It is thin and stretchy with the perfect sperm-friendly pH level. EWCM will help protect sperm and carry them to the egg for fertilization. However, some women make little to no EWCM, usually as a result of poor levels of estrogen or progesterone dominance.
Rather than adding synthetic estrogen to the mix that can cause a host of side effects and increase their risk of blood clots and cancer, hopeful mommas take decongestants like Robitussin to help the body produce, perfect and release more mucus. Men with thicker semen can also use it to thin things out a bit and help their swimmers.
Just like they clear your head during cold season, these drugs are expectorants and help the body expel mucus from more places than just the nostrils.
Don’t indulge just yet, Mom. This one actually applies to Dad. It turns downing a portion of berries on the regular might stand to benefit Dad’s berries. All jokes aside, a study by the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as reported by the Daily Mail, notes that fertility is stronger for men who eat raspberries.
The mechanics of this aren’t a straight shot to conception, though. Rather, raspberries are beneficial in indirect ways that affect male fertility. For example, it is known that the antioxidants in raspberries protect the sperm from oxidative stress.
Also, the high level of vitamin C in raspberries boosts fertility on their own. Men over the age of 44 who consume vitamin C-rich foods are 20 percent less likely to suffer from sperm damage.
It might sound like any berry would do the trick, but raspberries have more up their sleeve. Magnesium is also high in raspberries, and this nutrient is crucial to the production of testosterone. These berries are almost one-stop shopping in the nutrition department. So if your man isn’t too keen on eating his veggies, try some fruit instead.
9 Feng Shui For Fertility
Feng shui is centuries old and involves balancing energies by way of balancing the environment. For example, there are rules that apply such as aligning furniture in a specific way to keep negative energy out of a space. In short, if there are physical blockages in an environment, then energy can’t flow properly through it.
This is based on the assumption that everything is made of energy.
When it comes to fertility measures, it’s thought that feng shui can clear the environment and body of negative energy and open it up to positive energy that is flowing for optimal fertility. First, understand that this too is an indirect method of improving fertility. The changes that one can make to their physical environment can aid in lowering stress levels, improving clarity, and boosting relaxation.
When a couple is less stressed and more relaxed, fertility naturally improves and conception is more likely. Make sure your bedroom lighting is dim and incorporating a metal water feature into your home’s décor are said to help. If you’re gunning for a baby boy, pick up two elephant statues to place adjacent to your bedroom door next time you’re out.
8 The Moon Cycle
Just when you thought feng shui was as weird as it gets, this might be the dumbest method of trying to conceive on this entire list. Some people believe that if a couple puts a pair of underwear waving in the wind on their roof when the full moon is waning that the chance of conceiving a baby will increase for the couple residing. This theory stems from the African Congo.
The roots of this method don’t appear to be clear just yet. Hey, maybe it works so well that the Yansi people are trying to keep it under wraps. If this method appeals to you or your hubby has been looking for a reason to give up underwear, give it a shot. Just remember, it only works if you wait until the next full moon to retrieve your underwear.
Given that, it’s quite possible the underlying mechanism of this method is keeping a couple commando — and busy.
7 Baboon Urine
You might be thinking it can’t get any crazier than whitey tighties on the roof, but then baboon urine comes into play. Let’s just suppose for a moment that the local zoo was even willing to collect some baboon urine for you and then part ways with it by giving it to you for this experiment in conception. What are you supposed to do with it then?
The answer to this should be so obvious. It improves fertility and increases your libido, duh. How did you not know that? It’s not fully understood how it works, but you have to drink it. So, there’s that. If you aren’t too keen on downing the waste fluid of a primate, there’s good news. You can mix it with beer!
That’s actually the only way it’s thought to increase libido. Some of you might be thinking it’s the alcohol that gives the old libido its boost, but believers of this theory insist it would be useless without the primate pee.
6 Egg Whites Work Wonders
If you’re a woman, it’s likely you’re familiar with egg white cervical mucus — popularly referenced in TTC groups at EWCM. If you aren’t up to snuff on your EWCM, you should probably sit down with a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility before you go any further down this road.
EWCM is produced during a woman’s most fertile time in her cycle right before and in the midst of ovulation. The term was coined because the consistency of the hopeful momma’s cervical mucus is akin to egg whites. The thick and gelatinous structure of the mucus protects sperm and helps to carry it to the cervix where it may have a shot at fertilizing an egg.
Some women don’t exactly produce the healthy amounts of EWCM that they wish they did. Out of fear that this may be why they haven’t fallen pregnant, some women will actually put real egg whites down there in order to try to replicate the situation. Insert stark-faced wide-eyed emoji here. Ladies, stick to sperm-friendly lubricants. Using real egg whites could actually hinder your efforts by changing the pH of the vagina and killing his best swimmers.
Since the men get to enjoy all the raspberries, it’s only fair to give the hopeful mothers something to do with their time. How about eating your weight in grapefruits? Alright, every little bit helps, but when it comes to studies on grapefruit most agree the more the better.
Grapefruit can actually alter the consistency of a woman’s cervical mucus to make it more hospitable to sperm. This is actually a pretty common side effect of the fruit. If you don’t have access to ripe grapefruits year-round, the juice will work just fine. However, keep in mind that the sugar content of the juice is much higher and the fiber content much lower.
This could have an impact on you weight if you aren’t careful.
To really help boost fertility and conception, it’s advised that women add two grapefruits per day to their diet. When it comes to science, the verdict is still out as to whether grapefruit is effective enough of a fertility aid to really earn a badge for it, but it can only make you healthier while trying.
4 Use Birth Control
You read that right. In the world of conception, getting pregnant is a whole lot easier if the mother is aware of her cycle. Beyond that, things can still be tricky if that cycle isn’t regular. For a woman with a 28-day cycle who ovulate on day 13 every month things might be easy peasy. For the ladies with 32 day cycles this month and 48 day cycles the next, pregnant is serious work!
Fortunately in this day and age we have ovulation predictor kits and basal body temping to help us pinpoint when we ovulate, but it’s tiresome to BBT all the time and those kits can get really pricey if you’re having to use two or three test strips a day. So some women opt for birth control to temporarily regulate their cycle. I know what you’re thinking, how can a woman get pregnant on birth control?
Well, she likely won’t, but she can get her cycle on track and then try to get knocked up on the first cycle after. Not only is this not really any more likely to happen, but it can cause the woman to develop ovarian cysts or PMDD, and birth control thins the lining of the uterus where the embryo implants.
Miscarriage may be more likely when conception occurs shortly after using birth control as the lining has not fully been restored to its normal thickness yet.
There is a theory that consuming pineapple for five days after you ovulate may be more likely to make a pregnancy happen. Let’s examine the evidence. This tropical fruit contains bromelain, which reduces inflammation throughout the body, including the uterus.
It is thought this reduction in inflammation could make implantation more likely. Thus, women are encouraged to chow down on the fleshy yellow fruit in the week following ovulation in hopes of helping things along. The core of the pineapple is where the majority of the bromelain content is housed.
So if you can’t stomach eating the whole thing, keep that in mind for a smoothie.
Because the bromelain in pineapples is also touted as being beneficial to helping to soften the cervix when labor is near, concerns have arose over whether or not it consuming it early in pregnancy might contribute to miscarriage if conception is achieved. There is no evidence to suggest this is the case.
2 Water, Water Everywhere
It is an annual tradition in a Holloko — a village in Hungary — for women to fill the streets of the town dressed in traditional Hungarian garb and wait for male onlookers to throw water on them. While it sounds like the equivalent of Spring break in Mexico, this tradition is said to cleanse the women and bless them with bountiful fertility.
This event is typically carried out at Easter time as part of a ceremony that actually dates back to pre-Christian times. The Hungarian-born tradition calls for the men of the village, who are also dressed in traditional attire, to chase young ladies down the street with pails of water. Visuals of the event actually make it appear to look far more Jack and Jill than Girls Gone Wild.
Before you schedule a flight to Hungary during your next ovulation cycle, known that there is nothing special in the water. The ceremony isn’t a religious blessing or anything of magic. Instead, women and men of the World Heritage village continue to carry it out each year as part of an obligation to local history, and it’s fun.
1 Rock Those Socks
I know a few women who might get up and leave the room if their partner does this. This method relies on the idea that warmer feet improve circulation which betters the chance of conception. Of course, if you can’t fathom the idea of sex with your socks on then any kind of benefit this may impose is totally negated by the fact that you aren’t going near a man wearing nothing but socks.
Some theories even push the need for the female partner to wear socks, especially during her period. While this isn’t optimal time for conceiving, it’s thought by some that the warmer a uterus is kept during a period, the better the fertility outcome.
Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. It’s hard for most women to let go of the control they wish they had over this situation. When a couple is ready to get pregnant and it’s not happening, the frustration that sets in can be overwhelming, especially if they keep getting negatives month after month.
Now I’m not advocating that you should rearrange all your furniture, crack and egg in your undies or fly them from the rooftop, but if you must, I’m not going to stop you.