Conception doesn’t always come easy. For some couple out there, getting pregnant tends to have its own share of hurdles and problems. If truth be told, conceiving a baby is far from being just a basic biological process. If you read and learn about the entire process of an egg getting fertilized, you are sure to think that conception is nothing short of being a miracle.
If truth be told, a woman’s chances of actually getting pregnant in any given cycle are rather low. Experts even suggest that the chances of an aptly aged, health and fertile couple to conceive a baby happen to be just about one in five each month. It is for this reason that only 25% of couples trying to conceive get pregnant right in the first month.
Now, you need to bear in mind the fact that there are plenty of ‘common’ issues that can obstruct fertility and trigger a delay in conception. But the good part is that these are far easier to fix than one can imagine and just a bit of self-questioning can definitely make things work out for you. Hence, if you have been trying to conceive for a while and haven’t succeeded at it yet, make sure that you ask yourself these 7 questions to make things easier for yourself:
7 Question # : Are you stressed out?
When you are trying to conceive, it is normal for people to tell you to ‘just relax and it will happen’. However, for the couple, such times are one of the most stressful one’s of their life, and that’s where the problem lies – stress can have a serious impact over conception.
That’s right ladies! Even if you feel a tad bit embarrassed each time someone tells you to relax, rest-assured that there’s a kernel of truth to what they are saying. The reason why stress can impact your chances of getting pregnant is because it affects the overall functioning of the hypothalamus. For those who don’t know, the hypothalamus is a gland in the brain that basically regulates your emotions and appetite. Apart from that, it also regulated the hormones that signal the release of eggs from the ovaries. In case you are stressed out, your hypothalamus will be affected by it, and hence, your ovulation is going to take the toll – either you will ovulate later in your cycle, or not at all. So even if you have sex on and around day 14 of your cycle simply because you believe you are about to ovulate, your opportunity of conceiving a baby will be missed.
Now, in order to work out whether you are stressed out or not, here are a few things that you should think about:
- 1.Are you overly busy at work?
- 2.Are you devoting excessive amounts of time to your work?
- 3.Do you have a rather hectic lifestyle?
- 4.Do you worry a lot even about the smallest of things?
- 5.Do you relax properly?
- 6.Do you even know how to relax properly?
- 7.Do you give yourself enough time?
The answers you come up with for these questions will determine whether you are stressed or not, and if yes, then exactly how stressed out you are right now. Remember, constant stress has the potential to trigger quite a few fertility issues ranging from low sperm count to endometriosis. So, if you are stressed out or are just having a hard time with things, relax, take some time off and just chill out for a while!
6 Question # : Are you having sex at the right time – and having enough of it?
The question is pretty obvious right? But believe it or not, it is an extremely common problem for most couple who are trying to conceive. Having sex at the right time is important, because if you don’t have it then, how do you think you are going to conceive?
Women typically believe that they ovulate on day 14, but this doesn’t apply to every woman out there. This is because women have been found to ovulate anywhere between day 7 of their cycle to day 24, while having a 28 to 30 day cycle. Hence, the general notion that you will ovulate on day 14 might not apply to you and you will end up missing out on your chances of conceiving a baby. If you limit having sex to just on the days when you think you are ovulating, you will actually risk things because you aren’t ovulating. The best means of going about thing is to have sex AT LEAST every second day between day 7 and day 24 of your cycle. This way, you will be having ample sex and that to on the right time!
The fact of the matter is that sperm tends to live for about three to six days in a woman’s body, whereas the egg just happens to be around for 12 to 24 hours. This means that there’s a very small window there and you need to have sperm present in you during the said ’12 to 24 hours’ time frame. With that, even working out when a woman is likely to ovulate doesn’t come easy. But if you are in sync with your body, there are certain changes that you should watch out for as a sign of your ovulation. Three of the most prominent signs of ovulation are:
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Vaginal discharge that has a very wet, egg-white like appearance
- An increase of about 0.4 to 1 degree Fahrenheit in your basal body temperature. In order to detect your BBT, just take your temperature every morning before getting out of bed a day or two after your ovulation. With these readings, you will be able to chart out your BBT for a while, thereby getting a better sense of your cycle.
5 Question # : When did you last head out for a vacation?
There are countless couples out there who claim they got pregnant while being out on a fun-filled holiday trip. How come? Well, for the simple reason that they were relaxed, had ample sex during their holidays and were basically away from the hassles of their everyday life for a while. Yes, this means that a constant accumulation of stress and basic lifestyle choices can impact your chances of getting pregnant, and you need a bit of a break to work things out.
So what should you do? If you want a simple answer, head out on what is known as ‘conceptionmoon’. That’s right couples! Quite like your honeymoon, conceptionmoon is a much-needed break that is dedicated to conceiving your baby. The basic idea behind this break is to relax, give time to each other, spice things up a bit in your relationship and just have a bit of ‘special’ time in each other’s company without worrying about things. With a conceptionmoon, both you and your partner will be able to relax and remember the reasons why the two of you fell in love with each other to begin with. Remember, if your partner is going through a stressful time, he might not as interested in having sex with you, and heading out on a holiday is totally going to take his mind off things.
Now, there are plenty of things that you can go to make the most of your holiday. To begin with, put your heads together and work out how you would wish to relax – whether you want to head out for a beach holiday, a city break or just visit the countryside for the said purpose. Remember, there is no need at all for you to spend excessive amounts of money on your conceptionmoon or head out to an exotic location. You just need to choose an environment where you can get rid of your stress and just have a bit of fun time with each other. Next, while you’re away, keep an eye out on the ovulation symptoms mentioned in the previous point or use an ovulation test to time things right. Finally, eat well, catch up on your sleep and enjoy each other’s company!
4 Question # : Have you been having the right ‘type’ of sex?
By the right ‘type’ of sex, I mean whether or not the ‘lady’ in the couple is reaching an orgasm and whether you are trying out different positions or not. Yes, research has it that when a woman has an orgasm, it can play a significant role in conception. Doctors these days actually recommend that women have an orgasm each time they have sex as part of their trying to conceive efforts.
So why is it that experiencing an orgasm can be a crucial element in conceiving a baby? Well, this is because it tends to do quite a few things for a woman. These are inclusive of:
- Making the vaginal muscles contract so that the sperm gets pulled up
- Creating a more ‘friendly’, protected and stable environment for the sperm in the vagina
- Creating the perfect environment for conception by releasing hormones required for a pregnancy to get initiated
To be honest, it actually adds up to a couple giving each other time, getting intimate, and actually enjoying those moments of intimacy with each other. Instead of rushing through things and hurrying through sex, take time, spice up your romance and have fun.
There are actually two distinct theories that signify the ways in which having an orgasm may assist with conception. First, the ‘upsuck theory’ states that contractions that occur in the uterus during an orgasm can assist in ‘sucking up’ the sperm that is deposited in the vagina, near the cervix. Once it gets sucked up, the contractions then help the sperm make its way through the uterus and fallopian tubes, thereby raising your chances of getting pregnant. Second, the ‘poleaxe’ theory states that as women feel relaxed and rather sleepy after having an orgasm, they will continue to rest things out after having sex. This ‘lying down’ position or state will make it easier for sperm to reach its destination.
Apart from that, it is also highly recommended for you to try different positions when trying to conceive. No matter how crazy a position might sound, the end result is going to be the same, so mix things up and have fun while you are at it!
3 Question # : Have you been sleeping well lately?
Oh yes, something as minuscule as sleeping can also have an impact over your ability to get pregnant. This is because there are many biological changes that the body goes through while you sleep. These are inclusive of:
- Storing and managing memories
- Rectifying any and all chemical imbalances within the body
- Regulating hormones
- Repairing and detoxifying the body
- Adjusting your blood sugar level and a whole lot more
With a disrupted sleep pattern, you are bound to suffer from substantial hormonal imbalance, suppressed ovulation and low basal body temperature. For this reason, experts believe that the quality as well as the quantity of sleep you get on a daily basis has the potential to affect your chances of getting pregnant. For a majority of healthcare practitioners out there, it is vital for women to have at least 8-10 hours of sleep each night so that their hormonal balance can be maintained, and their chances of conception can get higher.
See the fact of the matter is that adequate hormonal balance is required for the maintenance of a healthy menstrual cycle, which obviously includes the onset of ovulation. Sleep actually impacts hormones that are vital for fertility including progesterone, estrogen, the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Apart from that, there is another hormone known as leptin that regulates ovulation and regular sleep is required for its ample production. If you don’t get enough sleep, the disrupted release of leptin will trigger irregularities in your menstrual cycle, thereby leading to problems in terms of getting pregnant.
Experts further suggest that women who do not get enough sleep, or those who have irregular sleep patterns tend to have low or rather erratic body temperatures. Hence, if you wish to chart your cycle using the BBT method, things are definitely going to get rather problematic for you. This is because in order to detect ovulation using the BBT charting technique, it is necessary for you to have consistent good nights sleep for the charting to be accurate. So, if you wish to increase your chances of getting pregnant, make sure that you sleep well for about 8-10 hours each night!
2 Question # : When was your last check-up?
There’s a notion amongst people that because they have been tested for fertility issues in the past, things should still be fine with them. However, this is a mere misconception and if it has been over 6 months since your last full checkup, it is highly recommended for you to get in touch with a gynaecologist or fertility specialist so that a few tests can be performed right away. Already having a child or having been previously tested in no way implies that things are still fine with you. With the passage of time, things like diet and lifestyle choices and stress can have a huge impact over your fertility.
At the doctors, all three of you (the doctor, you and your partner) are all going to work together to find a solution to your fertility problems. Remember, the male and female reproductive systems are extremely complex, and your chosen fertility specialist will be able to identify and repair any problems that might have come up in it. Also, considering that your fertility issue is a more so shared concern, it is highly recommended for you, as a couple, to go for your first appointment together. While going, make sure that you carry copies of your health record so that there’s no need for you to go through certain medical tests.
The doctor is going to ask you quite a few questions pertaining to your menstrual cycle. This includes:
- When you first had your periods
- How often you have your periods (length of your cycle)
- How heavy or light it is
- Details about your premenstrual symptoms
- The sort of pain experienced before and/or during your cycle
Apart from that, your doctor will also ask certain questions pertaining to your sexual history. This includes things like having previous suffered from any sexually transmitted infections, abortions, and miscarriages etc. You will also need to tell your doctor about your current sex life, how frequently you have sex and whether you make use of lubricants etc. Oh yes, considering that you will be sharing quite a bit of your private life with your doctor, make sure you visit one that you feel really comfortable with. With that, the different tests that might be carried out include:
- Women – blood tests, laparoscopy, transvaginal ultrasound, and pap smear etc.
- Men – semen analysis
1 Question # : Do you have a healthy diet?
If you put rubbish in your body, it is in turn going to treat you the same way. Honestly, the saying ‘You only get out what you put in’ is a perfect fit here. If you don’t eat adequate amount of nutrients and components that are required to sustain your body, there is no chance that you will be in the position to sustain a pregnancy.
There are certain dietary habits that you need to take up in order to raise your chances of getting pregnant. To begin with, it is necessary for you to consume healthy fats. The best means of doing so is to eliminate trans fats and start using unsaturated vegetable oils. Apart from fertility, these will also help you with heart diseases, and damaged blood vessels etc.
In order to maintain a healthy diet, make sure that you consume ample amounts of fish including sardines and salmon, and nuts – a whole lot of nuts. Apart from that, start fulfilling your body’s protein requirements through vegetables instead of meat. This is because proteins found in beans, peas, nuts and soy have the potential to enhance fertility. While you are at it, you should also have foods that have high fiber content. These include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans that are packed with carbohydrates. These tend to get digested rather slowly and can assist with fertility together with maintaining your insulin levels.
When trying to conceive, it is also highly recommended for you to avoid using skim milk as it can prove detrimental for your fertility. Instead, use whole milk and have at least a glass of whole fat milk, ice cream or yoghurt on a daily basis. Also, in order to fulfill your iron requirements, you should also have lots of tomatoes, spinach, beans, pumpkins, whole grains and beats. Apart from boosting your iron supply, all of these vegetables are also known to boost fertility.
With that, make sure that you drink a lot of water, but cut down on your consumption of tea and coffee. Sodas should be refrained from as these can lead to what is known as ovulatory infertility.