Trying to conceive is a difficult process for many couples especially when you give yourself added pressures mentally. While it is an exciting time in your life when you plan to grow your family, it can definitely prove to be challenging and emotionally frustrating when you actually begin trying. I was given a lot of advice prior to conceiving and while some things seemed like old wives tales, there were some things that I found helpful.
Here are top ten ways to get you ready to conceive.
10. Find and Meet With Your OBGYN
I encourage women to find an OBGYN prior to getting pregnant and meeting with them. Make sure your doctor is someone you are comfortable with and you want to have for the entire process. Talk to them about your plans, have a check up and make sure your doctor is familiar with your plans and you both have similar views on the process and after conception. Have your doctor go over things you might be questioning. Your doctor is a wealth of information and I encourage women to have a check up and tap that resource. Your results and doctor may be able to provide you information you were unaware of including any challenges you may face or even words that help ease your mind.
9. Get Off Birth Control Early
For those women using birth control be sure to get off of it a few months ahead of when you are planning to try conceiving. In my experience women who have previously been on birth control have experienced a greater challenge in conceiving immediately. While you may not be ready at that moment to be pregnant, if you are planning to start trying soon try using other contraceptives until you are ready. This will help ensure that when the time comes you will be less likely to experience delays.
8. Start Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are highly recommended during pregnancy and it’s a great idea to start before hand. Folic acid, found in most prenatal vitamins, helps protect against some birth defects and is great during the early stages of pregnancy. Having your body nutrient ready is a good idea prior to conceiving.
7. Know Your Cycle
Some couples like to get the ovulation kit and take their temperature and go straight to “work” when they decide to conceive. I don’t recommend this as it seems to make things much more mechanical than fun and definitely adds a level of stress that isn’t necessary with your initial attempts. Should you experience a greater level of challenge in getting pregnant after a few months and after talking with your doctor, perhaps this is something you can look into. However, I do recommend getting to know your cycle and accurately keeping a record to help know when you and your partner should try and when the optimal days are.
6. Ensure Sperm Is Healthy
While many of these tips are focused on women, it’s a good idea to make sure that your partner is also doing what he can to ensure he has healthy sperm. Stay away from tight fitting clothes, hot tubs and soy products like edamame.
5. Healthy Balance
Healthy living is key and it helps to be at a healthy weight prior to conceiving. However, make sure you don’t over do it at the gym. Eating right with well-balanced meals is key and working out is a good idea especially even after you get pregnant. However, too much exercise can cause you to not ovulate. Over doing it at the gym is relative to each individual and what their body is familiar with. However, some indications that you may need to ease off on the workouts is a shortened cycle. Talk to your doctor more about this and your particular regimen.
I’m sure you’ve heard about raising your legs up after intercourse and trying different positions to ensure you get pregnant. I didn’t buy into this completely. However, I did agree that lying around couldn’t hurt. After sex, I was never one to jump up on my feet and get going. I encourage lying around and relaxing for at least 15 minutes giving the sperm a chance to make it’s way to it’s position and set up camp. Besides, since when can relaxing be a bad thing?
3. Every Other Day
When I first talked to my doctor about getting pregnant and expanding my family, I was full of positive vibes and told her that my husband and I were ready to try every day. I was stunned to realize that she actually told me that the best way to increase my chances was to actually try every other day. She explained that sperm can lives inside of you for up to 72 hours and by attempting every other day, it gives the man time to recharge his sperm for the best viability and to do this during ovulation and even when you aren’t.
2. Don’t Stress
This is what I found to be the most difficult part of trying to conceive. Knowing that we are actually attempting to create a life and the changes we were going to experience would constantly make stress and me tense. My doctor told me not to stress or get discouraged in the process because stress is a huge factor in conceiving. She warned me that it’s surprising how many health issues including inability to conceive can be linked to stress. I highly encourage couples to do what they can to keep it fun still and not think too much about it. Try to keep the spark alive rather than making it mechanical. Be spontaneous and enjoy each other rather than focusing on the goal.
No matter what you hear or tell yourself, sometimes you can’t avoid the thinking and if you are like me when I over think things, I physically react. My entire body would be tense and sex became a painful chore in the process. I highly recommend investing into a good lubricant to help the process. Astroglide TTC Trying to Conceive™ is specially formulated for conception and has pH levels to support fertility, exactly what I needed. Unlike other lubricants that can inhibit sperm motility, studies show that Astroglide TTC™ is compatible with sperm and allows sperm to move freely.
Astroglide TTC™ is less likely to impede sperm and also contains galactose (found naturally in semen) and fructose which is the main source of energy for sperm. This is the ideal lubricant to use when trying to conceive when faced with difficulties like I experienced. It helps relieve vaginal dryness during sexual activity and eases your mind on any negative effects on sperm when trying to grow your family. Each package comes with 8 pre-filled disposable applicators that make it easy and comfortable to use. For novices like myself, this makes what could be another stressful time even simpler. Astroglide TTC™ retails at an affordable $12.99 making it a wise investment.
While none of these tips are guarantees in conceiving, they are definitely sound advice from someone who is happy to have been pregnant with two children!