Boost your odds by knowing when and how to have baby-making S.e.x
Are there things you can do to get pregnant fast? Definitely! The number one method is to have S.e.x at least every other day during your fertile window. However, know that even if you’re doing everything right, getting pregnant quickly won’t happen for every couple. But you can boost your odds.
People have a variety of different reasons for wanting to conceive quickly. Maybe you want to space your children a certain number of years apart. You might want to get pregnant because your partner is in the military, and you’d like to conceive before deployment. Or, you may just be eager to become a parent.
Some couples will get pregnant after trying for a month or two. But, for most, it takes longer. Keep in mind that it may take many months to get pregnant—and one in 10 couples will experience infertility. The good news is that there is help out there.
It’s important to remember that these tips may not work for everyone, particularly if you have underlying fertility issues. Unfortunately, pregnancy isn’t something that can be planned exactly. If you can’t get pregnant as quickly as you’d like, don’t blame yourself. Instead, keep trying—the vast majority of couples will conceive within a year.
Tricks to Get Pregnant
Sometimes the old fashioned way of doing things just works. Maximize your chances of getting pregnant by trying the following:
- Have S.e.x frequently.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Get enough sleep.
- Get regular exercise.
- Stop your birth control.
- Track your ovulation.
- See your doctor if you haven’t conceived after a year (or six months if you are over 35).
Stop Using Birth Control
Obviously, if you want to get pregnant, you need to stop using birth control. What you may not know is that you may need time for your fertility to return. It depends on what kind of birth control you were using.
With most forms of birth control, your fertility will return the next cycle after you stop using it. There may be a few bumpy months while your cycle regulates itself, but it’s also possible to get pregnant in your first official fertile month.
Set Realistic Expectations
Getting pregnant is not always a simple and quick process. If you have an implant or an IUD, you’ll need to schedule a doctor’s appointment for removal. That takes time. It may also take a few months for your cycles to regulate after hormonal IUD removal. (With a copper-only IUD, your fertility should return quickly.) If you’ve been on the birth control shot, it also may take several months for your fertility to return.
Talk to your doctor so you have realistic expectations of when you can start trying to get pregnant.
Have Lots of S.e.x
Having S.e.x often for the entire month is good for baby-making. Every other day or every two days is a good amount, according to research and the opinion of the Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.1
You could aim to have S.e.x every day of your cycle, but for most people, this will lead to burnout, and it’s really not necessary. Having S.e.x three to four times a week boosts your chances for success because it increases the odds of having S.e.x on your most fertile days. If you’re only aiming for ovulation and you make a mistake on timing, you may lose that month.
If you have S.e.x every other day or every two days, you’re likely to have S.e.x at least once, if not twice, during your most fertile time.
Frequent S.e.x improves sperm health, too. Healthier swimmers mean you’ll be more likely to conceive.
Maximize Your Odds
You may be able to get pregnant faster if you optimize your conception S.e.x, which includes things like timing, frequency, and understanding of when in your cycle you are most likely to conceive.
One important thing to be aware of is that regular personal lubricants, like Astroglide and KY Jelly, are harmful to sperm. The best lubricant for conception is your own cervical fluid. But if this is an issue for you, there are sperm-friendly options available, such as mineral oil, canola oil, or hydroxyethylcellulose-based lubricants such as Pre-Seed and ConceivEase.
There is no evidence that certain S.e.xual positions or lying down after S.e.x will help you conceive.1
However, research on Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) found that lying down after insemination boosts pregnancy rates.2 If you’re trying to conceive faster, you may want to at least try lying on your back after S.e.x for a few minutes. On the other hand, if the missionary position is a big turn-off for you, maybe more creative positions would help.
Research has found that S.e.xual arousal plays a role in how much sperm is ejaculated.3 Female orgasms may also help with conception. So, having passionate S.e.x may help you get pregnant faster as well. That said, don’t stress about having an orgasm. You can get pregnant whether you orgasm or not!
Track Your Ovulation
Your most fertile days are the two days prior to ovulation. You can figure out which days these are through several methods, including charting your body basal temperature (BBT), checking for fertile cervical mucus, tracking cervical changes, and using a saliva ferning microscope.
The problem with all these methods is they have a steep learning curve. For BBT charting, figuring out how to get your temps right in the morning and interpreting your chart can be a challenge for many people. You may have an easier time using ovulation predictor kits or ovulation monitors.
Ovulation tests work like pregnancy tests. You pee on a stick or strip of paper to get a result. They are a little more difficult to interpret than pregnancy tests, so read the instructions carefully.
Fertility monitors take much of the learning curve out of ovulation tests. The digital device tells you when you’re most fertile. They are more expensive, though, so you may want to combine charting with ovulation predictor kits.
Boost Your Fertility
In the short term, there are quite a few things (many of which are probably obvious) that a people can do—and not do—to increase their chances of getting pregnant.
- Get enough sleep. Odd sleep and wake cycles can throw off the menstrual cycle, which could make getting pregnant quickly more difficult.
- Eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water.
- Cut back on caffeinated beverages.
- Get too stressed out. It’s still unclear whether or not stress leads to infertility. However, acute stress can throw off a person’s cycle.
- Douche. When you do, you disrupt the vagina’s natural pH balance, wash away cervical mucus (which keeps sperm moving), and partially eliminate good bacteria.
- Exercise intensely. Extreme exercise regimes can reduce fertility.
To keep sperm healthy, keep the testicles away from heat. Hot tubs, laptops placed directly on the lap, seat warmers, and sitting too long with the legs close together can all increase the scrotal temperatures.4 This can negatively impact sperm counts.
And finally, the most oft-repeated health tip—quit smoking and cut down on alcoholic drinks. This is important for both male and female reproductive health. This will not only improve your health now but also help you have a healthier pregnancy and child.
There are other things you can do to improve your fertility and overall health that take more effort and time. Being at a healthy weight before trying to conceive can help, as being just slightly overweight has been shown to decrease fertility.5 Obesity may also negatively impact male fertility.
One thing everyone should do before they get pregnant is to make sure they’re getting enough folic acid, which is essential for a healthy pregnancy.
Wait to Take a Pregnancy Test
Taking pregnancy tests won’t change how quickly you get pregnant, but it can affect your perception of time. Especially if you take multiple early tests, “peeing on a stick” frequently can make the days and weeks feel much longer.
Instead, commit to only taking a pregnancy test when your period is at least one day late. In other words, if you expected your period on Tuesday or Wednesday of a particular week, don’t take the test until Thursday. Better yet, wait until Friday.
It’s not easy to wait to see if you’re pregnant, but remind yourself that when you take an early test, you are more likely to get a false negative anyway. (In other words, even if you did conceive, the test may not reveal that you’re pregnant.)
If you don’t conceive within six months (if you’re over 35) or within a year (if you’re younger than 35), see your doctor.
Getting help doesn’t mean you’re giving up; it just means you’re brave enough to find out if there’s a reason why you’re not conceiving, and what steps you can take to address it. Some causes of infertility get worse with time. Getting help when you need it may help you get pregnant faster with the help of treatment.
By: Rachel Gurevich, RN
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