Pregnancy Tips to Help You Conceive
Ovulation-calculator.com was created to help couples get pregnant - naturally, healthily, and quickly - by providing tons of information on fertility, on details about the menstrual cycle, and on the tools to help women "take charge of their fertility" and predict when they will most likely ovulate. However, before you even start fertility charting, there are a number of basic tips that will help you ensure a regular cycle and promote a healthy pregnancy.
In fact, effectively predicting ovulation, in large part, requires that you take care of the preconception preliminaries and focus on the more basic aspects of trying-to-conceive. Let's take a look at some fundamental tips for getting pregnant, and feel free to follow the links to other helpful pages that will elaborate on each topic in detail!
Folic Acid, Prenatals, and Omega-3 Supplements
Almost every doctor will tell you that, if you are considering have a baby, you should start taking a prenatal vitamin now, one that contains at a very minimum of 400mcg folic acid. As you likely know, folic acid is the B vitamin that has been shown, time and again, to decrease the risk of certain birth defects - particularly serious defects that revolve around the brain, spinal cord, or neural tube. The important thing to remember, here, is that you should be taking a prenatal vitamin before you become pregnant, as physiological fetal structures like the neural tube begin developing very early in pregnancy - even during the first weeks.
Another bright note: some research indicates that simple prenatal vitamin supplementation may increase your odds of conceiving. For women seeking cycle regularity or hormonal balance, a supplement like FertilAid for Women integrates a complete prenatal vitamin with fertility-improving herbal components like vitex.
So, if pink is the new black, as they say, then Omega-3 fatty acids are the new folic acid. Let me clarify: Today, most women are well-informed about the benefits of folic acid in promoting fetal health. What women might not know is that Omega-3 fatty acids are increasingly viewed as the next important supplement for ensuring a strong pregnancy and healthy fetal/infant development (particularly for your baby's eyes and brain). Omega-3s provide nutrients that support brain development, increased attention spans, and ensure more comfortable deliveries. You can purchase an impurity-free Omega-3 supplement from Fairhaven Health - Pregnancy Plus Omega 3. Learn more about Omega-3s.
Birth Control Medications
Clearly, trying to get pregnant while on birth control will certainly impair your chances. However, many women think that once they stop the pill, they will get pregnant instantly, or at least their cycles are expected to return to normal right away. The fact is, while you may indeed become pregnant your first cycle off the birth control pill or patch, the odds are it will take some time for your hormones to get back to normal - or for your cycle to become "clockwork" again. Once your cycle is balanced and normalized, it becomes much easier to predict ovulation and know when you are most fertile.
Pregnancy No-No's: Smoking, Drinking, and Caffeine
Smoking is not only bad for your health, it may be bad your baby's health as well. Duh. Drugs, smoking, and alcohol can result in premature babies, unhealthy birth-weights, miscarriages. Needless to say, stop taking drugs or smoking even before you start trying to get pregnant. And avoid second-hand smoke as well. Coffee? Caffeine, if possible, should also be largely avoided, though very minute amounts of caffeine (as found certain types of green tea) may actually increases the odds of conceiving. In general, coffee is not advised during pregnancy. Alcohol? Of course, these beverages should be avoided, as alcohol is indeed linked with increased chances of birth defects and fetal malformations. If you are trying-to-conceive, try to cut drinking out of your life well before your first positive pregnancy test. If you have questions about smoking, drinking or caffeine intake, please contact your doctor regarding optimizing preconception and pregnancy health. If you are on prescription drugs or using herbal medications, talk to your doctor before trying to get pregnant.
Pregnancy Diet, Weight, and Hormonal Balance
Tip the scales in your favor. If you are either overweight or underweight, it's likely that your odds of conceiving may be, to differing degrees, somewhat decreased. This is because being overweight or underweight can impact your health and hormonal balance. The right balance of hormones during your cycle is of central importance for menstrual cycle regularity - and for ovulation to take place. If you are planning on conceiving and you are overweight, consider talking with your doctor about a diet and exercise plan tailored to your unique needs. If you are underweight, or run marathons, etc, your cycle balance may be out of whack as well. Again, your doctor is the best resource here. What's important to remember is that a healthy body mass index will support hormonal balance, cycle regularity, and regular ovulation. This means you will get pregnant faster.
Be Aware of Possible Infertility Issues
Infertility touches about one in five couples. That means about about 15% of couples will have some difficulty in getting pregnant. However, most of these issues are not insurmountable, and can be corrected by diet and health changes, by using a fertility supplement, or by taking a prescription fertility drug. Male fertility issues (issues relating to sperm count or motility) can also play into infertility problems. Being aware of potential infertility symptoms is important, and these include absent cycles, very long or very short menstrual cycles, failure to show signs of ovulation. etc. Learn more about infertility problems.
Stay Upbeat, Decrease Stress, Even Acupuncture
Easy for me to say, right! We certainly understand that trying-to-conceive is not the most stress-free time of life, particularly if you have been trying for several cycles or longer. Who wants to spend the rest of their lives waking up each morning to the giddy beep of a basal thermometer? Or peeing on ovulation tests and making a mess all over the place? Still, decreasing sources of stress and anxiety is important, and will help you conceive sooner. Also, make sure you are taking positive steps to keep things in perspective: if you are feeling down or anxious, try exercising, taking calming walks, meditation, distracting hobbies etc. You may also wish to consider yoga or acupuncture, and there is plenty of literature available linking increased fertility (cycle balance) to fertility-acupuncture. If you are taking medications for depression or anxiety, do talk with your doctor before getting pregnant to make sure those meds are safe!
Sexual Positions for Pregnancy
Though the jury is still out on if, or to what degree, sexual position impacts your odds of conceiving, many doctors and fertility experts suggest that the missionary position is the ideal "pregnancy position". Man-on-top (or missionary position) ensures deepest penetration so the sperm are nearest the cervix during ejaculation. Woman-on-top or standing positions may have gravity pulling sperm the wrong way. Another alternative is to lay down with your hips elevated following intercourse so gravity works the right direction, toward the cervix and uterus. Gender Selection: There are also theories that suggest that differing sexual positions might not only help you get pregnant, but also increase your odds of having a boy or a girl. Learn more about sexual position and gender selection.
Throw out the Old Habits, Bring in the New
If you want to increase the odds of conceiving, having intercourse regularly is the key. This may seem obvious, but some couples do not have the time or energy for frequent love-making in today's face-paced world. A good habit is to start making time for that special rendezvous - and try to keep things romantic! Change your schedule. Be spontaneous.
Other habits from the old days that might need to go out with the condoms? Lubes. Using a lubricant can act as barrier to sperm and create a difficult, sperm-hostile environment in the vagina. The only lubricant that does not function as a barrier to sperm is Pre-Seed, a product specially designed by reproductive specialists. Pre-Seed is a sperm-friendly lubricant that may actually assist in conception by providing a moisturizing gel that emulates fertile cervical fluids.
Timing Intercourse: Ovulation Prediction and Fertility Charting
The purpose of fertility charting is to learn when you ovulate, your most fertile time, so you can time intercourse and increase your chances of pregnancy. Much of this website is dedicated to the nuances of fertility charting, which includes techniques like taking your basal temperature, monitoring cervical fluids, observing cervix position, ovulation testing, and keeping tracking of the physical symptoms of ovulation. To learn more about these fertility-increasing techniques, click here. The point of all of this is to know when the "egg drops" so you can have the sperm ready and waiting. If you can predict that you are going to ovulate on a certain day, then you will know when to start making love. This will radically increase your odds of conceiving and you will get pregnant faster for sure.