Getting pregnant, having a baby, and motherhood are momentous moments in life for many women, although it’s not always easy.
It’s important to remember that fertility relates to both parties, and that planning to get pregnant affects both people equally.
Factors That Can Negatively Affect Your Chances of Getting Pregnant
It’s important to not look to get pregnant when you’re under stress. This can lower your gonadotropin levels and increase your prolactin levels which can stop a woman ovulating.
Beyond the age of 35 years old it can be difficult to conceive. This can be because the number and quality of ova reduces, and the risk of miscarriage and chromosomic changes increases.
Obesity and being extremely underweight are bad for fertility. At one end of the scale, obesity is associated with failed ovulation and a greater risk of gestational diabetes and hypertension. On the other end of the scale, being too underweight can cause changes to the menstrual cycle, preventing ovulation.
Tobacco and alcohol both reduce the chances of getting pregnant. They increase the chances of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, placenta praevia, and premature birth.
Some Tips to Help You Get Pregnant
1. Identify Your Most Fertile Days
Knowing when you’re most fertile is really important when you’re trying to get pregnant. Generally, ovulation happens between 12 and 16 days before your period. Sperm cells can remain alive inside a woman for 3 to 4 days, whilst the ova can be fertilised between 24 and 48 hours.
To have the greatest chance of fertilisation you could have intercourse daily or every two days in the second and third week of the cycle, making healthy sperm cells available. There are also a number of mobile apps that can help you record your menstrual cycle.
2. Foods That Stimulate Fertility
We recommend that you consume anti-oxidants present in fruit and vegetables, as well as vitamins, folic acid found in cereals, and omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines, and shellfish.
3. Sexual Positions
It’s a good idea to go for positions which allow deep penetration, mainly the “missionary position”, as this helps the semen enter into the vagina. Other good positions are on all fours or on your side.
It’s also best not to remove the penis straight away after ejaculation, so that the sperm doesn’t also come out of the vagina. Stay lying down with your legs in the air for some 15 minutes with a pillow under your hips. This way the semen will remain in the uterus for longer.
You should avoid positions where the woman is standing or on top, as gravity will mean that the sperm cells flow out of the vagina more quickly.
4. Medical Treatments
Some medical treatments, such as tablets for depression or anxiety can affect fertility or cause foetal defects and even miscarriages. Therefore, it’s very important to consult with your doctor.
5. Sperm Quality
Sperm quality is fundamental for getting pregnant. Stress, fatigue, tension, and excessive alcohol, tobacco, or drug consumption, as well as poor eating habits reduce both sperm quality and quantity.
It’s a good idea for the man not to wear clothes which are too tight. The testicles need to remain at a lower temperature than the body. Tight underwear will press them against the body and work against this.
6. Choice of Lubricant
Many vaginal lubricants that you can buy in the shops, as well as homemade ones, are made based on olive oil, which can stop sperm cells moving quickly enough, thus affecting the chances of pregnancy.
It’s best to consult with a medical specialist about which lubricants won’t affect fertilisation.
Having sexual intercourse with the sole purpose of getting pregnant is a very bad idea. This can affect your sex life, and therefore, put a strain on your relationship. It’s really important that love plays a part in your sex, as it strengthens your relationship and helps to achieve your objective.
Finally, the most important thing is to approach things with a good attitude and lots of optimism. And if you don’t manage to get pregnant as quickly as you’d like, there are always other options such as:
- Artificial insemination.
- In Vitro Fertilisation.