You’ve had the chat, abandoned the birth control and are ready to start trying to conceive, but your body doesn’t always act fast.
Before you leave everything in the hands of fate, here’s some useful advice and easy tips on how to maximize your chances of getting pregnant and fast!
Aside from simply having sex (you know, that thing you have to do to make babies in the first place), what more can you do?
1. QUIT STRESSING
Stress happens. And let’s be real; it happens often. But when you’re attempting to get pregnant, try and keep your levels at a minimum by exercising, meditating, (whatever helps you find your calm). Studies show that those who have high levels of the enzyme alpha-amylase, which has been linked to stress, have more issues with fertility than those who keep their minds relaxed.
2. EAT A BALANCED DIET
Eating a healthy diet sounds easier than it actually is, but think about it this way: Nourishing your body isn’t just about you, now it’s about a baby, too.
According to Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., senior Associate Dean of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, “Being healthier overall makes it easier to get pregnant. When women are healthy, they’re not only ovulating regularly, but they’re also laying down a nice, healthy environment for a baby before they actually conceive,”
Hutcherson says. “If you’re missing vitamins and nutrients at the time the implantation occurs, it can affect the baby — and some people don’t know that. You need to take vitamins and eat well before missing your period.”
3. GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
Sleep isn’t just crucial for your mental and physical health, but it’s also important for getting pregnant. “When people don’t get enough sleep, their bodies struggle,” Hutcherson says. “You’re not at your healthiest when you’re sleep deprived and we’re just realizing how important sleep is for healing and mental health. If you’re healthy, you’re more likely to ovulate and get pregnant.”
4. HAVE SEX — BUT NOT EVERY DAY
An expert telling you not to have sex 24/7 when you’re trying to get pregnant might seem weird, but it might actually help your chances. “Sometimes when trying to get pregnant, couples feel like they have to have sex every day and force themselves to, and then it becomes a chore and they don’t want to do it. Don’t put pressure on yourselves,” Hutcherson says. Plus, it could be better for your hubby’s little swimmers: “For some men, having sex every day can affect the sperm count — not for all, but for some,” she added.
5. HAVE SEX RIGHT BEFORE OVULATION
When you do have sex, there are a handful of days to zone in on to help you get pregnant quicker, and they’re right before ovulation. “Focus on the days leading up to the time when you ovulate,” Hutcherson says. “It’s not the day of ovulation, but the three or four days before that you should be having sex.”
According to the American Pregnancy Association, ovulation typically occurs 12-16 days before your next period.
6. BECOME THE QUEEN OF FOREPLAY
You’re definitely going to like this one. Instead of just diving straight into sex, having fun with foreplay will actually help you get pregnant. “When the vagina is dry, it can cause irritation, inflammation, and swelling at the time of intercourse, and that can interfere with the motility of the sperm,” Hutcherson says.
Basically, it’s better for sperm motility if you’re super turned on – something every woman can get down with.
7. TAKE PRENATAL VITAMINS
If you don’t take daily vitamins, now’s the time: According to the CDC, you should start taking 400 mcg of folic acid every day for a month before getting pregnant.
The B vitamin not only makes you healthier, promoting ovulation and improving your fertility, but it also helps prevent birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine.
8. ORGASM — AND ORGASM A LOT
Yep, that’s right — orgasming during sex can actually help you get pregnant quicker. “Orgasms not only add to the pleasure — and sex should be pleasurable all the time — but in addition, when you have an orgasm, it causes contractions of your uterus and some studies have suggested that there’s actually a sucking that takes place where sperm is sucked up into the uterus, increasing fertility. Hutcherson says.
9. DON’T EXERCISE TOO MUCH
Consistently working up a sweat and elevating your heart rate before getting pregnant is great for your health and fertility, but not when you exercise too much:
Going too overboard and exercising to exhaustion has been shown to negatively affect the reproductive system, making it harder to get pregnant.
10. LIMIT YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE
…and by limit, try to avoid it altogether if you can. It all goes back to creating a nice, healthy environment for implantation for the early development of the foetus,” Hutcherson says.
“Not only can drinking too much mess with ovulation and the health of the sperm if he’s drinking too much, but no one knows how much alcohol is too much or the minimum amount of alcohol one can drink during pregnancy. So for that reason, if you know you’ll be trying to get pregnant, it’s probably better to have none.”