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Ways to Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant
So you’ve been trying to get pregnant and want to make sure you are maximizing your chances? There are dozens of old wives’ tales out there about increasing your fertility, telling you to take cough syrup or honey with cinnamon to up your chances of conceiving. We’re here to tell you it’s really not as mysterious as the myths may suggest. Let’s separate the fact from fiction. Here are five true ways you can improve your chances of getting pregnant:
Know When to Have Sex
Timing is everything! There’s actually only a window of a few days during a month when you have the highest chance of getting pregnant. Here’s how it works: on the day of ovulation, the woman’s egg is released from an ovary—but the egg can only survive 24 hours after its release. Meanwhile, a male’s sperm can survive in the woman’s body for five or six days, so you want to be sure to have sex on the day of ovulation and the five days leading up to it. How do you know when you’re ovulating? Ovulation usually happens around 12-16 days before you have your period. You can take an ovulation test and monitor changes in your vaginal discharge or your basal body temperature.
Being overweight or underweight can affect a woman’s estrogen levels and can also impact a man’s sperm quality. Both partners maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise will improve your chances of getting pregnant.
Even for women who are within the normal range of weight, a healthy diet replete with the vitamins and minerals your body needs during pregnancy will help. Think fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and plenty of protein!
No Smoking, Drugs, or Alcohol
Regular smoking is a big no, since it can reduce male sperm count and make a woman’s uterus less receptive to the egg. Drinking more than two glasses of alcohol a day can reduce your chances of getting pregnant, but small or moderate amounts of alcohol may be okay. One or two cups of coffee a day is also okay. Moderation is key!
Stress is taxing on the body in many ways. Scientific studies have shown that stress may negatively affect reproductive systems, reduce the success of IVF treatments, and lower chances of conceiving in general. In extreme cases, stress may even suppress ovulation. Anything you can do to reduce your stress—such as working less, getting plenty of sleep and rest, exercising, or starting a daily meditation routine—may help your chances of getting pregnant.
If you’re ready to learn more about fertility treatments at ACRM, schedule an in-person, phone, or telemedicine appointment by calling 205-315-6951.