These tips are from the specialists at Fertility Ontario; the first way to optimize your chances of conceiving a baby surprised me.
In their free ebook, Baby Steps to Fertility: 5 Simple Steps to Natural Fertility, they write:
“There is a perception amongst couples who are trying to conceive that the timing of ovulation is critical to success. Indeed, there are several commercially available products that you can purchase over-the-counter at the pharmacy that claim to enhance your fertility by identifying “your most fertile” days. When I first meet with couples, this is one of the first practices I discourage.”
I thought that timing your menstrual cycle and finding your most fertile days was the first step to getting pregnant! But, these fertility specialists offer different information, which makes sense (though it is surprising).
How to Increase Your Chances of Conceiving a Baby
Here’s a brief summary of the five simple, natural steps to getting pregnant in the ebook offered by Fertility Ontario. At the end of this article is a link to their website, where you can download the ebook for free.
Remember That You Can Get Pregnant Anytime of the Month
Back in the day (and even today), couples practiced the “rhythm method” to avoid pregnancy. That is, they’d have sex on the woman’s least fertile days of the month, and avoid sex on her most fertile days. The problem is that this method doesn’t work. Women can get pregnant at any time of the month.
“Although the 48 hours that surrounds ovulation a statistically likely time for fertilization and pregnancy to occur, it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s the only time,” say the specialists at Fertility Ontario. “The reason that not a lot of people practice the “rhythm method” anymore is that it is one of the least effective forms of birth control available. It also reminds us that there are lots of opportunities for conception throughout the month that may not be classified as fertile days.”
Ovulation predictor kits are meant to predict when you’re ovulating, but they may not be the best way to increase your chances of conceiving a baby.
Have Sex Early and Often
Since timing sex to happen exactly when ovulation occurs can be difficult and stressful, these fertility specialists encourage couples to have sex as early as possible after your menstrual cycle is over, and as often as possible. They say the highest pregnancy rates are associated with daily sex – which is exactly what the gynecologist and obstetrician said in my article How Often Should We Have Sex If We’re Trying to Get Pregnant?
“More frequent intercourse yields a higher chance of pregnancy,” say the specialists at Fertility Ontario. “My suggestion the most couples is to start having sex earlier in the cycle and set a reasonable goal for frequency such as two times per week. I don’t advise any monitoring such as basal body temperatures or LH kits. Preserving intimacy, spontaneity and enjoyment as part of your sexual relationship are far more important than trying to pinpoint the exact moment that ovulation occurs. Not only will you find the process less stressful, you’ll also get pregnant more quickly.”
Keep the Sperm Active
Two sperm ejaculations close together have a higher chance of conceiving a baby than a single sperm ejaculate on its own. Sperm are in constant production and supply, and the more sperm you shoot at the egg, the higher your chances of getting pregnant. Withholding sperm or having less frequent sex can actually decrease sperm quality, which decreases your chances of conceiving a baby.
While these fertility experts don’t mention how nutrition affects fertility, I believe that eating healthy foods can affect your fertility levels. The food I mention in 5 Foods to Increase Sperm Count, Production, and Motility will help you stay healthy and strong – whether you’re a man or a woman.
Know Your Body
How well do you know your own body? If you’re a woman, do you pay attention to the signals your body is sending you?
“Most women are able to correctly identify whether or not they are ovulating,” say these fertility specialists. “Moliminal symptoms, or symptoms which suggest ovulation, are actually far more accurate than most people give them credit for. Symptoms such as breast tenderness, midcycle pain, abdominal bloating and changes in cervical mucus are very reliable. Changes in cervical mucus are every bit as accurate in predicting ovulation as expensive LH kits. If you’re not getting consistent moliminal symptoms, there is a significant chance that you’re not ovulating on a regular basis.”
Your body’s signals aren’t just about ovulation – they’re about your fertility and health as a whole. For instance, do you get pelvic pain or abdominal cramps during your period? Are your periods regular? Is sex painful? Paying attention to your body’s signals can increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Get Healthy – and Lose Weight
North Americans are overweight (obese, even). Being overweight has a direct effect on fertility levels for both men and women. The Fertility Ontario specialists say that more women will conceive a baby through weight loss and metabolic management than through advanced fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
They also urge you to remember that building a family is different for everyone.
For more tips from these fertility specialists, go to Fertility Ontario – where you can also download ebooks and attend webinars on increasing your chances of conceiving a baby.