Is “conceive a baby” your primo New Year’s Resolution this year? If so, the following fertility tips will help you along the way.
Remember that it takes most women an average of about 12-months to get pregnant – and there’s no need to seek outside fertility help if you’re still within that window; if you’re 35-years or older, we recommend giving it six-months before having a conversation with your doctor or a fertility specialist.
Tips to Help You Get Pregnant This Year
In the meantime, here are tips that work in your advantage while trying to conceive (TTC).
Seek fertility help sooner, rather than later, if you think you need it
There’s a fine line between jumping the gun on seeing a fertility specialist and spending unnecessary money if you just needed a little more time, and waiting too long so latent infertility issues go unaddressed.
Read, Is it Time to Visit a Fertility Specialist?, to learn more about whether it makes sense for you to schedule a consult or wait a bit longer.
Make sure you understand ovulation and the ideal time to have intercourse
Years back, we placed too much emphasis on intercourse “during” or “right after” ovulation. The more we’ve learned about the egg (which only lives for about 12 – 24-hours after being released) and sperm (which can live for as long as 3, 5 or even more days after making their way into the cervix), we OB/GYNs and fertility specialists have changed our tunes.
Unless you have a diagnosed infertility issue, we recommend that women use a fertility/ovulation app to establish their average cycle, and then time repeat intercourse every day or every other day leading up to ovulation to optimize the number of sperm available when the egg makes her appearance.
Start using a fertility app
Sure, you can use basal thermometers to predict ovulation, but there is a lot of room for error. These days, we recommend installing a free or low-cost fertility tracker. In just a few cycles, you’ll have a very clear idea of which cycle day you typically ovulate (most women ovulate between days 11 and 21).
Visit parents.com’s list of 10 Best Period and Ovulation Trackers, to learn more about them and see which one you like best. The combination of knowing when you’re going to ovulate – rather than when you already have ovulated – combined with an at-home ovulation prediction kit (OPK) – increases your odds of conceiving naturally.
Don’t let your man off the hook
For some reason, our society still acts like women are solely responsible fertility. In fact, infertility diagnoses are split down the middle – with male infertility being just as common as female infertility. Other than ovulation tracking – all of the health and lifestyle tips that apply to women also apply to men when it comes to improving your chances of conception.
Overhaul your diet
Diet plays a powerful role in fertility because your diet is linked to all kinds of things that negatively impact fertility, such as herbicides/pesticides, being overweight and weight management, inflammation and reduced immune function, etc.
We recommend sticking to a Mediterranean and/or anti-inflammatory diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, lean meats and minimal- to no-processed foods. Focusing on hormone-, pesticide-, herbicide- and antibiotic-free foods is also in your fertility favor. Diet analysis is now considered a mainstream fertility recommendation – particularly for women/men who are overweight, or women with PCOS or endometriosis – where reducing inflammation supports symptoms reduction and overall health.
Along those same lines – make sure you stop smoking, drinking alcohol and taking recreational drugs, and limit caffeine intake to err on the safest side.
Don’t assume you’re fertile because you’ve been pregnant before
Yes, it’s true that a prior pregnancy indicates a lack of infertility factors – but it’s no absolute. In fact, struggling infertility after you’ve had a child is more common than most people think. Read, Why Secondary Infertility Can Be Just as Difficult as Primary Infertility, to learn more.
Does your gut tell you an infertility factor is at work for you and/or your partner? Schedule a consultation with us here at the Fertility Center of Dallas and we’ll do all we can to help you get pregnant this year.