So, you want to get pregnant. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Until you actually start trying, and it turns out there’s more to it than a Mommy and Daddy loving each other very much.
When’s the best age to start trying to conceive?
As a rule, most women can get pregnant up until their early 40s. However, your most fertile years are in your 20s. If you’re in good health, then having unprotected sex during this time gives you about 20 to 30% chance of getting pregnant in any given cycle. Your fertility begins to decline in your 30s, hitting a big drop off after age 35. It becomes harder to conceive naturally, and you may need additional fertility treatment. However, it’s still possible to have a healthy pregnancy after this point.
Tips for getting pregnant start with fertility tracking
There’s not a whole lot you can do to change how old you are – but you can boost your chances of conceiving! You can only get pregnant in a window of about 6 days per cycle, ending with the day when you ovulate. By tracking your fertility around ovulation day and having sex at the right time, you can shorten the amount of time you spend trying to get pregnant.
How to track ovulation
- Measuring Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
A graph of your Basal Body Temperature is a good indicator of your changing hormone balance over the menstrual cycle. After you ovulate, the pattern switches from a period of lower temperatures to a period of higher ones. If you get a few cycles’ worth of daily data to work with, this should allow you to predict when you’re about to ovulate.
- Ovulation test kits
Like a pregnancy test, these kits measure the hormones in your urine to predict when you’re about to ovulate. Most will tell you one day before your ovulation.
- Get to know your cervical fluids
Towards ovulation, the mucus in your vagina should change in consistency, becoming slippery and stretchy as your levels of estrogen rise. By tracking the changes over your menstrual cycle, you’ll be able to tell when you’re fertile.
- See a clinic for an ultrasound
Your local fertility clinic may offer ovarian ultrasound exams to predict when you’re ovulating.
Once you’ve got a handle of when your ovulation day occurs, you’ll be able to know when your most fertile window is: that is, ovulation day and the days leading up to it. However, Don’t stress too much if you can’t work out ovulation exactly to the day: in fact, some fertility specialists say that your odds are best on the days just before ovulation rather than the day itself.
Getting pregnant tips: Get into fertility-friendly habits
Now that you know how to track your fertile days, it’s time to start thinking of some specific steps you can take to get ready for pregnancy. Get into these fertility-friendly habits, and pretty soon they’ll be second nature!
Get your diet in order
Don’t believe the hype about fertility super-foods: unfortunately, there are no magic foods that will make you more fertile. Instead, focus on getting a healthy balance in your diet.
Emotional stress throws your hormone levels out of whack, which can make it harder to get pregnant. Take a stand against stress in your daily life by practicing good self-care: something as simple as a warm bath, a few episodes of your favorite TV show or a stroll with your honey could be enough to lift your spirits and relieve some stress.
Cut out alcohol and tobacco
You’re not allowed alcohol or tobacco during your pregnancy – they’re both very dangerous for your baby. But quitting before you get pregnant is also a good idea. Drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco are both known to reduce women’s chances of getting pregnant, so you’ll be doing yourself a big favor by quitting while you try to conceive.
If you’re already in the habit of regular exercise – great! Keep it up. If not? Now’s a great chance to start! Regular moderate exercise is a great way to boost your mental and physical health, and it’s associated with better outcomes in natural fertility and assisted reproduction. The one exception is extremely intense exercise.
Share tips for getting pregnant with your partner!
Up until now, we’ve been focusing on what moms can do for trying to conceive. However, your partner’s health plays a big role in this process, too. For instance, stress, poor nutrition, alcohol and tobacco can all reduce sperm quality, making it harder to get pregnant. When you and your partner decide to start trying to conceive, see what you can do together to improve your general health together. Getting pregnant is a two-person job, after all!