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Tips to increase your chances of getting pregnant

These tips could make a big difference if you're trying to make a baby.

You’re not officically pregnant in the first two weeks of pregnancy. You see, since doctors can’t pinpoint the exact moment the egg was fertilized, they start counting from your last period. Which means during those two weeks everything can happen. If you want to increase your chances of getting pregnant, read on.

+ Pregnancy – When does it start, after all?

1) The best time to give it a try

According to some studies the best day to have sex – when wanting to get pregnant, of course – is two days before ovulation. This conclusion takes a couple of facts into consideration: on average, sperm survive for 72 hours inside the female reproductive organ, but it´s more active during the first 48 hours; the egg, on the other hand, only lasts from 12 to 24 hours before getting discarded. So, if the swimmers are ready and very active just waiting for the egg to leave the tubes there is a greater chance of making it happen. The first thing to make this a possibility is to be certain or at least have a very good idea of the ovulation day (there are fertility symptoms and tests that can help).

+ What are the symptoms of ovulation?

2) How often to have sex

Having sex every other day or keeping a two days interval between sexual relations has proven to be the best way to get pregnant because it allows sperm to replenish (the male body needs three days to regenerate its seminal fluid).
Daily sex reduces sperm count. Although studies show it can improve their individual quality (unlike eggs that are born with women, sperm is produced as needed). Doctors take it all into consideration, and generally, recommend a balanced one-day hiatus between sex relations – they even suggest that men avoid masturbation when trying to conceive.
Longer abstinence is not ideal either. Semen motility and normal morphology decreased significantly with the duration of abstinence. Make an effort especially during the fertile window – 7 to 10 days every month!

3) Sex position

While there is no scientific proof relating to sex position to successful conception, some studies show sperm can get faster to the egg in two situations: missionary (man on top) and “doggy style”. Most importantly, pregnancy will most likely happen when the couple is relaxed – and pleasure over sex position helps with relaxation. Whenever conception doesn’t take place you’ll both have experienced good fun during the trying period.

4) Pillow under hips: during or after?

Some doctors say it works others state it won’t make a difference. Tucking a pillow under the woman’s hips would put gravity in our favor and stop sperm from getting away from the uterus. About 20 to 30 minutes after intercourse should do the trick.
Even if doesn’t work for conceiving, a little shift in the angle of the vagina (and clitoris) helps with penetration and increases pleasure – which is enough reason to try it with the pillow. And just keeping it there, after sex, while relaxing with your partner wot do you any harm either. – unless you have a history of urinary infection in which case you shouldn’t take too long to go to the bathroom for a pee.

5) Fertility diet and unhealthy habits

A healthy well functioning body is better prepared for conception, and this affirmation is true for women and men. Studies show alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking affect the number and quality of sperm – it also impacts overall female health, not to mention how dangerous it is for the baby.

Hot baths and jacuzzi (really anything the rises temperature around the testicles), as well as bike riding, can hinder male fertility.
Concerning food, avoid coffee (no more than two cups a day) and increase your intake of eggs, chickpeas, and other food rich in folic acid (vitamin B9) like beans, lentil and broccoli; and food rich in zinc like beef, pumpkin seeds, and almonds.

+ Adopt healthy habits (or abandon the bad ones) as soon as possible! 

6) Pre-pregnancy check-up

Many experts now recommend that the couple start seeing an obstetrician before they even try to get pregnant. Ruling out any health issues that might stand in your way of getting pregnant.
If your thyroid is not working properly or you have a low level of iron in your blood, for example, your chances of getting pregnant may not be as high as you would like. Your doctor can answer all your questions about conceiving and start you on a folic acid supplement, important to avoid fetus malformation. Ideally, it should be taken as early as three months before getting pregnant.

7) Stress-free

We all know waiting to get that positive sign on the pregnancy test can be stressful. But, you must find a way to relax – including from your daily routine. Our body produces cortisol when we are stressed and cortisol hinders ovulation and embryo attachment in the uterus. In the future, you want to look back at this time in your life and have nice happy memories instead of flashbacks to moments of tension and stress. So… meditate, exercise, go out, have fun!

Read next:

+ The fertile period: the most crucial moment in this journey

+ What happens when more than one egg is released?

+ Conception: the dream of having a child begins to turn into a reality