Once your family planning reaches the stage where you and your partner are ready to start trying to get pregnant, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll feel impatient. This is the hard part. Not every woman falls pregnant right off the bat, but several proactive measures may help you conceive faster. The number one thing to remember is that everyone is different, and every body is diverse.
Before anything else, bring your doctor into the loop and discuss all the possible options that are available to you. As you begin your journey, you should also continue the following tips—and feel free to talk to your friends about their conceptions. Just remember to take anecdotal advice with a grain of salt. Just because your cousin Courtney swears that you’ll get pregnant as long as you eat a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and drink a Mountain Dew three hours before insemination, that doesn’t make it true!
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1. Make a Plan to Go Off Birth Control
Although this seems like an obvious point, and although it only applies to those of you who utilize a form of birth control, some women don’t realize how soon they need to stop taking the pill or shot or have their IUD removed. Immediately after you cease birth control, your fertility remains reduced for a period of time. Allow it to leave your system in advance of your efforts to conceive. This also gives your cycle the chance to resume and balance out, although you should realize that your menstruation will likely follow the same patterns as before, i.e., if you were irregular before going on birth control, you’ll probably have irregular cycles after, as well.
2. Get Involved in Preconception Planning
Going off birth control is something you can discuss during your preconception planning sessions. Just as the name implies, this process involves talking to your doctor before you genuinely start trying for a baby. Your doctor will go over your medical history, administer tests, and talk about any issues you might have regarding your health or pre-existing medical conditions. At this time, you also have the opportunity to discuss any of the medications you’re having, and you can speak openly about concerns or fears that you have.
3. Familiarize Yourself with Your Cycle
Getting to know your menstrual cycle is paramount. You need to start tracking your cycle in advance of your efforts to get pregnant because the window is such a small one. After ovulation, your eggs only survive for 12-24 hours, but sperm holds strong for up to 72 hours following intercourse or insemination. Trying to fit into that narrow gap is difficult, to say the least. That’s why it’s vital to figure out the day you ovulate. Although the standard belief is that you have a few days of fertility, the truth is that one day of ovulation makes all the difference. Every woman has her own schedule, however. You can’t merely assume that you follow a 28-day cycle.
4. Take Your Temperature
Your basal body temperature can also reveal when you ovulate. It never hurts to use two methods to follow the course of your cycle. You might have heard that your body temperature changes during ovulation, and it’s true, but your standard thermometer won’t pick up on the changes. A Basal Body Thermometer is necessary, as it shows reads to the tenth of a degree.
To follow this plan, you have to take your temperature each morning as soon as you wake up, even before you stop to pee. On the day of your ovulation, your temperature undergoes a subtle decrease. Over the following day, it goes back up, and it will be elevated beyond your average body temperature until you start your period. You’re waiting for that drop. That’s the day you’re at your most fertile.
5. Try to Keep It Zen
All right, yes, this is easier said than done, but avoiding stress is essential when you want to get pregnant fast. Regardless of how you intend to conceive, being stressed out and full of tension won’t help. The stress hormones produced by your body as a result can actively work against your aims, in fact. Remind yourself that there are some things you can’t control. Focus only on what’s within your power. Giving it up like that is difficult, but only at first. Afterward, it’s somewhat freeing.
Schedule time for self-care, as well. An hour spent knitting, spending time in your garden, or taking a long walk can help you to find your center. As long as you don’t spend hours and days focused on your fertility, you’re in good shape. The secret is to get out of your head. Enlist your friends and loved ones to help occupy your mind and your time.
6. Pick Up an Ovulation Predictor Kit
Ovulation predictor kits are helpful in monitoring your ovulation cycle, as well. It does the work for you in case you aren’t interested in constant temperature readings or keeping an eye on your cervical mucus. Ovulation predictor kits let you know that your ovulate date is close. You basically only have to pee on a stick, but the kits work better when you test your second urine of the day. If there’s any luteinizing hormone present in your pee, then you know you’re just a day or a day and a half away from ovulating.
You can save big by buying Ovulation Test Strips in bulk on Amazon, like these:
7. Up Your Daily Exercise Routine
Pregnancy is tough on your body. You’re creating a little life in there. Getting your fitness in order might not have an immediate effect on your ovaries, but a healthy body is essential. You shouldn’t overdo it, but making sure that you’re active every day will boost your heart rate, improve your metabolism, and work your muscles, in addition to giving you a leg up on your journey to get pregnant quickly. Pelvic floor exercises aren’t a bad idea, either.
8. Take Prenatal Vitamins Early
Prenatal vitamins are vital during your pregnancy, but you can start taking them beforehand, too. The folic acid is necessary for fetal development, so your baby will need it once you conceive. Taking prenatal vitamins before you conceive will promote regular ovulation, and they improve your chances of fertilization. In fact, they can even help with embryo survival in the earliest stages. Feel free to add healthy foods to your diet, as well. Beans, strawberries, orange juice, and spinach have high levels of folate.
9. Stub Out the Cigarettes
You have to stop smoking once you conceive anyway. It’s more beneficial all around to quit while you’re trying to get pregnant. Smoking leads to a higher risk of miscarriage. Smokers are also more likely to deal with ectopic pregnancies. Smoking lowers your estrogen levels, too, which can mess with your ovulation. If your partner is a man and he smokes, then you should also encourage him to quit, as the habit can decrease the quality of a man’s sperm, as well as the quantity.
10. Ditch the Processed Foods
Your pre-pregnancy diet is critical. Sweets are your enemy, and processed foods don’t do you any favors. Consuming a healthy diet full of whole grains, vegetables, and fresh fruits will help your body to produce more progesterone, which aids in the maintenance of pregnancy. A nutritious diet based on whole foods will also boost your ovulation and increase your chances of implantation.
11. Rethink Your Lube Situation
Lubricants make sex more pleasurable, even more comfortable, but they can also kill sperm way before they get to your egg. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use lube, though. Shop around for brands that promise to be friendly to sperm.
A popular brand called Pre-Seed Personal Lubricant is sperm-friendly and can actually help the little swimmers get where they need to go:
You can also use natural alternative such as canola oil.
12. Be Smart about Sex
Unfortunately, trying to conceive can quickly take the fun out of having sex. Try to time your intercourse well, and don’t force yourselves to have sex every day. That might seem counter-intuitive for those of you trying to get pregnant fast, but daily sex is too much pressure, it’s exhausting, and it turns the act into a job. Sex for procreation should be just as fun as sex for pleasure. Besides, having breaks is good for the man, too. Frequent sex can affect the sperm count in some men.
The timing of your sex is more critical than the frequency. Since sperm can hang on for about 72 hours, plan to have sex in the days leading up to ovulation. Feel free to get busy on the day of, as well, but it’s just good sense to have sperm already there and ready to reach your egg on the day of ovulation.
13. Play Around with Positions
It’s time to get experimental. It won’t necessarily help the sperm reach the egg any faster if you lie on your back with your legs in the air, but you and your partner can aim for positions that encourage a deeper level of penetration. The sperm’s going to get to your cervix no matter what, but there’s no reason you can’t shorten the journey. Consider positioning yourself on your hands and knees or think about a side-by-side position.
Now that you have a plan for how to get pregnant fast, just try to enjoy the journey!
Maintaining an open, relaxed frame of mind is the most important thing you can do. Stress is your archenemy. Don’t compare yourself to other women; don’t compare their journeys to yours. Talk frankly and honestly with your doctor. Eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible, particularly those with folate. Have you heard any other tips for how to get pregnant fast? Share the most helpful advice you’ve received, and the silliest suggestions. You’re not alone in this—don’t forget that.
Want to learn more?
It’s never too early to arm yourself with knowledge about pregnancy and delivery. Hillary from Pulling Curls is an experienced labor and delivery nurse who created this amazing online prenatal course for couples. She makes learning about birth entertaining and fun! Click here to learn more.
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