Infertility is something we try to shy away from; most of us take it for granted. Not all sexual intercourse turn to pregnancy.
To optimize fertility, you need to start preparing your body at least 3 months before trying to conceive. Here are 10 tips to help you during this period:
- Lose Weight (if you are over ideal BMI): Fat cells contain Estrogen, and too much Estrogen hurts fertility. If you are above Body Mass Index (BMI), you should watch your weight.
- Gain Weight (if you are under ideal BMI): Being underweight can change or stop the menstrual cycle.
- Stop Birth Control: To be on the safe side, stop birth control at least 2 Months before trying to conceive if you are using pills, and 9 months if you are on Depo-Provera (injectable birth control method). Once you go off birth-control pills, your cycle should return to its pre-pill pattern in about a month.
- Take a prenatal vitamin: It increases your chance of conceiving and cuts risk of premature birth.
- Know Your Cycle: A normal menstrual cycle lasts about 21 to 35 days (start counting on the first day of your period). A woman’s fertile days are usually the day of ovulation and the four of five days before, not after. But don’t assume that you automatically ovulate on day 14 of your cycle. Check your fertile days here
- Have Sex Regularly: If you have been too busy to have sex as often as you should, it’s a good idea to start having sex more often. Some research suggest that women who engage in regular (at least weekly) intercourse are more likely to have normal ovulation than women who have sporadic sex. More sex when you are fertile increases your chances of conception
- Make love in Missionary Position: Prop your hips up and you’ll put gravity on your side.
- Think about your Partner’s Health: The same things that harm your fertility can do a number on your husband’s reproductive health too. Cigarettes and alcohol can contribute to lower sperm production. Getting enough nutrients every day, especially vitamins E and C will help him produce healthy sperm. Taking a daily multivitamin is a good step.
- Stay Calm: You might have heard it before, but yes, try to reduce your stress. Stress can increase levels of cortisol [the so-called stress hormone], which can temporarily shut down your reproductive system and can also affect your relationship with your partner, making intimacy more difficult.
- Lastly, remember that getting pregnant takes time — six to 12 months on average for a fully-fertile couple