Misconceptions about getting pregnant
Growing up, pop culture and concerned parents might have made you think that getting pregnant was easy. Health counselors might have told you that if you looked at a boy the wrong way, you could get pregnant! Many of us have spent so long trying not to get pregnant that when we eventually do want to start trying, we’re often surprised that it isn’t as easy as we thought. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t always act the way you’d like it to. Here are some tips for starting to trying to conceive (TTC).
Track Your Cycle + Ovulation
You can’t just get pregnant at any time. You can only get pregnant during ovulation (when a viable egg is released from your ovaries.) An irregular cycle can throw off your ovulation or result in anovulation (no ovulation during your cycle). (We recommend using Total Cycle Gummies to promote a regular cycle.) When trying to conceive, it’s important to track both your cycle and your ovulation to know when you have the best chances of conceiving. According to the American Pregnancy Association, that’s in the first three days following ovulation. Your cervical mucus can also be a good indicator of ovulation, as it increases and grows more slippery, thinner, and clearer during this time, supporting sperm’s movement. Your basil body temperature (or resting body temperature when you first wake up) is also a good predictor of ovulation. You can take your temperature each morning using a basil thermometer and track it in an app like Natural Cycles.
This one goes without saying, but you and your partner should try to have sex when you’re most fertile, which includes the five days before ovulation and the three days after. Try to have sex every other day to increase your chances of conceiving. Use a sperm-supporting vaginal lubricant to help your partner’s sperm get to where they need to go.
Being overweight or underweight can affect your and your partner’s ability to conceive. Excess weight can affect both of your hormones and reduce the viability of sperm and your ability to ovulate. Even before you’re pregnant, it’s recommended that you take a prenatal, especially one with Folate, to support conception and reduce the risk of birth defects. In addition, make sure to eat a variety of whole foods, which will support a healthy weight and give you the vital nutrients you need to prepare your body for pregnancy. However, while exercise is also important, don’t go crazy with your workouts, which can tax your system and interfere with ovulation. Also, stop smoking and avoid alcohol consumption while TTC.
Sources: LiveScience.com, WebMD