Tips on Getting Pregnant

Pregnant couple

Trying to get pregnant? While, for some, getting pregnant seems to be the easiest, most natural thing in the world, for others it presents more of a challenge.

And, if you are having trouble conceiving for some reason, it will most certainly feel like everyone else is falling pregnant all over the place, even by accident.

What can you do to increase your chances of conception? Also, how can you provide the most beneficial environment for a healthy conception?

A quick search on the internet, or a browse through one of many quality information products available, will alert you to many tips and treasures on things you can do to increase your chances of conceiving a child. I will discuss several of them here.

Firstly, let me state the obvious. If you wish to get pregnant, you need to free yourself of contraceptive measures. Come off the contraceptive pill, put away the spermicide, have any IUDs or contraceptive implants removed, and cease any contraceptive injections. Then, be patient as the contraceptive measures you have utilised up till this point leave your system. Some women may even require a couple of years for their bodies to normalise after being on, for example, injected or orally administered contraception.

The next step is to focus on getting yourself to the healthiest condition possible. This will not only assist conception, but it will also give you the best natural chance of carrying a healthy baby until full term.

How can this be achieved? Firstly, if you have any questions regarding this, any confusion, or any medical conditions, I suggest you see your Naturopathic Doctor or General Medical Practitioner and discuss your pregnancy plans. Your Practitioner of choice will be able to better advise you on any required tests or alterations to your medical treatment. You may also need to alter medications. This appointment should be undertaken prior to attempted conception.

Other ways to maintain your health and boost your conception chances include taking vitamins specifically tailored for the needs of conception and pregnancy. These will help to ensure that your body has the required supplements to support conception and pregnancy, particularly if your diet is lacking in some way.

Your diet is of particular importance during this time. If you are not motivated to ensure a healthy diet full of fresh fruit, vegetables and grains normally, use your desire for a healthy conception, pregnancy and birthing as the motivation you require.

It is also of upmost importance to eliminate and manage stress when you are trying to conceive. The link between higher stress levels and difficulty conceiving is recognised by many health care professionals, even if they are not sure exactly why.

Once you have prepared your body for possible conception, you need to ensure that you are actually doing what is required to get pregnant, and at the right time. Conception involves having sexual intercourse with the man ejaculating inside the woman. For the sperm to be available to fertilise a woman’s egg, the intercourse must also take place before, or during, ovulation. A woman generally ovulates approximately 14 days before her next cycle is due. Spermatozoa can survive inside the woman for 3-7 days, making conception possible during this time.

The difficulty is, then, predicting exactly when the woman is likely to ovulate.

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The easiest ways to predict impending ovulation is the utilise one of the ovulation prediction kits available in supermarkets and pharmacies. They include tests that detect the rise of luteinising hormone in the urine, or an increase of oestrogen in the saliva. These tests signal that ovulation is imminent, and intercourse in the time immediately prior to ovulation will yield the best possibility for conception.

I found these ovulation sticks particularly easy to use.  My challenges were in taking the next step, however, due to being on call for the ambulance and having call outs for emergencies at any time of the day or night.  As soon as my ovulation stick showed a rise in LH (Luteinising Hormone), indicating that ovulation was imminent and that my husband and I should seal the deal, so to speak, the ambulance jobs would come in thick and fast.

Another method of tracking ovulation is by charting the woman’s basal temperature. This requires the woman taking her temperature every morning, preferably before rising. It is important that it is done at the same time every day and by the same method (e.g. orally, rectally, vaginally). This temperature is then charted. A rise on the temperature chart signals ovulation. If the woman’s temperature stays elevated for more than 18 days, it is likely that she is pregnant.

I was too inconsistent in taking my temperature for this method to be truly useful, especially when I often had to jump out of bed when the work mobile went off, to attend a patient somewhere.  If you are methodical in your efforts, however, this is a very useful tool to predict ovulation.

I also had a little tester for my saliva which is also supposed to detect changes in estrogen levels to predict ovulation.  Unfortunately I had no success whatsoever in detecting changes in my spit using the little magnifying glass.  I would love to hear from anyone who has had more success with this method.

Suggested sexual positions for improved chances of conception include man on top and man from behind positions, using gravity to assist with conception. Woman on top positions are less effective. Some women also swear by the benefits of raising their hips after ejaculation, keeping the potent fluid inside the woman for as long as possible. The easiest way for her to do this is to lay on the bed with pillows under her bottom for some time after lovemaking.

If you’d prefer not to make the baby-making experience so regimented, another suggestion is just to enjoy lovemaking with your partner frequently for the two weeks post menstruation. Forget that you are trying to conceive, and utilise this time to increase your bond together. After all, it is hoped that you will soon be sharing the job of parent together!

It is generally suggested that couples trying to conceive try for from six to twelve months before seeking assistance. This recommended window of time, however, is generally smaller for women over 30, and particularly for women over 35 years of age.

My final bit of advice for this post is to not let the end goal ecclipse the process.  Make sure you enjoy this time with your partner or husband.  In the grand scheme of things, the time spent trying to conceive is, for most people, insignificant compared to the time you will spend being a parent.

Soon, if this is your first child, you relationship with your spouse is going to be very different, and certainly less carefree.  Unless you have a baby who is particularly helpful by sleeping long stints at  a time, and I wonder if babies like this really exist (!), you will find that you will have to plan, and sometimes even time, your sexual encounters with your spouse.  And, as your child ages, and naps/sleeps less, the more challenging this may become.

And, if you add more children to this equation, it becomes even more of a juggling act!

While very few people would trade their little blessings for an unhurried love-life, take this time to enjoy the freedom that you and your spouse currently have.  When you get the good news that you are, indeed, pregnant, the case may be very different!  (Although still wonderful!)


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