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How to maximise your chances of conceiving

Published by cheree
Published on 9 July 2008

Decided to try for a baby? Here are a few tips to help you get pregnant and get your pregnancy off to a good start.

How to maximise your chances of conceiving

Stop the Pill or contraception
Stopping the Pill does not mean you ovulate normally straight away, so don’t panic if you don’t get pregnant in the first three months.

Know your ovulation date
This is the time when your chances of getting pregnant are highest. It is generally around the 14th day after the start of your period. You can pinpoint it by measuring your temperature throughout your cycle.

Body temperature is higher just after ovulation. Note these details which will help you know your cycle and fertile periods better.

Ovulation tests can also help, and are available in chemists. The advantages of these tests is that they tell you your ovulation day 1 or 2 days in advance so you can prepare for it. They are based on the concentration of hormones present in urine and are 96% reliable.

Have sex every 3 days
The life expectancy of sperm is around 72 hours once released into the genital cavity.

Most positions are fine!
Some suggest the missionary position however, no position has been proven to help the sperm reach the cervix quicker!

Women on top isn't the best for conception as gravity isn't helping the sperm reach its destination.

Pop a pillow under your bum
Doctors advise that you should pop a low pillow under your bottom after sex to raise your hips and give nature a helping hand my pointing the sperm in the right direction. The idea is that gravity sends the sperm down into your cervix and onwards towards the egg.

Stay like this from 20-30 minutes, after that you can go about your day as normal. You've given yourself the best chance.

You can also lie flat just don't go jumping about straight away.

Watch your diet
Eating healthily helps fertility. Low-calorie diets certainly help you lose weight but can have a hormonal impact on fertility, so stop any diet restrictions a few months before you want to get pregnant.

Too much sugar increases the production of adrenaline, the hormone that counter-acts progesterone, which prepares the uterus for pregnancy.

Coffee, alcohol and tobacco also have negative effects on fertilisation.

The right season?!
Fertility changes according to season! More sperm is produced at the beginning of spring and end of autumn. Sperm is more mobile at the end of summer and beginning of autumn. So it would seem that autumn and the beginning of winter are the best times for conception for men.

Watch your medication
Certain antalgics, such as non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications, affect the prostaglandin hormones that contract the uterus. See your GP, but it's best not to take them during ovulation.

Relax!
Stress, anxiety and fear of 'failure' are equally valid reasons for conception problems! Let go and let nature take its course. If you've just come off the Pill, listen to your body and let your body find its natural rhythm again. Ask yourself if there could be an unconscious psychological block in the way, and if so get help.

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