Are you and your partner thinking about starting a family, but you have no idea where to start? You are not alone and you want to make sure that you are well aware of how you can increase your chances of conceiving, and at the same time be well aware of any possible issues that you could run into. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
However, if you do what you can to increase your chances of conceiving, and you have been trying for over a year and nothing has happened, then you and your partner will need to be checked out by a doctor.
Anyone who has been trying to get pregnant for a year without success is facing infertility.
But don’t jump the gun and assume there is anything wrong with you or your man before you have even started trying to conceive. The first thing to do when you are embarking on this journey is to visit your doctor to make sure that you are in good health, including your weight being at an acceptable level (not too low and not too high).
It is a good idea to find out what foods to eat and what foods to avoid when you are trying to boost your fertility (or do a search for a solid fertility diet).
At the same time, while you are doing that, you must take note of your cycles, and find out how regular your cycles are. If your cycles are regular and you get your period every 28-32 days, then you are likely ovulating on a regular basis. However, if you are irregular and skipping a month here and there, then you may be dealing with some issues. But don’t fret. There are ways to regulate your cycles on your own before running to a doctor.
Regardless of whether you have regular cycles or not, you will want to start charting them to see when you are most likely ovulating. Let’s talk about that for now.
Taking your BBT. It is actually a good idea to chart your cycles 3 months before you are actively trying to conceive. This way you will know when or if you are ovulating on a regular basis.
1. The first thing to do is to buy a body basal thermometer, and you can go to Walgreens or any pharmacy to do that. This measures your body basal temperature (BBT) which is the most accurate after you wake up first thing in the morning before even moving.
2. That means when you take your temperature, you must place the thermometer right on your nightstand next to your bed within reach so you don’t move much at all to get an accurate reading. You will want to buy some graph paper as well to mark down the temperatures you are getting.
3. A slight increase in temperature, less than half of a degree in Fahrenheit, indicates that you have ovulated and it is important to mark that down.
4. When your temperature drops, it means you will get your period.
5. If you do this for several months, you will see when in your cycle you are ovulating, so you have a better idea of when to start trying.
6. This you will want to do right before you ovulate so the egg that is released is fresh and ready to be fertilized with sperm in your reproductive tract waiting.
That is one way, and let’s talk about another even more powerful way to chart your cycles.
Cervical mucus examination. While you are taking your temperature for detecting when you are most fertile, you will also want to be constantly checking the texture of your cervical mucus on a daily basis, starting on the day that you are done with your period.
1. Less mucus that is dry means you are not fertile, which you would expect right after you are done with your period.
2. However, as your cycle progresses, your mucus will begin to be more sticky and have a cloudy appearance.
3. Between 1 and 2 days before ovulation, you will end up having a lot of mucus that has an appearance of raw egg-whites. That is when you are ready to ovulate, which means that is the time to start having intercourse in order to increase your odds of conceiving.
There is one more way to detect how close you are to ovulating as well, and you may want to use this method while you are actively trying.
Ovulation prediction kits. If you have a good idea of when you are ovulating based on you taking your BBT and checking your cervical mucus, you can purchase ovulation kits which will measure your luteinizing hormone level in your urine.
That means if there is a surge, then you are ready to ovulate in 1-2 days. That is confirmation that ovulation is on the way as well due to having an abundant amount of cervical mucus. That is the time to start trying.
If you have been charting your cycles for 3 months but you only found yourself to be ovulating once, or none at all, and your cycles are quite irregular, then that means you are not ovulating regularly or at all.
This will obviously hurt your chances of conceiving. Before running to the doctor, there are steps you can take in order to increase your chances of ovulating on your own. This involves diet and making some lifestyle changes.
If you are overweight or underweight, you are already aware that you need to make changes to your weight before trying to conceive because any extreme in weight can impede ovulation. However, even while you are working on doing that, you need to eat certain foods to increase your chances of ovulating, and ditch or limit certain foods as well.
• Eat more fruits and vegetables – Fruits and vegetables have the nutrients and minerals you need in order to help your hormone levels become regulated, and the kind of carbohydrates your body needs are in fruits and vegetables as well.
• Eat more protein but limit red meat – Be sure to eat more protein from vegetables, eggs, nuts, poultry, and fish, but limit red meat due to the fact that it can increase cholesterol levels which can hurt your chances of conceiving too.
• Increase unsaturated fat intake and limit trans fats – In fact, it would be best to ditch trans fats all together but a little here and there will not hurt you. That is found in junk food like fast food, pastries, cookies, cakes, potato chips and so on. Trans fats will hurt your chances of ovulating, but unsaturated fats including Omega 3’s are excellent for you and keeping your hormones in balance. Whether you are trying to gain, lose or maintain weight, you need these fats. And you will get these from eggs, avocado, nuts, seeds, fish, especially salmon. However, stay away from tuna and shark meat due to high mercury levels which could be harmful to the developing fetus.
• Increase your intake of full-fat dairy foods – This is crucial to do because full-fat dairy foods like whole-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt will help your chances of ovulation and be sure to ditch skim milk and low-fat dairy products because that can actually hurt your hormonal levels which is not what you want.
• Limit caffeine and refined carbohydrates – You can safely stick to having one cup of coffee a day without it having an effect on your fertility, but too much caffeine is not going to help you ovulate and is not good for the developing fetus. Refined carbohydrates from white bread, white pasta, white rice, potatoes, and candy will cause your insulin levels to spike for a long time in order to take care of blood sugar levels which will also impede ovulation. You can enjoy some once a week and no more than that.
• Enjoy complex carbohydrate foods – Swap the white stuff for whole grains, yams, brown rice, vegetables and fruits because you need energy from these sources that will not cause your blood sugar levels and insulin levels to spike at all. In fact, yams are an excellent fertility food as well because it can help balance hormonal levels (and may even increase your chances of conceiving twins naturally!)
• Avoid alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes – A little booze here and there will not affect your hormonal levels. But if you are trying to get pregnant, you don’t want to take chances on consuming alcohol while you are pregnant without even knowing since it is bad for the development of the fetus.
• Take folic acid and a prenatal vitamin 3 months before trying – Taking a prenatal vitamin is important in order to make sure you are getting all of the nutrients you need in order to conceive, and folic acid is important for your developing fetus so there are fewer chances of the development of neural tube defects.
At the same time, your man needs to boost his fertility as well by taking zinc and vitamin C supplements, as well as eating foods rich in those such as citrus fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
The same applies to him ditching smoking and drinking. He also needs to wear boxers instead of briefs to not let heat around the scrotum build. Too much heat can reduce sperm count and quality. The same applies to him taking overly hot showers or partaking in hot tubs, saunas, or steam rooms.
If both of you are improving your diet and lifestyle, there are other things that must be done in order to boost your fertility.
Stress is not avoidable, however, there are ways to manage it and while attempting to conceive, too much stress can be harmful. That is why it is important to take up yoga or meditation, and unwinding by doing things that you enjoy. It is important to do that to help you and your man’s fertility.
Don’t exercise too much, but do exercise some. Living a sedentary lifestyle will hurt your chances of conceiving too. Be sure to take a half hour brisk walk for 5 days a week which will keep your body active enough to stay healthy.
If you have been taking these steps, each and every one of them and you still are not ovulating on a regular basis, or you have been trying to conceive for over a year, then there is an underlying issue that is impacting your fertility. This is when you need to see your doctor.
1. Fertility Check-up – The first thing that will be done is your hormone levels will be checked through blood work, as well as the condition and shape of your uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
2. Clomid – If everything checks out, then you will likely be prescribed Clomid which is a drug that will help regulate cycles and with proper ovulation.
Clomid is the go-to cure-all prescribed by most fertility specialists.
3. Sperm count check-up – Your man’s sperm count will also be checked and if his sperm count is normal, then your cycles will be regulated through Clomid. If his sperm count is low, whether you are ovulating regularly or not, then you will also need Clomid because the first step to take in order to achieve a pregnancy with a low sperm count is doing the intrauterine insemination procedure.
4. Intrauterine insemination – If your husband has a low sperm count, you will have to go on Clomid regardless of whether you ovulate on a regular basis or not in order to time the insemination properly. if you have tried 6 rounds of intrauterine insemination and there has not been a successful pregnancy achieved, then you will have to move on to in vitro fertilization.
5. In-vitro fertilization – While expensive and emotionally and physically draining, in-vitro is the one step that many infertile couples have to take in order for them to achieve their dreams. Women have to take very potent fertility drugs in order to grow many eggs at once, and once they are retrieved, the man will give a sperm sample which will be washed, and then conception will be attempted in a petri dish by placing the eggs and sperm together. An embryo or two created will be transferred back to the uterus, and the woman will have to go on progesterone supplements and wait 2 weeks to see if a pregnancy has been achieved.
6. Surrogacy, donor eggs/sperm, adoption – Many times in vitro fertilization makes infertile couples dreams come true, but sometimes it doesn’t. And that is when other options like surrogacy, donor eggs and sperm, and adoption will have to be looked into. Some infertile couples make the heartbreaking decision to not go through any of that after numerous in-vitro attempts have failed, and remain childless.
However, the odds are in your favor that you will conceive on your own, and if you need assistance, you will likely be helped the way you need and have a family of your own!
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