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For most women, the desire to start a family coincides with a desire to get pregnant naturally, so often we rely on trying to conceive (TTC) tips to help us conceive.
So here’s the scenario. You stop taking birth control (or using condoms, have IUDs removed, etc.) and start taking a prenatal vitamin to increase the chance of a healthy pregnancy and reduce risk of neural tube defects.
But every time your period starts, you feel like you aren’t doing enough (even though your probably are), so you start scouring the internet for helpful tips on how to conceive naturally. And while nothing guarantees you’ll get pregnant, there are lots TTC tips that do often help!
But how do we know what advice really helps and what’s just old wives tale? We’ve taken all those old tricks to getting pregnant and done the modern research. Here are the 7 TTC tips you need to know.
*Note: This is a sponsored article on behalf of Fairhaven Health, meaning I have been compensated for this article. All the content included is my honest opinion, and this is my true story. I only work with brands and recommend products I personally use and love.
Proven Tips for Trying to Get Pregnant
While there are no guarantees in the world of baby making, there are many things you can do that have been proven to help increase your chances of success.
Here are our top 7 trying to conceive tips!
If a woman is aware of her menstrual cycle and upcoming ovulation, she can plan to have sex regularly in the days leading up to its occurrence. This can increase her chances of getting pregnant each month.
Well for one thing, it changed our founder, Katy’s, fertility game.
Fairhaven Health is also on the forefront of fertility-related research, so we love and trust all their products.
By tracking ovulation using the OvaCue monitor, you’ll get 5-7 days advanced notice of ovulation with more than 98% accuracy!
Not ready to splurge on technology?
2. Have sex every (other) day around the time of ovulation
We recommend having sex outside of your ovulation window too! This can help keep it fun, and it’s smart in case you’re wrong about when you ovulate that month.
But having sex regularly during your ovulation window is key.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “The highest pregnancy rates occur in couples who have sex every day or every other day.”
3. Manage Your Stress
For any woman who has struggled to get pregnant, six words can easily become the bane of her existence:
“Just relax, and it will happen.”
Under no circumstances is it ever okay to make a woman feel like her struggles with fertility are linked exclusively to her inability to just “calm down and relax.“
After all, I’ve never known a woman to cure her infertility by settling into a bubble bath.
With that in mind, many doctors do recommend stress management as one helpful suggestion when couples are trying to conceive.
According to researchers, when a woman is in a stressed or anxious state, her body will produce increased levels of an enzyme known as alpha-amylase.
Studies have shown that women with high concentrations of this enzyme in their system can have a 12% higher chance of struggling to get pregnant.
While “just relaxing” is probably not the cure many helpful people seem to think it will be, there are certainly benefits to managing your stress levels better.
Why not set aside some time for self-love every day? There are many options to choose from, including:
- taking a walk,
- spending time with a friend,
- or simply resting.
Whether it helps you conceive or not, caring for your mental state is a crucial part of being the best version of yourself you can be.
4. Get Regular Exercise
Where helpful TTC tips are concerned, developing a regular exercise routine can actually go hand-in-hand with stress management.
Physical activity is an essential component in handling our stress and anxiety.
Stress relief, however, isn’t the only positive effect that exercise can have on fertility. A critical factor in a woman’s ability to get pregnant easily can often be her weight.
Studies have shown that the right amount of body fat can impact fertility. According to research, women who are either overweight or underweight women can have difficulty conceiving due to hormonal imbalances and irregular periods or ovulation cycles.
To ensure you’re at the healthiest weight possible, it’s often suggested that your body mass index (BMI) should fall between the range of 19-24.
These numbers are just an estimate, however. Every woman’s body is different. BMI should be regarded as a suggestion.
The best way to determine a healthy weight for your body is through regular physicals with your primary care physician.
Along with a healthy diet, regular exercise can help with both weight gain or loss, depending on your needs.
If you are underweight, for instance, implementing strength training exercises can help build necessary muscle to help you meet your weight gain goals.
5. Eat Fertility Boosting Foods
While there may not be a magical pill or diet that can guarantee a pregnancy, many foods have proven themselves beneficial to fertility.
Eating better, in general, is an excellent place to start in terms of a “fertility-friendly diet,” but if you’d like more specific options, the following food items frequently pop up on lists of ‘trying to conceive tips.’
- Healthy Fats, e.g., eggs, nuts, and avocados
- Full-Fat Dairy Products, e.g., yogurt, ice cream, cheese, and milk
- Lentils and Black Beans
- Spinach and Kale
Each of these items comes with a variety of different beneficial factors, but many are loaded with fertility-rich nutrients like Omega-3 fats, vitamin A, protein, folate, and choline.
They will work to improve hormonal imbalances and provide better embryo health upon conception.
In addition to these foods, many fertility specialists also encourage hopeful mothers to begin taking prenatal vitamins while they’re trying to conceive. These vitamins provide a well-rounded regimen of nutrients that are ideal during conception and pregnancy.
We recommend taking a prenatal vitamin with methylated folate. Nearly 50% of people have at least MTHFR gene mutation, which can inhibit the proper absorption of folic acid. This means that people with this mutation process folate easily.
We love the PeaPod prenatal vitamin by Fairhaven Health for this very reason!
In fact, they just updated their formula based on all the latest research, so you know you’re in good hands with this vitamin!
6. Use Lube for Pregnancy
You heard me. There is special lubricant that you can use when trying to conceive, and yes, it can really make a difference. This is a TTC tip that many people don’t know about!
If you’ve been on the TTC train for long, you’ve probably already discovered one frustrating fact–when you’re actively trying to conceive, sex can become more of a chore than we’d like it to be.
Knowing that you have a short ovulation window and trying to be sure you’re sexually active on the right days can be stressful.
Our bodies are naturally equipped to help us conceive, so cervical mucus becomes friendlier for sperm around the time of ovulation.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, as you approach ovulation, you begin to produce “fertile-quality cervical mucus, also known as egg white cervical mucus (EWCM),” which “is the perfect protective medium for sperm in terms of texture and pH.”
But if we need extra lubricant because sex is less exciting, or if we need to supplement our cervical mucus so sperm has plenty of fluid in which to swim, then the lube you choose matters. A lot.
Many lubricants, as well as saliva, can throw off that healthy pH balance, leading to a less sperm-friendly environment during sex.
“This product features a pH and consistency that is similar to egg white cervical mucus and can be used during intercourse to help as many sperms as possible survive the journey through your reproductive tract.”American Pregnancy Association
In addition to being isotonic and pH matched to mimic your own cervical mucus, BabyDance Fertility Lubricant is healthy for your reproductive body in more ways than helping sperm motility.
It’s made in the US using the most up-to-date science, is fragrance-free, and uses no parabens (a common preservative that can mimic the hormone estrogen and potentially impact fertility.)
7. Learn How to Help Implantation
There are tons of myths out there about ways to help implantation, but we don’t want you wasting your time facing north with your legs in the air while trying to conceive and avoiding bumpy roads.
But there are some ways to help implantation that have scientific backing. Here are a few:
- Eat lots of leafy greens
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Take generally good care of your health
8. Talk to Your Doctor for More TTC Tips
It’s not uncommon for pride to interfere with our ability to get pregnant.
For a healthy couple, statistics show that pregnancy should typically occur within the first year of trying.
While it might be difficult to accept that you need outside help to conceive, there is no shame in asking for it. If you’ve passed your one year mark, it might be time to seek out help from your doctor.
They’ll run basic tests to check your ovarian reserve (how many eggs do you have?); make sure your fallopian tubes aren’t blocked; verify you have appropriate hormone levels, and more! They can also look into male factors for infertility like low sperm count and/or mobility.
Speaking with your doctor does not automatically mean you require assisted reproductive technology (ART) to have a baby. There may be simple solutions to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
If, however, your fertility issues are more complex, it’s better to find out sooner rather than later.
The older we get, the more challenging it is to conceive without medical intervention, which is why so many of us worry about fertility by age. By staying on top of your fertility, you’ll have a better chance of having a baby without additional difficulties.
Worried you might have fertility issues but your doctor isn’t ready to test yet?
You can take matters into your own hands using Modern Fertility’s at-home fertility test, which will give you results that let you know if you have major cause for concern.
If you do, you can take those results to your doctor to advocate for faster treatment!
Which TTC Tips are Right for You?
When you’re searching for helpful tips to conceive, any of the previously mentioned suggestions can be greatly beneficial.
By combining methods of ovulation tracking with other TTC tips, such as regular exercise, healthy diets, and stress management, you can increase your chances of conceiving without additional medical interventions.
Whatever positive lifestyle changes you make for yourself, just know they are bringing you one step closer to becoming the parent you dream of being.
Tips to Conceive FAQ
There are many things you can do to improve your chances of conceiving, but the most important is learning about your cycle, knowing when you ovulate, and having sex during your ovulation window.
Sperm can remain alive in the female body for up to 5 days, but the closer you are to ovulation day when you have sex, the better your chances of conception that month. Eggs do not live long, so it’s important to inseminate before ovulation.
While nothing is guaranteed, you can best improve your chances by learning when you ovulate, having sex regularly in the 5 days leading up to ovulation, and using fertility lubricant to help foster sperm motility.
Most people don’t need to make major lifestyle changes when ttc, but there are some small changes that can help improve fertility naturally. Eating a healthy diet cutting down on caffeine and alcohol can be useful. And if you’re a smoker, now is the time to stop.
What other TTC tips have you tried? Have you had success with ovulation tracking?
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Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.