For most women, the desire to have a baby coincides with a desire to get pregnant naturally. After all, we don’t usually spend our reproductive years dreaming of which infertility treatments we’ll get to use. When months of trying leads to negative results, however, many of us will begin scouring the internet for helpful tips on how to conceive naturally. Thankfully, several TTC tips can benefit hopeful couples in their dream of having a baby.
From ovulation tracking to fertility diets, these are five tips to help you conceive on your own.
Tip to Conceive #1: Ovulation Tracking
As one of the most widely-suggested TTC tips that work, ovulation tracking is a preferred option amongst many women hoping to get pregnant.
While some women use ovulation tracking as a method of natural birth control, many others will choose this process to help them determine when they are most fertile during their cycle.
If a woman is aware of her upcoming ovulation, she can plan to have sex regularly in the days leading up to its occurrence to increase her chances of getting pregnant each month.
Some people suggest sex every day; others say every other day is more effective for boosting fertility because it can improve sperm count.
From biological to technological, there are several different methods of tracking your ovulation schedule.
Track Your Body’s Natural Response to Ovulation
Think about your monthly battle with PMS for a moment – what do you experience? Cramps, mood swings, and bloating, perhaps?
Just as our bodies naturally respond to our impending period, they will also react when a woman is about to ovulate.
Knowing when you ovulate is key because, when the egg is released, it can only live for about 24 hours. That means you need sperm to meet it.
The question is, though, do you know what you’re looking for?
In terms of ‘trying to conceive tips,’ becoming aware of our bodies’ physical responses to ovulation is a crucial step in getting pregnant faster (or knowing we might need to seek help for fertility problems).
Here are a few of the things you should be on the lookout for:
Basal Body Temperature
Let’s be honest; many women don’t give their cervical mucus a second thought. If you’re hoping to conceive naturally, though, it can be a beneficial factor in tracking your ovulation.
Learning the patterns of your cervical mucus is perhaps one of the most overlooked TTC tips!
During our reproductive cycle, our discharge will undergo a variety of changes. These involve the color, consistency, and even smell of your cervical mucus.
If you begin to notice that your mucus looks clear and slippery, often comparable to a raw egg, this is a good indicator that ovulation is right around the corner.
When you’re lucky enough to have regular periods, calendar charting is another simple way of determining when you’ll be ovulating. Approximately two weeks before your menstrual cycle is expected, it’s likely you will ovulate.
Ovulation Predictor Tests
If you’ve been polling your friends for TTC tips that work, at least one of them has probably suggested using an ovulation prediction kit.
Similar to pregnancy tests, ovulation predictors are an at-home urine test women can take to help determine when ovulation is happening. While these tests can be expensive, they have a good reputation for successfully helping women.
Using a Reputable Ovulation Tracking App
In today’s technologically-savvy world, new apps are hitting the market at lightning speed…including ovulation tracking apps.
While some doctors are concerned that smartphone fertility trackers aren’t the most reliable way of figuring out when you’ll be ovulating, many of these apps have earned themselves good reviews amongst consumers.
While there are tons of different apps available, some of the most popular include:
- Fertility Friend
How Do Irregular Periods Affect Your Ovulation Cycle?
If a woman struggles with irregular periods, she might also find it challenging to get pregnant, depending on the cause of her irregularity. That being said, however, natural conception is certainly not impossible.
If you suffer from irregular periods, the best thing you can do is listen to your body. Learn about the signs of ovulation and keep track of what your body is doing day-after-day and week-after-week.
Tips to Conceive #2: 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, however, many doctors do recommend stress management as one helpful suggestion when couples are trying to conceive. Minimizing stress may not be a singular treatment option for infertility, but studies have shown there is a link between the two.
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.
Tips to Conceive #3: Get Regular Exercise
Where helpful tips to conceive 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.
Tips to Conceive #4: Fertility-Friendly 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, i.e., eggs, nuts, and avocados
- Full-Fat Dairy Products, i.e., 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 inhibits the proper absorption of folic acid. This means that people with this mutation process folate easily.
We love the Pink Stork prenatal vitamin for this very reason!
Tips to Conceive #5: Talk to Your Doctor
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!
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. By staying on top of your fertility, you’ll have a better chance of having a baby without additional difficulties.
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.
What other tips for trying to conceive 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.