How to Get Pregnant

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    Tip 1: Stay in touch with your cycle

    Ovulation signsCounting the days of your menstrual cycle will help you figure out when you’re most fertile. Ovulation generally occurs about two weeks before your period begins and you’ll notice a change in your cervical mucus and your basal temperature. When you’re fertile, cervical mucus is slippery, wet and clear, and your basal temperature will be higher than usual.

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    Tip 2: Have strategic sex

    Strategic sexAs much fun as it may be, increasing the frequency of sex isn’t as effective as choosing the ideal time to have sex. Your best chances to conceive are 1 to 3 days before ovulation starts, so try then and take a break later (if you need one, that is).

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    Tip 3: Choose helpful positions

    sex positionsThe closer sperm is to the cervical mucus, the better chance it has of surviving the acidity of the vagina, so choose a position that facilitates deep penetration. To further optimize your chances of conceiving make sure to keep the penis in the vagina post-ejaculation and lay flat for a half hour after sex — if you stand up, sperm can leak out without ever reaching the cervical mucus.

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    Tip 4: Have an orgasm

    orgasmResearch shows that having an orgasm during insemination increases the chance for fertilization. Alkaline secretions in your uterus and vagina increase during orgasm aiding sperm motility, and uterine contractions help move sperm towards your fallopian tubes, particularly if you orgasm before or at the same time as your partner.

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    Tip 5: Try to relax

    Stress and fertilityStress can interfere with your ability to conceive because it affects the hormones that tell your ovaries to release eggs. If you’re over-stressed, you could ovulate later in your cycle or not at all. Try to find ways throughout the day to enjoy some down time. Some women find that activities such as acupuncture, yoga or getting massages help to reduce fertility stress.

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    Tip 6: Remember that it takes time

    it takes timeDepending on your age and your health, conception can take a lot longer than expected. Though most couples conceive within three months of trying, some can take years. If you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for over a year, it could be beneficial to look into infertility treatments.

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    Tip 7: Ditch unhealthy habits

    ditch unhealthy habitsYour diet both before and during pregnancy will need some adjustments. Are you a coffee drinker? Cut back. Love sushi? Only eat it cooked. Enjoy a glass of wine or two? Go for water. Smoke cigarettes? Quit. All these things are related to fertility and pregnancy complications. Some supplements to try: primrose oil, grape seed extract and lactobacilli (found in yogurt).

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    Tip 8: Check your medical history

    pre-conception healthYou’ll want to consult with your doctor about any preexisting conditions you have such as diabetes and any genetic conditions that run in your family, so that you can be properly monitored. You’ll also want to be up to date on your immunizations as some infections can cause birth defects.

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    Tip 9: Get to a healthy weight

    healthy weightWhether you’re overweight or underweight, your health affects your fertility. In addition to taking the proper vitamins, you may want to talk to a nutritionist about starting a pre-pregnancy diet. Being overweight can hinder your chances of getting pregnant and result in pregnancy complications. Being underweight can disrupt your menstrual cycle, making it more difficult to conceive.

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    Tip 10: Add folic acid to your diet

    folic acidThough this isn’t necessarily a conception tip, most women trying to get pregnant should take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily in addition to eating folate-rich foods such as spinach, citrus fruits, legumes and whole grains. Neural tube defects such as spina bifida, develop within the first 28 days after conception when you may not realize you’re even pregnant yet. Folic acid reduces a baby's risk of neural-tube defects and is linked to a lower incidence of heart attacks, strokes, cancer and diabetes.

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