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Tip 1: Stay in touch with your cycle
Counting the days of your menstrual cycle will help you figure out when youre most fertile. Ovulation generally occurs about two weeks before your period begins and youll notice a change in your cervical mucus and your basal temperature. When youre 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
As much fun as it may be, increasing the frequency of sex isnt 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
The 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
Research 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 can interfere with your ability to conceive because it affects the hormones that tell your ovaries to release eggs. If youre 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
Depending 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 youve 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
Your 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
Youll 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. Youll 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
Whether youre 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
Though this isnt 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 youre 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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Read More About How to Get Pregnant
- 1. Stay in touch with your cycle »
- 2. How to tell when you're ovulating »
- 3. Best getting pregnant tips »
- 4. Have good sex »
- 5. Relax and have a baby »
- 6. Explore fertility treatments and options »
- 7. Follow a pre-natal diet »
- 8. Check your medical history »
- 9. Make cravings healthy »
- 10. Take prenatal vitamins »
Read More From Our Fertility Special