There are some women who get pregnant very easily, even difficult to avoid it. Some of them have never been blessed with children until they are frustrated. Healthy couples sometimes take a year to conceive, but many take longer than that. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to increase your fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Method 1 of 4: Attempt to Conceive
Step 1. Have sex before, during, and after the fertile period
Once you know you are fertile, have sex regularly. You are more likely to get pregnant if you have sex every day before, during, and after your fertile window. However, if you can't have sex that often, do it every 2 to 3 days before, during, and after your fertile period.
If you need a lubricant, use one that is water-based and specifically made to support fertilization
Tip: Create a relaxed atmosphere, do not be too demanding on your partner, and try to focus on the moment of lovemaking as an opportunity to enjoy togetherness, not on the desire to have children.
Step 2. Continue measuring basal body temperature
This routine helps ensure that as much of your cycle data is collected as possible, and also helps identify fertile periods for your next cycle. No period and high temperature after the expected date could be an indication that you are pregnant.
If your temperature is high for 14 days straight after ovulation, you are most likely pregnant
Step 3. Watch for symptoms of implantation
Some women bleed at implantation, which is usually a spot of blood when the zygote attaches to the uterine wall. This usually occurs 6 to 12 days after conception. Bleeding during this process is normal and usually nothing to worry about, but don't hesitate to contact your doctor if you have any problems.
In addition to implantation blood, you may also experience mild cramping, headaches, nausea, mood swings, breast tenderness, and back pain
Step 4. Take a pregnancy test yourself if you haven't had your period on the due date
After ovulation has passed, it's time to wait. Wait until your next period, if you don't have your period, take a pregnancy test. The pregnancy test has a 97% success rate, but can be negative if done too early. Repeat the test 1 week later if you get a negative result and still feel signs of pregnancy.
Remember that most couples don't get pregnant right away. Of the 100 couples who try to get pregnant each month, only 15 to 20 are successful. However, 95% of couples who try will get pregnant within 2 years
Method 2 of 4: Knowing the Fertile Period
Step 1. Keep track of your menstrual cycle with an app or calendar
The best way to find out when you are fertile is to record your menstrual cycle. Download a fertility app, such as OvaGraph or Fertility Friend, or use a regular calendar. You need to record the following information on the calendar:
- First day of menstruation. This is the start of the cycle. So, mark it with the number “1” on the calendar. Number the following days in order until the last day of your cycle, which is the day before your next period.
- Daily basal body temperature.
- Changes in cervical mucus.
- Positive ovulation predictor test.
- Day of sex.
- Last day of cycle.
Step 2. Take your basal body temperature
Body temperature will rise slightly during ovulation. So, a rise in temperature is a sign that you are fertile. Keep a thermometer at your bedside, and take your temperature as soon as you wake up. Take measurements at the same time each day to get the most accurate picture of fertility. Record your temperature every day. If there is a rise of between 0.25 and 0.5 degrees Celsius that lasts more than a day, you may be ovulating.
- Fertility peaks for 2 to 3 days before basal temperature rises. So, if you can observe the pattern of body temperature rise month after month, you can predict the best time to try fertilization.
Tip: Make sure you buy a basal body thermometer. Do not use an ordinary thermometer that cannot detect subtle changes in body temperature.
Step 3. Check cervical mucus
If your vaginal discharge is clear and stretchy, like raw egg whites, you are most likely fertile. Try to have sex with your husband 3 to 5 days from the day you notice the consistency of this fluid. Once the fluid turns cloudy and dry, the chances of getting pregnant are reduced.
The consistency of cervical mucus can be assessed by touching it when you go to the toilet, or checking by inserting a clean finger into the vagina
Step 4. Use an ovulation predictor kit
Purchase an ovulation predictor kit at a pharmacy or online. Wet the tip of the tool with urine, then wait a few minutes before reading the results. In this basic test, a positive result can be seen if two lines are the same color or if the second line is darker than the control line. If you are using a digital test, the screen will say whether you are ovulating or not.
- The price of this test kit is quite expensive. So, use it only if you think you're ovulating. Ovulation predictor kits are usually cheaper if you buy a lot at once.
- You don't have to have an ovulation predictor kit to know when you're fertile, but it can be helpful, especially when you're unsure and want to make sure you're ovulating.
Method 3 of 4: Preparing Your Body for Pregnancy
Step 1. Get a prenatal checkup
Even if you don't have a fertility problem, it's still a good idea to have a pre-pregnancy physical exam. There are some health problems that can get worse or worse due to pregnancy. The doctor may perform a pelvic exam and basic blood tests. Among some disorders that need to be known before getting pregnant are:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS for short), which can interfere with ovulation.
- Endometriosis, which generally can hinder fertility.
- Diabetes. If you can detect and treat diabetes before you get pregnant, you can avoid the birth defects commonly associated with this disease.
- Thyroid disease. Like diabetes, thyroid disease is relatively non-pregnant as long as it is diagnosed and treated.
Step 2. Reach your pre-pregnancy target weight
Studies show that women who are clinically obese have relatively more difficulty conceiving and are also likely to experience more problems during pregnancy. However, being underweight also negatively affects the ability to conceive. Talk to your doctor about a healthy weight, and try to lose or gain weight before you try to conceive.
Women who are clinically underweight (with a BMI below 18.5) sometimes stop menstruating, and that makes it more difficult for them to conceive
Step 3. Take prenatal vitamins
Starting to take prenatal vitamins before you get pregnant will supply your system with the nutrients your system needs to develop an embryo. For example, taking folic acid supplements may reduce the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects. Choose your own prenatal vitamins or have your doctor prescribe them.
Folic acid supplements also have a positive impact on fertility. So, start taking folic acid supplements every day before getting pregnant
Step 4. Eat fresh food to increase fertility
A healthy diet helps increase fertility and increases the chances of getting pregnant. Follow a healthy diet consisting of lean protein, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables. Here's an example of the choices:
- Lean protein: skinless chicken breast, lean ground beef, tofu and beans
- Whole grains: brown rice, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread and oatmeal
- Fruits: apples, oranges, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, and melons
- Vegetables: broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes, spinach, carrots, cabbage, and kale
Step 5. Encourage your husband to eat foods that support sperm health
Men should take a multivitamin consisting of vitamin E and vitamin C, eat fruits and vegetables, and avoid excessive alcohol, caffeine, fat, and sugar.
Men should also get plenty of selenium intake (55 mcg per day) because selenium is thought to increase fertility, especially in men
Step 6. Quit smoking
Smoking is not only dangerous when pregnant, but also reduces the chances of getting pregnant. Quitting smoking cigarettes while pregnant can be tough. So, make it easy by stopping beforehand.
Remember that secondhand smoke also affects your chances of getting pregnant. Do not be close to smokers in an effort to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke
Tip: Quitting smoking is also beneficial for husbands. The sperm of men who smoke frequently tend to be less and more abnormal than men who do not smoke, and smoking can also cause impotence.
Step 7. Avoid alcoholic beverages to maximize the chances of getting pregnant
Drinking alcohol, even just 1 serving per day, can reduce fertility. To make sure you have a high chance of getting pregnant, don't drink alcohol at all. People who are used to drinking may be able to limit 1 serving a day. If more than 2 servings, fertility in women will be significantly reduced.
Husbands should also limit drinking because alcohol can reduce sperm count and also affect sperm quality
Step 8. Limit caffeine to no more than 200 mg per day
This includes caffeine from foods such as chocolate, and beverages such as coffee, tea, and cola. Women who drink more than 3 cups of caffeinated beverages daily have a much lower chance of getting pregnant than women who drink only 2 cups or less.
- 1 cup (240 ml) of coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine. So, don't exceed 2 cups (580 ml) of coffee per day.
- The caffeine content in tea and cola is lower, but it still has a lot of caffeine if you drink it too often. Don't drink more than 2 caffeinated drinks to make sure you don't exceed your daily limit.
Step 9. Stop using contraceptives
Once your body is ready to get pregnant, stop using contraception. If you are taking hormonal contraceptives, it may take 2 to 3 months before ovulation returns to normal and you can get pregnant. However, if you only use protective methods, you may soon become pregnant.
If you have an Intra-Uterine Device (IUD), see your obstetrician to have it removed
Step 10. See a reproductive specialist or sex therapist if necessary
If you and your husband are having problems in sexual relations, chances are that's why it's hard for you to get pregnant. A qualified reproductive doctor or sex therapist can help you deal with these issues as a couple.
Try not to disturb the relationship with your husband because of infertility problems. The stress of getting pregnant, as well as invasive and emotionally exhausting fertility treatments, can actually lead to sexual dysfunction and make it harder for you to conceive
Method 4 of 4: Seeking Help for Infertility
Step 1. Set a time to seek help based on age, number of attempts, and health
Of course it's hard to be patient when we want to get pregnant, but try to wait. By setting a deadline to see a doctor, anxiety will be reduced, and you will be ready for the next phase. Here's a guide to when to ask for help:
- Healthy couples under the age of 30 who have regular sex (twice a week) should be able to get pregnant within 12 months (plus adjustment time after stopping contraceptive use).
- If you are over 30, see a doctor after 6 months of trying. Women over 30 and perimenopausal women may have difficulty conceiving because their fertility naturally declines with age. In most cases, pregnancy is possible, but it may take longer and require targeted penetration and lifestyle changes.
- See a fertility specialist immediately in special cases. If you have endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, have had cancer treatment, have a history of miscarriage, or are over 35, make an appointment with a fertility specialist as soon as you want to get pregnant.
Step 2. Get tested for general infertility
Many factors can reduce fertility, from disease and stress to drugs and excessive exercise. There are certain medications that can prevent or make it harder to conceive. When seeing a specialist, also provide a list of medications, herbs, supplements, and special drinks or foods that you consume so that the doctor can evaluate the factors that could potentially hinder your fertility.
- Get yourself checked for a sexually transmitted infection. Some types of infection can reduce the ability to get pregnant, while others can cause infertility if left untreated.
- In some cases in women, there is a tissue barrier that can actually be removed, which prevents sperm from reaching the egg, or a physical problem that affects the menstrual cycle, such as polycystic ovary syndrome.
Step 3. Consider an in-depth fertility test
If you and your partner are declared healthy by a doctor, consider sperm testing and medical fertility monitoring
- Men need semen analysis to check the quality and amount of sperm that comes out during ejaculation. Additional fertility tests for men include blood tests to check hormone levels and ultrasounds that monitor ejaculation or obstruction of the sperm ducts.
- Fertility tests for women usually consist of hormone tests to check thyroid, pituitary, and hormone levels during ovulation and other stages of the menstrual cycle. Higher-involvement procedures such as hysterosalpingography, laparoscopy, and pelvic ultrasound can be used to evaluate the uterus, endometrial lining, and fallopian tubes in search of injury, blockage, or disease. Ovarian reserve tests and genetic testing for hereditary fertility problems may also be done.
Step 4. Visit a reproductive endocrinologist or fertility clinic
Your obstetrician can refer you to a reproductive endocrinologist or clinic to make sure you can have all the tests and treatments you may need. A reproductive endocrinologist can test, diagnose, and treat conditions that may impact your ability to conceive. Find and make an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist in your area.
- Make a list of questions before seeing the doctor. Involve your partner so that nothing is missed. Enter all your questions, including costs, side effects, and treatment success.
- Do not expect a physical evaluation or treatment to be initiated at the first visit. Just come in, ask questions, and explore all the options.
- Don't feel obligated to commit to a treatment center after one visit. Try several clinics until you find the best one for you and your partner.
Step 5. Ask about Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI)
This procedure consists of collecting a semen sample from the husband, “washing” the sperm to remove seminal fluid, and then inserting the sperm directly into the uterus using a small catheter. This process is usually carried out 1 day after the rise in ovulatory hormones in women, and can be done in a doctor's office, without pain or surgery. IUI can be used for up to 6 months before trying other therapies. Situations that IUI can help with are:
- Unexplained infertility
- Sperm allergy
- Infertility on the part of men
Step 6. Consider in vitro fertilization (IVF)
Often referred to as IVF, IVF is considered the most effective method of conceiving, which is done through assisted reproductive technology.
- The IVF process consists of taking an adult egg from the wife's body and fertilizing it with the husband's sperm in a laboratory. The next step is to insert the fertilized egg into the uterus to help with implantation.
- Each cycle can last 2 weeks or more, but rarely does an insurance company cover it. Even if there is, only a small part of it.
- IVF success rates are lower in women with endometriosis, women who have never given birth, and women who use frozen embryos. Overseas, women over the age of 40 are usually advised to use donor eggs because the IVF success rate is less than 5%.
Step 7. Ask about medications and other fertility treatments
In some cases, fertility drugs are sufficient to supplement fertility hormones and allow natural fertilization. In other cases, doctors also recommend fertility options such as Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer (GIFT), or even surrogacy, but these are highly controversial.
Clomid (clomiphene) is a commonly used fertility drug and is usually combined with other procedures, such as IUI. This drug stimulates the ovaries to release eggs thereby increasing the chances of getting pregnant
Step 8. Seek help when undergoing a fertility program
Infertility can have an impact on mental health. You may feel anxious, depressed, and isolated, but remember that you are not alone. Don't forget to take care of yourself, and seek support as you go through the process. Make contact with supportive friends and family members, and consider face-to-face or online support groups. You may also consider seeing a therapist to discuss your feelings.
Infertility can also affect relationships. Take time to enjoy time with your husband, and maintain a good relationship
Are you undergoing infertility tests and treatments?
Talk to your doctor about what you can do to increase fertility naturally, increase a good sperm count, and use relaxation to help with treatment.
- Men may wear underwear, it will not reduce sperm count. However, hot baths, exposure to whirlpools, tight sports clothing, excessive intensity cycling, and extensive use of laptops in the pelvic area can reduce a man's sperm count.
- Obesity in husband or wife or both can reduce the chances of conception. By first reaching a healthy weight, conception can be easier and pregnancy is healthier.
- Trying hard to get pregnant, especially following a tight schedule, can cause stress and reduce physical and emotional intimacy between you and your husband.
- Becoming a parent is a big decision that should not be taken lightly. Make sure that you and your husband are mentally prepared to have children.
- Make sure you and your husband are free from disease and infection before stopping the use of any type of contraception.