Tips for Trying to Conceive A Baby
Medical disclaimer: Tips provided need to be considered in conjunction with medical advice. For immediate concerns, please contact HealthDirect (Australia wide) ph 1800 022 222 to talk to a registered nurse 24hrs a day, and in emergencies call 000
Have you been trying to conceive and are beginning to feel the pressure of your own or other’s expectations that you should have already produced a “positive” result by now? The reality that you are experiencing difficulties conceiving can sometimes leave you feeling discouraged at best. If you are concerned about your inability to fall pregnant then you (and perhaps your partner) should consult your general practitioner, who will refer you to more specialized fertility help if required. In the meantime, our tips for trying to conceive may help point you in the right direction.
When Trying to Conceive, Timing is Everything….
Sometimes conceiving can simply be a matter of timing. Your GP is likely to send you off for some routine blood tests and ask you quite a number of questions…..and the first obvious ones are usually to ascertain whether you are attempting to conceive at the optimum time, being the “fertile window”. For couples trying to conceive, those special adult cuddles are recommended about every second day over the fertile window (several days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation).
Most women can determine their fertile window at home by ovulation tracking (there are some handy phone apps available these days which can help you with that) and ovulation can be determined with even more reliability with the assistance of over the counter “pee-on-a-stick” type ovulation predictor kits (OPK’s) which are also discussed with ovulation tracking on our site here.
If you are consistent with your menstruation and your cycle is about 28 days long, the first day of your period being Day 1 of your menstruation cycle then ovulation usually occurs around Day 14 of your cycle – meaning regular “sexy time” should occur over approximately Day 8 to Day 14 inclusive, for the best chances of success. Of course, not everyone’s cycle is the same and this is where OPKs are of assistance as they accurately measure the changes in hormones which tell you exactly when you are ovulating.
Are We “Doing It” Right?
There isn’t a right way or a wrong way to do it. But you may want to keep these little tips for trying to conceive in mind:
- Sitting or standing during sex may discourage sperm from getting where they need to be – basically we don’t want those little swimmers leaking out before they get a chance at the prize so to speak, so removing the gravity effects of standing or sitting can help.
- Don’t immediately dash for the bathroom after sex. Laying in bed for 10-15 mins after sex will give any sperm that is going to make it to the cervix enough time to do so. Contrary to some of the stories out there, you shouldn’t need to be standing on your head to achieve this…..
- Going sex crazy just for ovulation may not increase your chances of conceiving. Sperm can live for up to 72 hours after ejaculation. Regular sex every other night whether you are ovulating or not is more likely to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help – too much exercise can cause some women to stop ovulating, too much weight can also decrease your chances of conceiving, smoking and excessive stress affects estrogen levels and ovulation.
If ovulation tracking and “having more sex at the right time” has been unsuccessful, you should consult your GP – and all that information you’ve collected while tracking your ovulation will come in handy when you do. There may be other factors which are hindering your ability to conceive and the more information you can provide to your GP the better.
Common Barriers to Conceiving
Other than timing there may be a variety of medical reasons which can hamper your efforts trying to conceive, including:
- Ovulation irregularities – hormonal conditions can prevent the release of mature eggs from the ovaries. Infrequent or absent periods or extremely light or excessively heavy periods can be indicators.
- Endometriosis – endometrial tissue (the uterine lining) can sometimes grow outside the uterus, causing ovulation problems and/or blockages. Symptoms include pain during sex, painful periods and pelvic pain, painful urination and bowel movements during menstruation.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – a hormonal imbalance disrupts ovulation and causes cysts to develop. Acne, excessive hair growth, irregular periods and weight gain can be common symptoms of this condition. You may want to read about some of our readers’ experiences with PCOS.
- Poor egg quality – commonly the quality of the eggs decrease during our late 30s and early 40s. Symptoms can also include early miscarriages as the developing fetus is not viable due to abnormalities.
- Blocked tubes – preventing the sperm from making it to the eggs and stopping eggs from getting to the uterus. Causes can include pelvic inflammatory disease and previous STDs such as chlamydia.
- Sperm quality – a low sperm count or poor sperm motility (sperm that don’t swim properly) can affect the fertility of men.
- History of testicular, prostate or other sexual problems
- Previous treatment for cancer.
Infertility can have many causes and starting the journey of discovering why starts with a trip to your GP.
If you have been trying to conceive for 6-12 months with no success you should see your general practitioner. They will be able refer to you to a fertility specialist should you require their assistance. Some of the services offered by fertility specialists include:
- Ovulation cycle tracking
- Hormone therapy
- Ovulation induction
- Artificial insemination
- IVF treatment
- ICSI treatment
- Frozen Embryo Transfer
- Fertility surgery
If you are struggling with fertility, check out our infertility information for some tips and support.
Maybe you’ve got a handle on trying to conceive but want to try to increase the odds of becoming pregnant with a boy? Or conceiving a girl? Also read about the Shettles method that some people swear by.
You are not alone! If you’re trying to conceive, the Baby Hints and Tips community is standing by to share their experiences and put your mind at ease. We asked our community about their experiences conceiving and here’s what they had to say.
See a fertility specialist
- If you’re really worried see a fertility doctor. We conceived naturally with our daughter needed help with our second and didn’t need IVF or just speak to GO. Claire
- Just to be sure it’s always good to get him and yourself tested and get some doctor advice. I read so many online tests and none of it worked for me. Good luck and have fun trying Yes I had to up my medication and have regular blood tests. Jessica
Ovulation predictor kits
- Ovulation predictor kits, you can get them on eBay cheaper than stores. Alana
- Try temperature testing over the month. You will find that your temperature will rise slightly when you ovulate so that is the best time to try. You do need to do it the same every morning though eg: lying in bed before you get up, that way it will be accurate. GL Rebecca
- Depending on how committed you are there are ‘temperature tests’ so you can see when your ovulating so you know when to /clears throat.. Do the baby making dance. Jennifer
Stress free getaway
- A totally stress free county getaway, worked for us after trying for 18 months. Kylie
- I forgot to add, track your cycle for a few months, you should ovulate 14-15 days before your period is due, so plan your little getaway around that. Kylie
- Go on a holiday!! Relax and enjoy yourself. Kerry
Stop thinking about it
- We tried forever to get prego. Best advice I got was relax and try very often. Sperm can live in the female body for up to 48 hours so every two days try again! Relax and have fun! Angela
- Dont think about it, as hard as that is but it works. Awsaf
- I tried for a year to conceive our 3rd child. Stop charting and all the other stuff and don’t have sex with your mind purely focused on having a baby. Go on a holiday, relax, have a drink or two and let the magic happen. That’s how I conceived all 3! Michelle
- Just relax, took my hubby and I 2 years to fall pregnant with our son. I was always hoping and kept disappointing myself, when I relaxed and just didn’t think about it we fell pregnant. Also, having lots of sex is good but you can actually have too much. My inlaws were told that when trying for their first (my hubby) when they slowed up that’s when it happened. All the best. Rhiannon
- Relax, don’t make it all about trying to get pregnant otherwise that’s all you will think about and you will stop enjoying things. Kate
- I was trying for a year so I brought clear blue ovulation monitor to keep track every month, preseed, & also googled a website called sperm meets the egg, I was doing this for another year & abit & nothing was happening so I decided to stop everything went to the dr asked why I couldn’t get pregnant she took my bloods & the next month pregnant. The moral of the story once I stopped thinking about it & not stressed out everything fell into place. Good luck with everything. Michelle
- Don’t think about!! That was the best advice i got and it happened!! Don’t rush to check each month just go with it i did that at the start then forgot about it and next thing I knew I was pregnant!! Good luck. Tracey
- I got acupuncture for fertility and it was really effective. Others i know also swore by it. Ellie
- I also had to seriously de-stress. And I started working with a fabulous acupuncturist/ herbalist with 35 years experience helping women deal with the physical issues women deal with. We conceived naturally just one month after a fertility specialist told us I had almost zero chance of doing so… After 20 years of terrible hotmail problems and never getting pregnant. A week and a half prior to conception I also had a tubal studies test done. The test is to determine whether or not there is a blockage in the Fallopian tubes. It looks like the test may actually have cleared a blockage in at least one tube. If you go to much longer without conceiving, it might be worth looking into that. The test cost us about $400….. But all of it was worth doing given the thousands IVF would have cost. Roselea
Have SEX lots
- Have lots and lots and lots of sex. Literally whenever you can handle it. Lol Mariah
- Vitamin D – don’t underestimate it. Renee
- Quit caffeine and cut stress from life and eat spinach and put chia seeds on everything. Estah
- Ovacue . This machine helped us conceive. Julia
- Going on a diabetic diet plus lots of fresh vegetables boosts your fertility!! Zsuzsika
- Elevit for you, Menevit for him. Natalie
- MAYBE BABY OVULATION MICROSCOPE has worked for everyone I have recommended it to as it pinpoints exactly when you are ovulating. It’s reusable too! Kylie
- Improve diet, cut out chemicals, increase exercise, get expose to the sun for vitamin D, and have sex. Most household cleaning products and personal care leach hormone disrupting chemicals into the products which then unbalance your hormones. Kristy