Getting Pregnant

woman in pool
photo by Thiago Martins

First things first—when do you ovulate? If you don’t know, don’t panic—not all of us do. And since we’re all on different cycles, ranging from 28 days to 40 days to as few as 20, and some of us don’t even have a regular cycle, it is not something you can simply look up in a book. But you can figure it out.

Begin with a thermometer and a temperature chart. You’ll need to ascertain what your basal body temperature (BBT) is, so take your temperature at the same time you get up each morning and write it down in your chart. Put simply, prior to ovulation your temperature should drop slightly, and following ovulation it should go back up.

Ideally, you should keep a record of everything: temperature, cycles, the quality/texture of the mucous, even record results from OPKs (see below). You can find very handy software for all these records so that each day you only need to enter the figure into the computer. The benefit to the software is that it will then do all the calculations and tell you when the best time for conception might be. Knowing this information will give you a jump start on getting pregnant.

Ovulation Predictor Kits

OPKs (ovulation predictor kits) work just like home pregnancy tests, telling you whether or not it is likely that you will ovulate within the next 48 hours. Finding out when you’ll be ovulating is important for getting pregnant and it can be a huge time saver as well, since it’ll be the first thing a doctor will ask you if you go to see one. Not knowing this information will likely result in having to make a second appointment.

A quick getting pregnant primer: if your cycle is 28 days, you will ovulate fourteen days after the start of your period, not the end of it, so calculate accordingly. Women frequently make this simple mistake but it can have unexpected or unwanted consequences, such as unplanned pregnancies or lost opportunities to getting pregnant.

Timing, timing, timing

In the conception game, it’s all about timing. Knowing when you are ovulating is the first step, and for some women and couples this is all the information they need: they can begin having sex every day or every other day. We suggest doing it each day on the days approaching and immediately following ovulation.

Now, the following tips can help you increase your chances from here on out:

Dietary and Lifestyle Changes

You and your mate should cut caffeine out of your diets, up your water intake, eliminate junk food (especially junk high in sugar), and eat lots of fruits and veggies. The reason? Elevated blood sugar levels complicate conception. Furthermore, consider taking Vitamin C and zinc supplements and up the amount of exercise you each are getting on a weekly basis.Always check with your doctor or health care professional to make sure you can take supplements).

So, if you are younger than 30 and have been trying for a year, or you’re older than thirty and have been trying for six months and you have:

  • determined the time when you ovulate
  • altered your diet to include more water, fruits and veggies and a supplement
  • and you have been laying on your back after intercourse…

…but still no luck, don’t despair. Remember, this article is about tips for getting started, and that’s just what you did. Now, it may be time to visit a fertility specialist for diagnosis and treatment. This way you can find out what’s going on, if anything.


 
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