Most couples decide to get pregnant when they are physically, emotionally and financially ready to bring a new life. Superficially, the act of conception appears easy but when time flies by then only couples realize that there more to getting pregnant than just having intercourse.
According to a study by Dr. Peter Ahlering, most healthy women who are under the age of thirty five have only 20 to 25 percent chances to get pregnant during each of their cycle and these chances reduces as the woman ages. The decrease in the ability of a woman to conceive due to advancement in age is due to degradation in the quality of eggs with time which starts when a girl child is born.
Most healthy couples conceive within a time frame of a month to a span of around four years. There are many couples who try hard to get pregnant and end up with nothing. However, if some guidelines are followed properly one can improve their chances of conception.
Different ways to boost the Chances of Conception
There are different methods that can be followed to increase the chances of conception.
- Discontinuing the Pills: The first and the most crucial step to conception is stopping the contraceptive pills that you have been taking. Once the pills are stopped, it takes some time for the hormonal levels to reach back the normal level and then on you can try for a conception.
- Visit the Health Care Provider: Couples should get ready for a healthy pregnancy before they actually get pregnant because a successful conception requires the body to be fit, hale and hearty. To get a closer look at the health, the couple should visit the doctor a for pre-conception check up to rule out any possibility of related health issues and if there are any they could get resolved as early as possible.
- Planning for a Healthy Pregnancy: Couples should check that they maintain their health and should get rid of bad habits if any as these affect the conception to a great extent. The couples should refrain from smoking, drugs, liquor, caffeine etc. as these could induce fertility problems. The females should especially focus on consuming nutritious diet and exercising regularly. They can also consume prenatal vitamins like folic acid before conception.
- Determining the Ovulation Period: Ovulation is the process when the ovary releases the egg, which is further fertilized by the sperm. The period of ovulation is however crucial because this phase is only a few days long and the only time the woman can conceive. Thus, knowing the ovulation cycle would help the couple to determine the time when it is best to have intercourse and get conceived. There are methods that help in determining the ovulation period for a woman like using calendar and marking it for reference, monitoring the body temperature and vaginal discharge or by using an ovulation prediction kit.
- Checking the Cervical Mucus: Keeping a check on the cervical mucus is one of the most effective and easy way to identify the fertile period. Cervical mucus is of 4 types depending on the time it is secreted during the menstrual cycle viz., 1) Dry or Non-existent, 2) Damp, 3) Yellow or white and thick, and 4) Transparent and slimy. It is found that type 4 cervical mucus is secreted only during the fertile period and having frequent intercourse during this period increases the chances of conception by two to three times. Thus, if you don’t want to spend much on buying the ovulation kit, then be sure to follow this reliable method of finding out the ovulation time.
- When to have Intercourse: After determining the ovulation period, the couples can start having intercourse three to four days prior to the actual ovulation till when the ovulation takes place and a day or two post that. This helps in increasing the chances for the fertilization in the fallopian tubes as sperm can survive up to three to six days inside the uterus. Couples should not wait for the ovulation to take place as it reduces the probability of fertilization. In case couples have no idea about the ovulation period, then the most appropriate way is to have intercourse every day to ensure that there is a viable amount of sperm in the fallopian tube for fertilization.
- Lying Down for some time post Intercourse: It is seen that getting up immediately after having an intercourse prevents the sperm from travelling up the uterus and the fallopian tube. Expert’s advice that one should lie down for a minimum of half-an-hour post coitus to allow the sperms to travel up to the fallopian tubes and fertilize the eggs.
- Orgasm in Women increase the chances of Conception: It is assumed that the rhythmic contraction of the vagina, pelvic muscles and the uterus helps in the upward movement of the sperms and promote their reaching to the fallopian tube thus increasing the chances of fertilization.
- Increasing the Sperm Count: The factors that determine whether the sperm can fertilize the egg are healthy, robust and abundant in quantity sperms. To ensure the same the male can follow various practices, but the effective results can be seen only after a period of three or more months. So, sooner the below advices are followed the better are the chances:
- Check the alcohol consumption as it is known to lower the sperm count and testosterone levels thereby causing semen to have more of abnormal sperm.
- Tobacco and other drugs cause the sperm to lose its function.
- Maintaining a healthy weight because obesity leads to lower sperm count and reduction in motility of the sperm.
- Micro nutrients like zinc, folic acid, calcium, and vitamin C and D should be consumed on a regular basis as it helps in increasing the sperm strength and count. Vitamin C is of utmost importance as it increases sperm motility and count, and reduces abnormal sperm production. It also helps in aiding male fertility issues due to reduced sperm count and motility.
- High temperatures are not suitable for sperm, so refraining from the use of hot tubs, saunas or taking hot baths can prevent killing of the sperm. Keeping the mobile in the pant pocket also increase the heat in the area and affects badly. The radiation from the mobile phone can prevent the production of healthy sperms thus affecting the fertility. The ideal temperature for the testicles to function at their best is between 94 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 2 degrees cooler than the normal body temperature. It is very crucial to maintain these when one is willing to father a child.
- Stress: Stress is found to be another very important factor the affects the chances of conception. Although, trying to conceive and not being successful is stressful, this itself can reduce your chances of conception. It affects the hormonal levels, fertilization and also continuation of pregnancy in female. In addition, it also affects the production of healthy sperms in male. Thus, one needs to manage stress very well to bypass its ill effects. Try out some hobby, do some exercise or meditation which help in easing it out. If it still doesn’t help, do seek help from a mental health professional to cater to this problem.
Home Remedies to Boost your Chances of Conception
There are a plenty of advice available which when followed religiously can help in boosting the probability of conception. These are:
- Nutrition: Food and fertility are linked in an intrinsic manner; hence proper nutrition directly impacts both male and female. Adequate nutrition helps in maintaining the potency and number of the sperm in males and in females it helps in increasing the chances of conception, maintaining pregnancy and preventing miscarriages.
Fertility Booster Foods for Females
- Eggs: Eggs are rich in antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamin B12, omega-3fats and folate which not only boosts’ fertility but also prevents birth defects in the baby.
- Brown rice: It aids in fertility, blood production and prevents neural tube defects in new born.
- Dairy Products: It provides a great amount of calcium which maintains the bones and reproductive health.
- Olive Oil: It is a rich source of zinc that helps in maintaining regular menstrual cycles.
- Nuts: These are rich in Vitamin E and promote sex drive.
- Green vegetables: These improve ovulation consequently increasing the chances of conception.
Fertility Booster Foods for Males
- Fresh fruits: Fruits are rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants which helps in improving the sperm quality and count.
- Garlic: It is known to have therapeutic properties that promote healthy testicular functions and improving male sexual health. It is also used to increase sex drive in males.
- Fish: Fish contains essential fatty acids that help in improving the blood circulation around the reproductive system and enhancing the sperm quality and quantity in the process.
- Red Capsicum: It is rich in Vitamins A, C and antioxidants that helps in increasing the sperm count, motility and also reduces clumping of sperm.
- Ginger: Being a great source of Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese it helps in improving fertility in men.
- Pumpkin Seeds: These are rich in trace elements that help in production of healthy sperm.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being underweight or overweight both reduce the chances of conception. For women who are overweight, the child birth and pregnancy if full of complications, whereas for the ones who are underweight, the baby can have low birth weight or increased chances of miscarriage. Therefore, women should follow a healthy diet plan which allows nutrition build up in the body with correct weight.
- Consuming Prenatal Vitamins: Taking prenatal vitamins makes sure that the female body is getting enough folic acid and other essential nutrients thereby boosting the chances of conceiving a healthy baby.
- Practicing Healthy Habits: Unhealthy practices like alcohol, smoking, tobacco, drugs, and caffeine adversely affect the fertility severely hence should be curbed as soon as possible.
- Sexual Positions: During intercourse, the sperm should be able to get as close as possible to the cervix, so as to increase the chances of fertilization. Certain sexual positions like missionary and rear entry positions can help in this process.
When to seek help?
A couple must seek help if they are not being able to conceive even after trying for 12 consecutive months. It is possible that the couple has some fertility issues and need some medical treatments to conceive. Such treatments are called fertility treatments. There are various fertility treatments available for couples, depending on the best chances of getting pregnant along with a healthy pregnancy. Some common treatments are:
- Surgical repair of the reproductive organ of male or female.
- Controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) which involves intake of medication to allow female body to produce healthy eggs and ovulate.
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) which involves collecting healthy sperms from a semen sample and injecting them into the vagina with the help of a catheter.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) which is also called assisted reproductive technology or ART. This treatment allows fertilization of egg by the sperm in controlled laboratory conditions.
For most it might seem getting pregnant is just about having intercourse but in reality, there is a lot more to it. There are various other factors that are equally important as intercourse like reproductive health, emotional wellbeing, age and many more. Couples should consider all the factors when starting to plan a family. In case, the couple has fertility issues then there is always the medical help to make things better.
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Note: This information is only for reference and is not a substitute of a medical care in any form. Kindly consult with a Healthcare Professional for detailed diagnosis, treatment and follow up.