How quickly and easily you get pregnant will depend on many different factors. Some of them are partly or completely beyond your control, such as your age and your general health, not to mention sheer coincidence and luck.
Fortunately, other factors can be more actively influenced. And while some of them are easier to implement than others, the following 10 tips all have the potential to really help you get pregnant faster. Good luck!
Tip #1: Have plenty of sex when you are most fertile
Without question, frequent and well-timed intercourse is the most important thing you can do to boost your chances of getting pregnant quickly. While it is possible to get pregnant from intercourse 3, 4 or even 5 days before ovulation, your chances will increase dramatically if you have sex during the last two days before ovulation and on ovulation day itself – and the more, the better.
Learn how to find out when you ovulate (hint: don’t trust online ovulation calendars or mobile apps), and have as much sex as possible during your most fertile time.
Tip #2: Quit smoking
If you’re a smoker, you probably don’t want to hear this – but quitting smoking really will have an impact on your chances to conceive.
Yes, plenty of smoking women get pregnant, too. But according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, infertility rates in both male and female smokers are about twice the rate found in nonsmokers, and the probability of having fertility problems increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day. We all know that quitting smoking is hard, but could there be a better reward than a positive pregnancy test?
Smoking during pregnancy also increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, and your baby is more likely to have a low birth weight and to develop respiratory problems.
Furthermore, once the baby is born and no longer gets nicotine through the umbilical cord, he or she will experience the same abstinence symptoms as an adult. Do you really want to put your newborn baby through the experience of quitting smoking, rather than doing it yourself?
Allen Carr’s “Easyway” method has helped countless people stop smoking. You can do it too.
Tip #3: Don’t use cannabis, especially if you’re a man
In the world’s largest study of how common lifestyle factors influence the size and shape of sperm, a research team from the University of Sheffield found that men under 30 who used cannabis in the three months prior to giving the sperm sample, were almost twice as likely as others to have poor sperm morphology (less than four percent normal sperm cells).
The researchers conclude,
this study has identified few modifiable factors associated with poor sperm morphology, with the only practical advice to men attempting conception being to limit exposure to cannabis if they are regular users.
A word to the wise.
Tip #4: Avoid soft drinks
The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study found that women drinking two or more soft drinks per day had an increased risk of experiencing ovulatory infertility. It didn’t matter whether they drank caffeinated or non-caffeinated, sugared or diet sodas: All soft drinks were associated with lower fertility rates in frequent users.
A Danish study of pregnancy planners found similar results, with reduced fecundity among soda drinkers compared to those who drank coffee or tea.
While none of these studies explain exactly why soft drinks seem to be bad for fertility, it makes sense to cut back on sodas while you are trying to conceive. Avoid drinking more than one serving per day.
Tip #5: Eat fertility-enhancing foods
Most ”how to get pregnant” tip lists include advice to have a healthy diet, but what exactly is a healthy diet and which foods are most likely to impact your fertility, positively or negatively?
Read our article on what to eat when you are trying to get pregnant to find out.
Tip #6: Try a fertility supplement
While there is no miracle drug or vitamin that can guarantee you will get pregnant, women in the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study who took daily multivitamins containing 400 micrograms of folic acid were 40 percent less likely to experience ovulatory infertility than women who didn’t.
FertilAid for Women is a good multivitamin supplement with the right amount of folic acid and other essential vitamins and minerals, while FertilAid for men has been clinically proven to increase the total number of motile sperm produced.
Tip #7: Improve your cervical mucus
The mucus produced in your cervix (the lowest part of your uterus) plays a very important role in conception. When ovulation is approaching, it changes and becomes sperm-friendly, helping the sperm cells to enter the uterus and the fallopian tubes, where they can reach and fertilize the egg.
If the quantity or quality of your cervical mucus is poor, it can be more difficult to get pregnant. If you think this might be a possible reason why you haven’t got pregnant yet, try some of our 9 tips for how to improve your fertile cervical mucus.
Tip #8: Use a sperm-friendly lubricant
Regular lubricants are not sperm-friendly. They typically have the wrong pH (acidity) and ion (“salt”) levels for normal sperm function, and many of them contain chemicals that are toxic to sperm. Baby oil and saliva are not good substitutes either.
Raw egg white and canola oil are good, cheap and natural alternatives, but rather messy to use.
If you prefer a commercial product, Pre-Seed is a conception-safe lubricant which imitates the characteristics of your own fertile cervical mucus, providing a healthy environment for sperm.
Tip #9: Keep the sperm factory cool
In order for a man to produce sufficient good-quality sperm, the temperature of his testicles must be lower than the core body temperature (this is why they are located on the outside of the body). If the testicles get too hot, it may result in lower sperm count and make it harder to conceive.
To keep the sperm factory running at full capacity, men should avoid wearing tight pants (particularly during sports activities), wear boxer shorts rather than briefs, and stay away from saunas and hot tubs.
Keep in mind that producing a sperm cell takes about three months, so plan accordingly: going to the sauna today may affect sperm count for the female partner’s next three menstrual cycles.
Tip #10: Try to relax (please hear us out!)
We know: There’s nothing more infuriating than being told “stop thinking about it and it will happen” – or worse, “stop trying”! The good news is you don’t have to: There’s absolutely no scientific evidence that thinking about getting pregnant reduces fertility. You can think about it 24/7 if you’re so inclined.
There is, however, modest evidence that high stress levels may make it more difficult to conceive. So if you’re often feeling stressed and anxious, whether it be about trying to conceive or for other reasons, it makes sense to try and find a better way to cope – not by stopping to think about getting pregnant, but by thinking about it in a way that doesn’t stress you out.
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help reduce stress and improve your energy and mood. If you have little or no experience with such techniques, you may want to join a class, or try a book or audio program for guidance.
Circle + Bloom is a series of fertility- and pregnancy-specific programs to help women in your situation relax and enjoy the process.