Most couples are confused as to when is the right time to have a baby and take their relationship one step forward. Their status elevation as a parent also brings a higher sense of responsibility and commitment. It is difficult to gauge whether you are really ready to take the next step.
You may have been fanatical about having protected sex to avoid getting pregnant at the wrong time, and when you take a decision to go ahead, you feel impatient at not getting pregnant immediately. It is a common feeling amongst couple trying to conceive. There are some basic tips to help you understand the best time and methods you can adopt to start a family.
What is the right time to conceive a baby?
If you are reasonably healthy and under the age of 35, it should not take you and your partner, more than 6 months to get pregnant. After a year of trying, it is advisable to see a doctor.
If you are 35 or above, you should see a fertility expert after trying to conceive for 6 months. Do remember that statistics show that a healthy woman under 30 has only a 20% chance of conceiving in any given month.
The perfect time to try getting pregnant is during the ovulation period. Ovulation is the time when mature eggs are released from the ovary. In an average woman, the menstrual cycle can be anywhere between 24 to35 days.
The ovulation generally takes place 14 days before the last day of the current cycle.
That means it could happen on the 14th day of the cycle for a woman with a 28-day cycle or on the 21st day for someone with a 35-day cycle.
The ovum released during ovulation lives only 12 to24 hours after it is released. The sperm can live up to 48-72 hours after release. The maths says that the best time to have sex would be 2 days before ovulation. This ensures that sperms can be present in good quantity in the Fallopian tube during the peak ovulation time.
Predicting the time for ovulation can be of immense help while planning to conceive, especially when you have an irregular menstrual cycle.
- The basal body temperature of the body, that is, the temperature of the body at rest increases a little during ovulation. It is a good idea to check your temperature every day, and note the pattern. You are always at your most fertile a couple of days before ovulation.
- Vaginal secretions will increase a few days before ovulation as a clear sticky discharge. The secretions tend to appear thicker and cloudier after ovulation.
Once you have noted this pattern try and have sex a couple of days before and on the day of the ovulation. The fertility window is this period of 3 -4 days. If you are not taking a note of the ovulation patterns, the second to third week of your menstrual cycle will be the most fertile.
What are the tips to get pregnant?
Many women get pregnant without even trying, but there are a growing number of women who have difficulty in conceiving for long periods. There are a few things that can be looked after to aid getting pregnant easily.
- You must withdraw birth control measures in time before trying to conceive. Pills have hormones and can take up to 6 months for your ovulation patterns to come to normal. IUD’s can be removed by health care professionals to restore fertility. Depo-Provera shots can be a little trickier as the effects can be seen up to a year after discontinuing the method.
- DO NOT use lubricants as the use of vaginal lubes can damage healthy sperm. The pH balance of the lubricants is high enough to be spermicidal. Use of soap in the pubic area can also be a deterrent to pregnancy as the pH level can be acidic. A longer foreplay period with kissing, caressing and sensitive touching can help you self-lubricate. Warm water can be a good option as the pH balance can be maintained with water.
- Caffeine in large amounts can be a deterrent to pregnancy. Up to 2 cups a day can be tolerated but going over 3 cups can affect your chances of getting pregnant.
- Smoking is another big NO. It is highly recommended that both partners should stop smoking while trying to conceive. Studies have proven that smoking can cause couples to have fertility issues. In fact, smoking can also adversely affect the fetus once conception takes place. It can also increase the risks of miscarriage and premature births. Smoking can damage female ovaries, and cause sperm count issues in men and even is a contributor to early menopause. Passive smoking can also create health issues in both men and women.
- Consumption of alcohol is also not advisable when you are trying to conceive. As there are no studies to ascertain the effect of alcohol on conception you are advised to forego the pleasure till you do conceive and deliver the baby.
- Stress is one of the major reasons for a delay in conception. Many times there are changes in the ovulation cycle due to stress leading to unpredictable menstrual cycles. Sperm count can fall due to inordinate stress. Stress can be high due to many reasons like work issues, career roadblocks, house changes or even the pressure of trying to conceive a baby.
You can try relaxation techniques like mind-body relaxation programmes, yoga, and even moderate exercise to reduce stress. Herbal teas like chamomile also help. Getting a good night’s sleep can be a great stress buster. Taking a vacation in the lap of nature can release any stress and can also be a start to healthy sex.
- Although no studies lay claim to the fact that a particular food or diet can affect the chances of pregnancy, there are many indications that a balanced diet can help your chances of getting pregnant. Consuming healthy amounts of dairy, fruits, seafood like salmon, shrimp and catfish, and whole grains is conducive to health and can be a way to improve chances of conception. Folic acid is a must have vitamin to boost your chances of becoming pregnant.
- Try to lose weight if you are overweight. Even a five-kilogram loss can be a huge boost to hormone health.
How can I increase my chances of getting pregnant?
Listed below is a list of suggestions that can help your chances of conceiving naturally.
- Sexual positions can also be important when you are trying to conceive. The missionary position seems like the best way to ensure pregnancy. Do not be in a hurry to move out of bed and allow the sperm to have a free access to travel up the vaginal canal. Keeping a pillow under your hips may also be of immense help. Raising the legs for about 20 minutes after coitus is also advisable.
- Healthy sperm also leads to a better chance of fertilization. Men also need to maintain healthy body weight and overall health to help their partners conceive. They should avoid alcohol, tobacco, and any other narcotic substances. The intake of a healthy diet can also be beneficial. Vitamin C rich foods can increase sperm motility and Zinc laden foods can avoid infertility issues. Men should avoid tight pants and hot baths to improve sperm count. Boxers instead of tight briefs can also keep testicles cool and increase sperm production. Laptops should not be kept in the lap while working for the same reason.
Overall health and vitality can be a big boost to conception. A loving couple who wants to conceive should go about it with a little bit of initial planning to ensure disappointment later.
It is advisable to not delay going to the doctor if you have been following these tips, are healthy and still not being able to conceive. Both partners should visit the doctor together, and also avail of any counselling sessions if suggested by her.
Priming your body before pregnancy not only helps to increase chances of pregnancy, it also leads to a healthy pre-natal time. The fetus grows well and the delivery is also easier on a healthy body.
The post-natal stage is happier as you do not have niggling issues due to the strains and stresses of a difficult pregnancy.
The new parents are healthy and can enjoy the new arrival with enthusiasm. The baby is healthier and gains all developmental milestones with relative ease if born to a healthy mother.
Although in modern times, medicine has made conceiving much more viable, it may be a good idea to have your kids before you hit thirty. You are in prime hormonal age and will probably not need any extra effort to maintain hormone health. A stress-free conception makes for a happy time for the parents and the extended family.
So, try to keep healthy and look forward to a hassle-free conception, pregnancy, and delivery.