Remember how your high school biology teacher used to say that having sex can get you pregnant? Well, it’s a little bit more complicated than that.
If you and your partner have made the decision of having a baby, it is important to understand that getting pregnant can take time. The journey to conception and then getting pregnant is a procedure that requires patience on a couple’s behalf. And while there are no shortcuts to natural conception, as a gynecologist and fertility specialist, I can suggest certain factors that affect the process of women getting pregnant:
1. Preconception Check
A few weeks before attempting conception, you should get a checkup. With consultation from your doctor, it is important to increase the intake of folic acid. Folic acid prevents congenital malformations and neural tube defects in the fetus. Since Folic acid works during the early stages of pregnancy, so that’s why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough folic acid even before you get pregnant. Similarly, if you have any medical problems like hypertension and diabetes, it is important to control them before attempting a pregnancy as they can cause serious complications in the pregnancy cycle.
2. Menstrual Cycle
The ovulation cycle or the release of the ova is the best time to try conception. Therefore, it is important to know your ovulation and menstrual cycle. Normally ovulation occurs mid cycle. This means that if your cycle is of 28 days, you will begin ovulating in 12-14 days of your cycle. However, if your cycle is irregular, then the golden rule is that ovulation always occurs 14 days before the next cycle. To be surer, you can always use an ovulation kit. The lifecycle of the egg is 24 hours, while the lifespan of the sperm is 48 hours. Therefore, having sex either 48 hours before ovulation or 12-24 hours after ovulation increases your chances of getting pregnant significantly. Simply put, having sex at least 10-15 days before your menstrual cycle gives you better chances of getting pregnant.
It is extremely important to avoid stress. This means that you need to try not being too stressed about starting a family. Stress and pressure to get pregnant can cause hormonal imbalance and also affect your ovulation cycle. It can also affect your or your partner’s performance in bed. So, always calm yourself through calming exercises, yoga or meditation. The more relaxed you are, the better.
4. Position During Sex
One of the greatest myths about pregnancies is that a certain position during sex can help you get pregnant faster or easily. There is no scientific evidence that supports this myth. In fact, there are very rare cases where the woman’s cervix is in an unusual position that might affect the intercourse. So, while this may not be hundred percent true, but certain gravity defying positions like sitting or standing during intercourse may prevent the sperm from travelling upstream towards the cervix.
5. Healthy Habits
Let’s get real ladies. If you’re planning to get pregnant then it’s better for you to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Your baby is only as healthy as you are.
Work out if you’re obese or if your BMI is out of whack. It’s better for you to lose the extra weight and eat healthy. This will affect your ovulation and chances of a healthy ovulation cycle increase tremendously if you’re at your ideal weight.
For those who smoke, eat tobacco or drink alcohol heavily, it is better if you quit when trying to conceive. Habits of smoking, tobacco consumption and drinking heavily can have adverse effects on the growth of the baby and can cause a miscarriage.
Bottom line is that you and your partner should not worry too much about getting pregnant. Eighty-five percent of healthy women become pregnant within one year of trying. Therefore, it is better to not get to stressed, focus on living a healthy life, and let it happen naturally. And if you’re in any sort of doubt, just consult your gynecologist for the best advice.