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6 Common Mistakes When Trying to Conceive

6 Common Mistakes When Trying to Conceive

The pregnancy journey can be arduous for some women when trying to conceive (TTC). It is estimated that as many as one in six couples have some of the other issues trying to conceive. If you are trying to conceive and it’s not happening, it is natural to feel stressed out. Stress can take its toll on your mind as well as on your body. There is a lot of help out there, and you will surely attain your goal sooner rather than later. In the meantime, try to avoid the following mistakes that can adversely affect your chances of conception.

Mistakes When Trying to Conceive

Not checking your LH surge when trying to conceive

Most of the ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) measure the level of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in your urine. Many women get confused between these OPKs and pregnancy kits as both tests are done using urine. However, both the tests are entirely different. The OPKs measure the level of LH in your urine while the pregnancy test detects the level of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG). The ovulation tests predict when you will ovulate. A positive test using OPKs doesn’t mean that you are pregnant. It merely means that you have an LH surge, and you might be ovulating pretty soon. A positive home pregnancy test, on the other hand, confirms that you are pregnant. Here at Fertility2Family, you can order both the ovulation predictor kits as well as pregnancy kits. Our test measures fertility hormones with a high degree of accuracy to let you know your fertility window.

Avoid using fertility and period tracker apps

There are a plethora of apps that claim to help assist you when trying to conceive and track your period and suggest the fertility window. According to a study presented at the Fertility Society of Australia conference, over 50% of such apps do poorly predict ovulation. The researchers found out that there are roughly 400 apps that claim to help you track your period and help predict ovulation. They tested 36 most downloaded apps and found out that only about 42.7% could predict ovulation date with some degree of accuracy. Many apps tested missed the fertility window completely and gave wrong times for having intercourse. Another quite disturbing finding was the fact that most of the apps did not refer to any credible scientific data. As a result, it is not advisable to rely on such apps.

Not tracking your luteinizing hormone (LH) levels

The Pituitary gland secretes the LH. The levels of LH are quite low during the early part of the cycle. But during the middle part, around day 12-14, there is a surge in LH levels. The surge happens when the ovarian follicle is fully mature and ready to release an egg. This elevation of the LH occurs around 24-36 hours before you ovulate. Tracking LH levels when trying to conceive can give you a great idea about the best time to get pregnant during your cycle. The released egg can be fertilized within 24 hours, after which it is inactive. Hence, if you want to get pregnant, you must aim for this relatively small window of time. If you miss this period, the next fertile period is not till the next cycle.

Ovulating Regularly With PCOS
Image courtesy of The Bright Girl Guide by Demi Spaccavento.

Not recording your menstrual cycle frequency

If you are trying to get pregnant, the first thing to do is to keep track of your menstrual cycle. You should make sure that your menstrual cycle is regular and consists of roughly the same number of days. It can be a cause of concern if you have an irregular menstrual cycle. Prediction of ovulation is the key to getting pregnant. Once released from the ovary, the egg remains viable and can be fertilized for just about 12-24 hours. This means that you have a relatively shorter fertility window once you ovulate. That said, many studies have suggested that the sperm can remain viable in the female reproductive tract for as long as 5 days. So, if you know when you are ovulating, it can help plan the pregnancy.

Trying To Conceive & Maintaining a healthy weight

The chances of pregnancy diminish both when you are overweight and when you are underweight. Many studies have revealed that women who are overweight can take twice as much time to conceive compared to women who have a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI). The situation is even worse in the case of underweight women. According to some studies, underweight women can take up to four times longer to conceive than women with healthy body weight. Oestrogen is a key hormone that leads to ovulation. If you are overweight, you have a higher percentage of fat in your body, leading to larger quantities of estrogen secretion. These elevated estrogen levels can hurt your ovulation cycle. Losing even 5-10% of your body fat can significantly improve your chances of getting pregnant. If you and your partner both are obese or overweight, things might be even more difficult. According to a study, if both partners are overweight, they can take up to 60% longer to conceive. Being underweight is not good either. Underweight women can have irregular menstrual cycles and, in some extreme cases, may have a higher percentage of anovulatory cycles. The menstrual cycle in which there is no ovulation is called the anovulatory cycle. You can’t get pregnant if you have an anovulatory cycle.

Consuming low-fat dairy

Ovulation is the prerequisite step to get pregnant. Many women suffer from what is called anovulatory cycles where there is no ovulation. A recent study out of Harvard University found a strong relationship between dairy products and ovulation. The study concluded that women consuming low-fat dairy products are more likely to have anovulatory cycles than women who consume full-fat dairy. The study found that women consuming full-fat dairy products, including milk, butter, and cheese, are 25% less likely to experience anovulatory cycles than women who consume low-fat dairy products.