Getting pregnant involves much more than just making love and waiting for your next missed period. Many couples might want to try a few simple things to improve their chances of getting pregnant. Apart from the obvious things, such as tracking your fertility window by checking for ovulation and checking the colour and consistency of cervical mucus, there are other things that you can do as well.
If you have been trying to get pregnant for a long time, this post is for you. We will discuss some tips to help you get pregnant sooner. But following tips won’t help you get pregnant; you must understand your monthly cycle.
The key to conception is understanding your cycle and learning more about your reproductive system: you can take charge of your fertility by understanding the why, how, and when.
Understanding Your Body’s Signals
Understanding your body’s signals is crucial when trying to conceive. Apart from the physical signs, such as changes in cervical mucus and basal body temperature, your body might also give you other subtle hints. Some women report experiencing heightened senses, particularly smell, around ovulation. Others may notice slight changes in their mood or libido. While these signs are less reliable than tracking your basal body temperature or using ovulation test strips, they can provide additional clues about your fertility window. Paying close attention to your body can help you better understand your cycle and increase your chances of conception.
The Role of Sleep in Fertility
Sleep plays a significant role in our overall health; fertility is no exception. Lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can disrupt the hormonal balance in your body, potentially affecting your menstrual cycle and ovulation. Studies have shown that women who get less than seven hours of sleep per night may have a lower chance of getting pregnant. Therefore, ensuring quality sleep is important when preparing your body for pregnancy. If you’re having trouble sleeping, consider adopting good sleep hygiene practices, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, creating a restful sleep environment, and avoiding caffeine and electronics close to bedtime.
The Importance of Emotional Well-being
Trying to conceive can be stressful, and taking care of your emotional well-being during this time is important. High stress levels can potentially affect your fertility by disrupting your menstrual cycle. Therefore, finding healthy ways to manage stress is crucial. This might involve practising mindfulness or relaxation techniques, seeking support from a mental health professional, or simply making time for activities you enjoy. Remember, taking a break and taking care of yourself is okay. Emotional health is as important as physical health when preparing your body for pregnancy.
Tips to help you get pregnant
The first thing you must try to do, even before thinking about conceiving, is to get healthy. Avoid tobacco totally and limit your alcohol and caffeine intake. Ensure your diet contains healthy whole grains and veggies, and limit your processed food intake. Also, include exercise in your daily routine. Illicit drugs are a big ‘no’ when trying to get pregnant. If you are on prescription drugs, talk to your doctor to see if the medicines can hurt your fertility. Certain prescription medicines are contraindicated if you are pregnant or even trying to conceive.
Ensure you are not skipping your prenatal vitamins when it comes to complete nutrition. Also, include at least 400 mcg of folic acid. Plenty of folic acid in your diet reduces the chance of congenital disabilities significantly. Conceive Plus Fertility Supplements contain 400mcg Folic Acid and 4g Myo-Inositol with easy daily dose sachets. Many studies have been done on Myo-Inositol, and they have shown that Myo-Inositol can help regulate your menstrual cycles.
Another important tip, if you are TTC, is to have regular intercourse. Make sure to time the intercourse during the most fertile phase of your menstrual cycle. Research indicates that couples who have sex at least a few times a week stand a better chance of getting pregnant.
Fertility and ovulation day-by-day
Now that we understand the basics let’s look at daily menstrual cycle events. The following events assume a 28-day cycle. If your cycle is longer or shorter, you might want to adjust accordingly.
Cycle Day 1
Your menstrual cycle begins when you spot the first speck of red blood. The fertility hormones of your body, Oestrogen and Progesterone, are at their lowest concentration, and your body is trying to get rid of the old uterine lining. The bleeding occurs as the uterine lining and the blood vessels are destroyed and thrown out of the body. This marks the beginning of the first phase of your menstrual cycle, called the menstrual phase.
Cycle days 1-5
The menstrual phase lasts for about five days. However, it can last longer or shorter, depending on the length of your menstrual cycle. During this menstrual cycle phase, the progesterone level has dropped, and the oestrogen level is slowly rising. Your basal body temperature will also fall during this phase of the cycle.
Cycle days 6-8
Once the menstrual flow cleans off the uterine lining, the next phase of the operation begins. During this part, the hypothalamus releases Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH). The rising levels of GnRH, in turn, stimulate the pituitary gland to start secreting two hormones called the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH). FSH and LH stimulate the ovarian follicles and help them mature over a few days. As the follicles start developing, they begin producing oestrogen as well. So, during this cycle phase, your body’s FSH, LH, and oestrogen levels rise slowly.
Cycle days 8-10
The ovarian follicles keep on maturing these days. As the ovarian follicles grow, they secrete more quantities of oestrogen. Under the influence of increased oestrogen levels, the uterus’s endometrium lining begins to thicken. There is also a change in the consistency of cervical mucus. The mucus increases in volume and is still translucent and thick. Your basal body temperature during these cycle days is on the lower side.
Cycle days 11-13
If you have a 28-day cycle, you are close to your ovulation and have entered the fertility window. During your fertility window, you have the highest chance of getting pregnant. The cervical mucus should start to become transparent and slippery and increase in volume. Your fertility is quite high in your cycle, even if ovulation might be a couple of days away. The sperm can stay in the female reproductive tract for five days. As the oestrogen level in your body is still high, the basal body temperature should still be below.
Cycle days 13-14
The oestrogen levels are the highest in your body during this menstrual cycle phase. These high oestrogen levels stimulate the pituitary gland to suddenly release a surge of LH. The sudden increase in LH level is known as the ‘LH surge,’ occurring on day 13 or 14. Under the influence of a sudden rise in LH, the dominant follicle in your ovary completes its maturation. It fuses with the ovary to release the egg by a process known as ovulation. Once removed from the woman’s ovary, the egg can survive for about 24 hours before it dies. You can increase the chance of getting pregnant if you have sex a couple of days before and on the day of ovulation. On the day that you ovulate, your basal body temperature will still be on the lower side. The temperature starts to rise from the very next day of ovulation. Hence, if you chart your basal body temperature, you can also gain insight into your ovulation and fertility window.
Cycle days 14-15
The ovulation has already happened. Now comes the time to wait optimistically. Your oestrogen levels will fall rapidly the following ovulation. Your body temperature will start to increase, and you will enter what is known as the hot phase of the menstrual cycle. During this phase, the progesterone is in charge and not the oestrogen. After the egg emerges from the follicle, the remainder of the follicular structure converts into the corpus luteum and produces progesterone. Your basal body temperature increases on the 14th and 15th days, and you can confirm that ovulation has occurred. This increase in body temperature should last for the remainder of your cycle. If the released egg is not fertilised, the corpus luteum will get destroyed and converted into corpus Albicans before your next period. The level of progesterone will sharply decline in your body.
Cycle days 16-22
The corpus luteum keeps on secreting progesterone during this menstrual cycle phase. This phase of the menstrual cycle is known as the luteal phase. Your body temperature remains high during this phase of the cycle. The amount of cervical mucus should decrease now and appear more opaque and less clear. If the egg is fertilised 24 hours post-ovulation, it will continue from the uterus to the fallopian tubes. During these days, your progesterone level is high, and so is your body temperature.
Cycle days 23-27
If the egg is not fertilised, the corpus luteum will degrade. With no corpus luteum to secrete progesterone, your body temperature decreases. If you are pregnant, however, the placenta will take over the role of secreting progesterone. The implanted embryo starts to secrete another hormone called the human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG. It is the same hormone used to test for pregnancy in home pregnancy tests. If you’re pregnant, your body temperature will be higher, but if you’re not, then your body temperature will fall back.
Cycle day 28
If you have a 28-day cycle, this will be the last day of your menstrual cycle. Both the oestrogen and progesterone levels fall. The next menstrual cycle is set to begin, and you can expect it to start any time after tomorrow. If you are pregnant, the home pregnancy test will confirm it.
Tips to get pregnant
Start charting your menstrual cycles
You can chart your cycle using various methods, such as tracking basal body temperature and the nature and volume of cervical mucus. Fertility2Family has a range of excellent BBT thermometers that can measure your BBT accurately.
Make a habit of recording basal body temperature.
You should record the temperature once you wake up in the morning. A BBT chart throughout your menstrual cycles can give much information regarding your ovulation and fertility window.
Observe changes in your cervical mucus.
The consistency and volume of cervical mucus change throughout your menstrual cycle. The mucus is vital in providing a conducive environment for the sperm and helps nourish and protect them. During the early part of the menstrual cycle, the amount of cervical mucus may be very small, but the volume will increase as you progress. The mucus becomes clear, transparent, and stretchy, like egg white, when you are about to ovulate. Hence by observing your cervical mucus, you can predict your ovulation and, thus, the fertility window.
Use ovulation strips and mid-stream ovulation kits.
Fertility2Family Ovulation test strips and mid-stream test kits detect the surge of LH in your body. The ovulation test strips can predict the exact time of your ovulation and help you determine the time in your cycle when you are the most fertile. Fertility2Family has fertility strips and midstream tests that are lab tested for accuracy. With these easy-to-use tests, you can predict when you ovulate from the comfort of your home.
Some women experience sharp pain while ovulating in the middle of the cycle. The pain is called mittelschmerz, a German word for the middle. That said, ovulation pain is not experienced by all women, but if you experience it, make a note on your fertility chart.
Some women might experience spotting or light bleeding, called implantation bleeding, a few days after ovulation. The bleeding occurs as the embryo reaches the uterus and is embedded into the uterine wall. As the embryo buries its way into the endometrium, a few blood vessels might rupture, causing a small amount of bleeding. Implantation bleeding might be the very first sign that you are pregnant.
Take a pregnancy test.
A positive home pregnancy test is the first affirmative sign that you are indeed pregnant. Use Fertility2Family’s home pregnancy test kits for accurate and reliable results. With our early-detection pregnancy test, you can begin testing as early as 7-10 days after ovulation.
Evan is the founder of Fertility2Family and is passionate about fertility education & providing affordable products to help people in their fertility journey. Evan is a qualified enrolled nurse and has expertise in guiding & managing patients through their fertility journeys.