How To Get Pregnant Faster – All You Need To Know
As a woman, I spent much of my adult life trying hard not to get knocked up because I felt that I was not yet ready for a baby. Most women have also been in this situation especially during the early stages of their adult life. This is usually due to several reasons like the need to finish your education first or the need to start off your career first before you settle down to start a family.
However, when one feels like they are ready for a baby; most women become too eager that they want it to happen as soon as possible. I remember when I was finally ready to settle down; I was so impatient to get pregnant since I wanted it to happen like yesterday. After doing a lot of research over the internet and consulting with reproductive endocrinologists, I finally found ways on how to get pregnant faster.
Most people do think that getting pregnant is all about lighting some candles and getting busy between the sheets. In reality, it can actually take a longer time than you expected which may leave you and your partner frustrated. Good news is that there are things you can do to help you get pregnant faster. If you want to find out, read on.
15 Tips To Help You Get Pregnant Faster
Since having a baby will bring an increased sense of meaning to your life, it is my duty as a woman to help other women out there fulfil their desires to have babies. For that reason I declare, let every girl have what she wants! Here are tips that will help you get pregnant faster.
1. Arrange For A Preconception Counselling
According to Peyman Banooni, a doctor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, couples who are ready to start a family and are trying to have a baby can make a smart move by checking in with their healthcare provider so that they can review their medical history and conditions. This should not mean that you are clueless about how to get pregnant.
During that visit, your gynaecologist will conduct a complete gynaecological examination on you, blood tests, genetic tests based on family history and test for rubella immunity (of which you should get vaccinated). According to Elizabeth Stein, a certified nurse midwife who is based in New York, USA, you should also pay a dentist a visit so that your oral health is checked. A gum disease known as maternal periodontal has been linked by doctors to cause late miscarriage in women.
2. Stop Taking Birth Control In Advance
If you are on a hormonal birth control like the pill, it is recommended that you put a stop to the birth control pill 3 months in advance so that you give your body time to adjust your level of fertility back to normal. This is because there are no medications to counter the effects of these hormonal birth control pills. If you are using an intrauterine device (IUD), you should have the device removed a month in advance before you start trying to conceive.
According to Aseel Hamoudi, an Obstetrics and Gynecology assistant professor at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, if you have been using Depo-Provera, it might take you up to 9 months before you ovulate. He, therefore, recommends that you should stop using the Depo-Provera shots a year in advance if you want to get pregnant faster.
3. Monitor Your Ovulation
Although sperms can last for 3 to 4 days after sex, your ovum is only fertile for 12 to 24 hours after ovulation. This means that you have a narrow window to make a baby. Therefore to increase your chances of getting pregnant, knowing the day you ovulate will increase your chances of getting pregnant when you want to get pregnant.
According to Mayo clinic, ovulation occurs around the 14th day of your menstrual cycle (day 1 is the first day of your period), it is thus possible to determine the day that you are likely to ovulate. Other methods that can help you determine the day you ovulate include the basal body temperature method or by using ovulation predictor kits.
4. Avoid Smoking
If you want to get pregnant faster, ‘hang tough and don’t puff’ should be your slogan. It’s a no-brainer that smoking is harmful to your health. Therefore, if you are planning to get pregnant, it is recommended that you quit smoking in advance in case you are a smoker.
Unknown to many, smoking can also damage a woman’s ovaries. If you are a smoker, you are likely to lose your eggs at a faster rate making you hit menopause four years earlier than other women. You should also encourage your partner to quit smoking since it lowers his sperm count or makes him produce abnormal sperms. According to Dr. Thomas Hannam of Toronto Fertility Clinic, smoking may lead to the blockage of your fallopian tubes hence making it difficult to get pregnant.
According to ASRM, it will take you a longer time to conceive due to your increased rate of infertility.
5. Consider Using A Fertility Monitor
Though a bit expensive, using a fertility monitor will enable you to get pregnant faster since you will be able to know all your fertile days. An example of such product is the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor that tracks the levels of hormones like oestrogen and the Luteinizing Hormone.
6. Quit Drinking Alcohol
According to The National Health and Medical Research Council, a woman who drinks more than three drinks a day will have low fertility and is, therefore, likely to take a longer time to get pregnant. The National Health and Medical Research Council recommend that for women who are trying to get pregnant, the safest option is to avoid drinking alcohol at all if they want to get pregnant faster.
Recent studies have also shown that frequent consumption of alcohol leads to irregular menstrual cycles and other menstrual disorders like dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation).
7. Moderate Your Caffeine Intake
Many of us rely on a cup or two of coffee in the morning to help us start our day with ease. It is not wrong to take coffee or tea when you are planning to get pregnant. However, according to Professor Sean Ward from the School of Medicine, the University of Nevada, any woman trying to get pregnant should limit the amount of caffeine she takes.
He further explains that caffeine reduces muscle activity in the fallopian tube hence hindering the movement of the eggs from the ovaries to the womb. His experiments were conducted on mice. You should, therefore, ensure that you don’t consume more than 300mg of caffeine which is more than 3 cups of coffee in a day if you want to get pregnant faster.
8. Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
Did you know that being too fat can reduce your chances of conceiving? Another interesting fact is that being too slim makes it even harder to get pregnant. Research conducted by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine shows that if your Body Mass Index is greater than 35, it will take you twice as long to get pregnant as compared to a woman with a normal BMI.
If you are underweight, that is, your BMI is under 17, then you will take four times as longer as a normal person would take to get pregnant. This is because too much body fat makes your body produce a lot of oestrogens which will interfere with your ovulation while if you are very thin, you may start getting irregular periods.
You should, therefore, ensure that you have a BMI of between 19 and 25 if you want to get pregnant faster.
9. Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, embarking on the intake of prenatal vitamins right from the moment you are planning to have a baby is very important since the vitamins are needed for the baby’s early development even before you realise that you are pregnant. This is because the baby’s brain and spine are starting to form around the 3rd week of pregnancy hence taking prenatal vitamins like folic acid will be a good idea to stay ahead.
There has also been some research that has suggested that taking folic acid prior to getting pregnant prepares the body for pregnancy.
10. Be Aware Of The Age-related Risks And Decline In Fertility
As a woman, you should always be aware that your fertility decreases as you age due to the changes in your ovaries which will result in the reduction of the quality and quantity of your eggs. American Society for Reproductive Medicine says that a woman’s fertility begins to decline in her 30s. Your fertility will further decline sharply when you hit 37 and steeply when you reach your 40s.
Research also shows that women who are above 40 years old have their chances of getting pregnant reduced by more than half as compared to younger women.
11. Eat healthy foods
Eating a variety of healthy diets can help prepare your body for pregnancy by boosting your body’s store of critical nutrients like calcium, iron, proteins and vitamins. Your diet should, therefore, incorporate a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy sources of fats.
You should also avoid foods with high cholesterol levels since high quantities of cholesterol in the body make it harder to get pregnant. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that when you are planning to get pregnant, you should avoid seafood that has higher mercury contents like sharks and swordfish.
12. Go Easy On Strenuous Workouts
It’s always good to be physically active every day of your week so that your body is prepared for the demands of pregnancy and labour. However, doctors warn against engaging yourself in strenuous workouts frequently if you are trying to get pregnant since too much exercise may interfere with your ovulation.
“Women who do a lot of exercise experience menstrual disturbance”, says Dr. Ellen Mary Pavone, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at Northwestern Medicine’s Fertility and Reproductive Center based in Chicago, USA.
13. Skip The Lube
Some women may be suffering from vaginal dryness which usually makes sex less enjoyable for them hence lubricants may sometimes find their way into the bedroom. However, if you are trying to have a baby, you will need to encourage your partner to ramp up his foreplay skills. This is because some lubricants may be toxic to sperms hence reducing your chances of getting pregnant faster.
American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends that if you insist on using lubricants when you get busy down there, then it will be safe to use mineral oil or hydroxyethylcellulose-based lubricants. If you can’t do without a lubricant, then I would recommend that you try Conceive Plus fertility lubricant. It contains calcium and magnesium ions that promote the process of fertilisation.
14. Lay Down After Sex
You have probably heard this old wives’ tale that says after having sex you should lie down in your bed with your feet in the air. My verdict is that this is not true, but whoever came up with the idea was on the right track. This is because according to Paula Hillard, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Stanford University, it is good to lie down for 10 to 15 minutes after intercourse to make the sperms arrive in the cervix faster.
15. Relax And Have Fun
Since there is a growing evidence that stress may actually be playing a role in women’s infertility, doctors recommend that women should take it easy when trying to get pregnant and avoid things that stress them out. This may be hard to achieve especially if you are taking longer than you had hoped to get pregnant. Baby lust can only be satisfied by seeing your bump growing. You may try yoga or other stress reduction techniques to help you chillax while you are trying to get pregnant.
15 Reasons why you may not be getting pregnant
Pinpointing why a woman may not be conceiving to a single cause may be complex. Experts say that sometimes the reason why you may not be getting pregnant may be due to a combination of factors. Here are 15 reasons why you may not be getting pregnant:
According to Dr. William Schoolcraft, a renowned fertility specialist at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, the male factor is the leading cause of infertility problems in couples. The male factor involves structural abnormalities in a man’s reproductive system that may block the flow of sperms together with low sperm count and slow swimming sperms.
Good news is that these male infertility issues can be treated through surgery and medication or through procedures like In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or through intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) that involves the injection of a single sperm into an egg.
According to the National Infertility Association, three to five million women in America alone suffer endometriosis. Endometriosis is a chronic disease that affects a woman’s reproductive system in which the cells in the uterus lining grow outside the uterine cavity which results into blocked fallopian tubes hence making it impossible for the eggs and the sperms to meet. One of the most common symptoms of endometriosis is heavy and painful periods.
It can be treated through surgery whereby the cysts are removed.
This is one of the single most common causes of infertility in women. It involves the occurrence of ovulation on an irregular basis. Sometimes if it is serious, ovulation may fail to occur totally. According to latest findings, between 20 to 40 percent of infertility in women is as a result of ovulatory disorders. It is caused by hormonal imbalances, obesity and excessive stress among many other causes.
According to Dr. Schoolcraft, it can be corrected through the usage of oral drugs like Clomid, which may be accompanied by insemination. He further recommends Vitro fertilisation for older patients who have been diagnosed with ovulatory disorders.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
According to Dr. Kaplan, this is a complex condition that involves ovulation dysfunction originating in the ovary. What makes it even a more serious and complex condition is that many patients who have it don’t even realise that they have it. In fact, only less than 25 percent of patients who have it are diagnosed with it. This is because it has a wide spectrum of unrelated symptoms which include unusual facial hairs, abnormal menstrual cycle and lack of ovulation.
According to Tammy Quinn, the founder of a clinic for integrative care for infertility located in Chicago, the best way to treat PCOS is through eating a healthy diet and doing enough exercise.
Being Over – Or Underweight
Quinn further says that being overweight or underweight is likely to disrupt your hormonal functions in your body. He suggests that women should thus be counselled on the importance of nutrition in a woman’s fertility.
Stress is a complex issue since it plays a role in all diseases and thus infertility is not spared. According to Dr. Kaplan Brian, the founder of the Fertility Center of Illinois, if a woman is going through extreme levels of stress; it can lead to the suppression of the function of the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls the pituitary gland. The pituitary glands control the thyroid, the adrenal glands and the ovaries. Any suppression on the hypothalamus can lead to irregular periods.
However, stress and stress alone cannot interfere with your fertility because if that was the case, infertility cases would be extreme. Finding a way of managing your stress levels would ensure that all conditions are optimum for you to get pregnant.
Tuberculosis In The Genital Tracts
When you have contracted tuberculosis, usually through inhaling contaminated air, it can spread through the blood to other body parts, and as a result, the tubercle bacillus can find their way to your genital tract. This can lead to the blockage of your fallopian tube which may further lead to infections. It can be treated through IVF.
Egg Factor As A Result Of Your Age
A woman’s age is a very critical variable in determining the level of her fertility. According to Dr. Kaplan, women are born with around 2 million eggs, and by puberty, there will only be around 300 thousand left. The saddest truth is that only 300 of your eggs will eventually mature to be released through ovulation.
With each egg being lost every month, by the time you are 50 you will have no eggs left. The quality of your eggs is also affected by your age. This can make it hard for you to get pregnant faster especially when you are above the age of 35.
When your ovary releases an ovum, the egg follicle starts to produce the hormone progesterone. This hormone plays a role in embryo implantation and is very important in the early stages of pregnancy. If there is insufficient progesterone, the development of the uterine lining will be inadequate to support a growing pregnancy.
According to Dr. Jain, this can make it impossible for implantation to take place making it hard for you to get pregnant. It can be treated through the intake of progesterone supplements which will thicken the lining of your uterus so that the embryo will attach.
You Are Smoking
Doctor John Jain, a Medical Director of Santa Monica Fertility, says that women who have been nicotine users for a long time are likely to experience infertility problems. Your partner’s nicotine use can also be the reason you may not be getting pregnant faster. This is because it may worsen his male factor.
The remedy for this is plain and simple, a few months before you try to get pregnant, you and your partner should kick out your smoking habits so that you can both be healthy in order to have a healthy conception and pregnancy.
Low concentration of haemoglobin in the blood leads to anaemia. This is usually as a result of insufficient iron in the body. Recent studies have shown that this can lead to a lack of ovulation in some women. It can also result in poor egg health hence inhibiting pregnancy.
Doctors thus recommend that if you are planning to get pregnant, you should increase your intake of foods that are rich in iron a few months before you try to conceive.
Latest findings reveal that approximately 5% to 10% of women who cannot get pregnant have fibroids in their uterus. These fibroids are just tumours that grow in the muscle tissues of your uterus. These fibroids can distort your uterus making it harder for embryo implantation to occur successfully.
If these fibroids grow to a larger size, they can reduce blood flow to the lining of the uterus hence making your uterine line unfriendly to the fertilised egg. This can make it harder to get pregnant. If you have been trying to conceive without success, it’s important to see a doctor so that you can get checked.
Sometimes you may have used hormonal contraception when you felt that you were not yet ready to have a baby. This may have delayed your fertility to return to normal levels, and that’s why you might be finding it hard to get pregnant faster. The contraception can also affect the frequency of your ovulation, and in order for things to go back to normal, you will have to wait a few months so that you can try again.
Use Of Lubricants
Joanna Ellington, a reproductive psychologist, says that using commercial lubricants every time you are getting busy with your partner may be standing on your way to getting pregnant. Some lubricants reduce sperm mobility while others are toxic to sperms. This makes it difficult for a woman of childbearing age to get pregnant faster.
She further recommends that you ditch the lubricants and go natural if you want to increase your chances of getting pregnant faster.
Low Ovarian Reserve
Your ovarian reserve is the number of eggs present in your ovaries at any given time. The number of eggs in your ovaries can decrease abnormally as a result of causes like malignant ovarian tumours, chemotherapy or as a result of chromosomal anomalies like Turner Syndrome.
The majority of women who suffer from this condition are usually in their 30s or 40s. It’s thus advisable that you should not wait to have kids when you are older if you have no reasons to wait so that you can have higher chances of having a healthy pregnancy.
Misconceptions About Getting Pregnant Faster
According to the latest findings from the study conducted by the journal Fertility and Sterility, there are still tonnes of misconceptions out there about how to get pregnant faster. These misconceptions can really screw up with your chances of getting pregnant if you believe them. Here are some of the most common misconceptions that I have uncovered together with the facts behind each one of them.
1. Your irregular periods won’t affect your chances of getting pregnant
According to Dr. Lubna Pal, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Yale School of Medicine, an unpredictable menstrual cycle has a definite impact on how long it will take you to get pregnant. Irregular periods may mean that you will only ovulate a few times in a year hence reducing the probability of getting pregnant faster. Pinpointing exactly when you are ovulating will also be harder.
2. Having sex more than once a day will increase your odds of getting pregnant
This myth almost seems probable that close to half of the women believe it. When a man ejaculates, he releases millions of sperms, but only one sperm will do the job. The number of sperms released reduces with each ejaculation. “Therefore, having sex more than once in a day will not increase the ability of that one sperm to finish the job”, says Dr. Lubna. However, this should not stop you and your partner from having fun while trying to make a baby.
3. That Sexually Transmitted Infection you had in your 20s probably didn’t reduce your fertility
More than 25% of women are ignorant of the effects of STI’s on their fertility. The fact is that STI’s like gonorrhoea and chlamydia can damage your reproductive organs like the fallopian tube. These damages may lead to blocked fallopian tube hence making it difficult for the sperm to meet the egg or for the egg to travel to your uterus putting you at risks of ectopic pregnancy.
You should, therefore, go for a checkup if you have had a history with STIs before you try to make a baby.
4. Having sex in certain positions will increase your chances of getting pregnant
More than a third of women think that certain sex positions boost a woman’s odds of getting knocked up. Though it is a myth, Dr. Lubna says that there is no harm in believing this. So if you and your partner think that the girl-on-top will make you get pregnant faster, go ahead and have some fun while making that baby.
5. My mum had me at 38, so I still have plenty of time
One of the most dangerous misconceptions is that women think they have until 40 to have a baby. However, studies show that a woman’s fertility starts to drop from the time she is 27. There is a saying that goes that age is but a number. When it comes to your fertility, and you hit 40, your age becomes a wrong number. Each and every woman is unique hence just because your mum was able to have you much later or because you have an aunt who had a baby at 42 does not mean you will be able to do the same.
At What Point Should You Consider Seeking Help
While getting pregnant isn’t always easy, getting impatient if you don’t get pregnant fast is very easy. As a result, couples may sometimes be in a dilemma of whether to continue trying on their own or to seek help from a professional. American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends that you and your partner should seek fertility help after a year of trying to have a baby without any success.
However, if you are over 35, then you should not wait longer without seeking any help. If your family has a history of premature menopause or premature ovarian failure, talking to your doctor as soon as possible is recommended.
Food And Fertility
A recent study that was conducted by the Harvard Medical School shows that eating certain foods can help to boost your ovulatory functions. This is good news since unlike age and genetics which you have no control over, choosing what you eat is something that you can do all by yourself.
The author of the study, Walter Willet, a medical doctor and a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard Medical School, when asked about what the modern diet had to do with the rising rates of infertility, had this to say, “The modern diet is largely composed of sugary foods and drinks, starches, red meat and trans fat which play a big role in reducing a woman’s fertility.” According to the study, only about 5% of women eat an optimal diet.
Nutrition plays a very important role in the health of your reproductive system since the foods that we eat are the building blocks of the reproductive hormones. Eating food rich in antioxidants will protect your eggs from free radicals.
The study recommends 5 diet changes that you can make to increase your fertility which also includes the foods that you should avoid:
Eat Slow Carbs And Limit Your Intake Of Highly Processed Ones
Foods like cookies, cakes, white rice and bread which contain bad carbs are quickly digested and turned into blood sugar. This will prompt the pancreas to release large amounts of insulin to drive down the sudden rise in blood sugar level.
Studies have shown that high insulin levels in the body inhibit ovulation hence leading to ovulatory infertility. The findings of the study conducted by the Harvard Medical School revealed that women who ate food with very high glycemic load were 92% more likely to develop ovulatory infertility than those who ate low-glycemic diets. You should, therefore, eat foods like fruits, vegetable, beans and whole grains.
Eat Whole Grains In Their Whole Natural Form
Whole grains contain fibre, vitamins and immune supporting properties. Fibre will play two important roles in your body that will boost your fertility which includes helping the body to get rid of excess hormones and balancing the levels of blood sugar in the body.
Switch Your Protein Sources
You should switch your diet from animal proteins such as beef, pork and chicken to plant proteins such as cooked beans and nuts. The study findings showed that women whose diets contain at least 5% of total calories from vegetable proteins instead of animal proteins are less likely to develop ovulatory infertility.
Avoid Trans Fat
Trans fats which are found in foods like processed foods, fried foods and processed foods are what you should be careful about when you are planning to have a baby. This is because they will inhibit how your body reacts to insulin putting you at risks of irregular ovulation.
Eat Plenty Of Cold-Water Fish
Fish are the main source of essential fatty acids which contain the essential omega 3. These fatty acids are very important in the body since they aid in the production of hormones and in the regulation of your menstrual cycle. Deep water fish such as tuna and swordfish should be avoided since they have high concentrations of mercury. An example of cold water fish that you should eat is salmon, cod and halibut.
Are You Over 40? Here Are Some Pieces Of Advice For You
Have you waited later in life to have another child? Or are you finally settling down at 40 and ready to have your first child? The truth is that getting pregnant over 40 requires significant emotional and mental strength to overcome challenges like the difficulty in conceiving, the risks of miscarriage and the high rates of complications that may arise.
When you are a woman who is 40 or above, your chances of conceiving a baby are getting slimmer and slimmer with every passing year. In order to make sure that you increase your odds, you should practice all the tips discussed above for a healthy natural pregnancy. You can also try InVitro-Fertilisation (IVF) if you are unable to get pregnant naturally.
5 Common Questions And Answers
Q1: Is infertility only a woman’s problem?
Ans: The society tends to think that if a couple is unable to have a baby, then it is the woman who must be having a problem. The fact is that infertility is a medical problem that affects both females and males. Studies show that about 35% of infertility cases are due to the male factor with another 35% due to the female factor. This, therefore, shows that the cases are balanced.
Q2: What’s the best age to have a baby?
Ans: Well, there is no fixed age that is best for you to have a baby. It all just depends on the time that you think is right for you. However, you should keep in mind that as you get older, your fertility is reducing and by the time you hit 35, your fertility will be falling sharply.
Q3: I always have irregular periods, will I conceive?
Ans: Yes, you can still conceive even if you have always had irregular periods. However, if your periods have always been far between, your chances of getting pregnant are very low as compared to other women whose periods are regular.
Q4: When should I start worrying that it’s taking too long?
Ans: Doctors recommend that you seek medical help if you have been trying for more than a year without any success. This is if you have been having unprotected sex regularly.
Q5: What fertility tests should our fertility doctor perform?
Your doctor should conduct the following tests:
- Blood tests to check your reproductive hormone levels.
- Semen analysis of your partner.
- Saline Infusion Ultrasound to check if your fallopian tubes are blocked.
- Ultrasound to confirm whether your uterus and fallopian tubes are normal in structure.
Making a baby is far much a complex issue than we think. There are so many things involved, some of which we have no control over like our genetics and some of which we have control over, like our lifestyle and diet. We should therefore always ensure that we live and eat healthily so that our bodies are always in a condition that is optimum for a healthy conception and pregnancy.
Rosen, M. M. (n.d.). How to get pregnant faster. Retrieved from http://www.parenting.com/gallery/how-get-pregnant-fast
C. N. (n.d.). LiveScience. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/45747-high-cholesterol-harder-to-get-pregnant.html
B.G. (n.d.) . LiveScience. Retrieved from http:www.livescience.com/ 43721-bmi-calculator.html
R. R. (n.d.). LiveScience. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/45499-pregnancy-myths.html