Ready to have a baby? Tips to get pregnant

Introduction 

You’re probably here because you’re trying to have a baby. The fact is that most couples get pregnant in the first year of actively trying. Others may need more time to score a positive pregnancy test. If you’re ready to start a family, read on to learn helpful tips to enhance your fertility and prepare for pregnancy. 

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7 Tips on Conceiving and Preparing for a Pregnancy 

1. Don’t Panic 

If you don’t get pregnant as quickly as you hoped, there’s no cause for alarm. Usually, couples should try to conceive for at least 12 months (six months for women over 35) before seeking medical help. After trying for two years, about 95% of couples get pregnant.[1] Keep in mind that each couple has a unique pregnancy journey, so never compare yours to anyone else’s. 

 

2. Stop Birth Control

Needless to say, it makes sense to get off all forms of birth control if you're trying for a baby. Once you stop using contraception, it could take a while before you conceive, depending on the type of birth control. 

If you used barrier contraceptives such as condoms or jellies, you could get pregnant the next time you have unprotected sexual intercourse. This is because it doesn’t alter your menstrual cycle. 

On the other hand, hormonal birth control works by preventing ovulation. Your body generally clears the artificial hormones within 36 hours once you stop the pill. But your cycle may not return right away.[2]

Some women won’t get their period for a few months — post-pill amenorrhea. On average, it takes about three months for women to get back regular menstrual cycles after the last birth control pill. Consult a doctor if your period doesn’t return in three months. 

 

3. Get to Know Your Body - BBT 

When trying to have a baby, the timing makes a huge difference. In an average 28-day menstrual cycle, women are only fertile for about six days. Knowing the most fertile days of your menstrual cycle may make getting pregnant less challenging. 

Monitor your cycle with your Daysy fertility tracker, which precisely distinguishes between your fertile and infertile phases. It works by measuring your basal body temperature (BBT). 

We asked Daysy's medical expert, Dr. Niels Van De Roemer (PhD), how a woman’s BBT changes with her cycle. He explained that your BBT generally has two phases — a low phase before ovulation and a high phase after ovulation. The BBT peak after ovulation is due to the warming effects of progesterone from the corpus luteum. Understanding this system tells you how your body functions throughout your cycle and optimizes your chance of conception. 

 

4. Get into the Mindset 

Your mental health is just as vital for successful conception and healthy pregnancy as your physical health. BBT helps you understand the changes in your body, so you can focus on your mindset.

A great way to mentally prepare to have a baby is by reducing stressors in your environment. Get a reliable support system to lean on, such as family or friends. This is also a great time to learn about what pregnancy entails. 

 

5. Relax and Enjoy 

Control the things you can, but let go of those you can’t. One factor under your control is when to try for a baby. Monitoring your cycle using BBT helps you get the timing right. 

Your Daysy fertility tracker does all the work so you don’t need to manually record temperature measurements or sit in front of a calendar for hours. Simply stick the device in your mouth immediately after waking up each morning. It uses a simplified color-coded system to alert you to the fertile and infertile phases of your cycle. 

With your tracker doing the work, you can get some much-needed rest. Stress isn’t great before and during pregnancy. Scientists found that it may lower fertility.[3] Rather, get back to the things you love and try relaxing activities such as breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and Pilates. 

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6. Modify your Diet 

Getting your body ready for pregnancy starts with fixing your diet. Poor nutrition may reduce fertility and affect your baby’s health.

Enjoy meals rich in antioxidants, healthy fat, folic acid, vitamins, and trace minerals before, during, and after your pregnancy. Don’t forget to avoid potential toxins as well. Reduce your exposure to environmental contaminants, tobacco, and alcohol. 

 

7. Take Care of Your Health 

Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disease, and hypertension may negatively affect fertility. Furthermore, poorly managed health issues cause problems for the growing fetus and mother. This increases the risk of premature births and stillbirths. Speak with your doctor about your health status before trying for a baby.  

 

When Should You See A Fertility Doctor?

At what point should you consider medical assistance when trying to get pregnant? Here are some crucial points to note:

 

Trying for More Than a Year

Generally, if you’re yet to get pregnant despite trying for over a year, it may be time to see a professional. Women over 35 are an exception to this rule as they can consult a doctor after six months. Numerous factors make pregnancy possible, and your doctor helps increase your odds. 

 

Older Than 35

At birth, women have all the eggs in their ovaries they’ll ever have. Experts recommend that women over 35 speak with a fertility specialist if they’ve been trying to conceive for over six months. 

Aging affects men’s reproductive health as well.[4] Men older than 35 might experience a decline in their fertility. Therefore, they may benefit from visiting a fertility doctor. 

 

Multiple Miscarriages 

Spontaneous pregnancy loss before week 20 happens in about 26% of all pregnancies.[5] Miscarriages may occur due to abnormal chromosomes, hormonal disorders, or implantation problems. 

See a fertility specialist if you’ve had more than one miscarriage. Experiencing loss is never easy, but with professional help, you can figure out why it’s happening and how to stop it. 

 

Chronic Health Conditions

Health problems, such as diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, kidney disease, or genetic disorders, may affect fertility. Furthermore, they may lead to high-risk pregnancies. 

Start your pregnancy journey with a visit to your health provider if you’re managing a chronic health condition. They’ll let you know if you can proceed safely and keep an eye on you throughout the pregnancy. 

 

Irregular Menstrual Cycle

Fertility problems sometimes cause abnormalities in the menstrual cycle. Consult a specialist if you miss several periods or have an irregular cycle. 

Remember to monitor your menstrual cycle closely with your Daysy fertility tracker. This tells you if your cycle is regular and if you’re ovulating. The goal is to spot critical details to discuss with your doctor during your next appointment. 

 

Erectile/Ejaculatory Problems

Erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction doesn’t always equate to infertility. However, both conditions may occur simultaneously. 

This is a sensitive issue for men because of the shame and stigma, but it’s way more common than you think. About 30 million men in the United States struggle with erectile dysfunction.[6] Speak with your urologist if you have erectile issues. They’ll figure out if it affects your fertility and develop a treatment plan. 

 

What Happens During Your Fertility Clinic Visit?

The first time you visit a fertility clinic may be an emotional rollercoaster. It’s normal to feel scared, anxious, excited, or intimidated. Here’s what to expect so that it’s easier to handle. 

Your first appointment would typically begin like any other visit to your doctor. Someone will take your vitals before directing you to the fertility specialist. Your doctor will have a few questions for you, so it’ll help you to be prepared in advance. Some likely questions include:

  • When was your last period?
  • Do you have painful periods?
  • How long does your period last?
  • How do you track your ovulation? 
  • Have you ever conceived before?
  • Have you done fertility tests?
  • When did you get your first period?
  • Do you monitor your basal body temperature?
  • Have you ever had pelvic or abdominal surgery?
  • How long have you been actively trying to get pregnant?

Monitoring your menstrual cycle with the Daysy fertility tracker is a great way to gather crucial information to share with your doctor. 

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Once your health provider has an idea of your medical history and lifestyle, they may recommend fertility tests such as [7]

  • Blood Tests — They check your hormone levels and screen for STDs that may affect fertility. 
  • Pelvic Examination — Your doctor performs this exam to look for abnormalities in your reproductive system.
  • Semen Analysis — This test checks the quantity, motility, and quality of sperm.
  • Postcoital Test — Your doctor may order this test a few days before ovulation. It’s done to observe how sperm and cervical mucus interact after sexual intercourse. 
  • Transvaginal (pelvic) Ultrasound Exam — About two weeks before your period, your doctor may perform a pelvic ultrasound to check your uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. 
  • BBT Charting — This is a measure of your body temperature at rest used to monitor ovulation. 
  • Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) — After injecting a special dye into the uterus through your vagina, this X-ray checks for possible blockage along your Fallopian tube. 
  • Hysteroscopy— This allows your doctor to view your uterus and check for possible causes of infertility. 
  • Laparoscopy — Under general anesthesia, the surgeon looks into your abdomen using a laparoscope. This procedure may help identify endometrial scars. 

What Are the Possible Fertility Treatments Your Doctor May Suggest?

After comprehensive testing and diagnosis, your doctor may recommend the following fertility treatments:

 

Medication 

There are numerous drugs available for fertility issues. One of the most widely used is Clomiphene citrate.[8] For over 40 years, it’s been prescribed to help women ovulate. It stimulates the pituitary gland to produce gonadotropins (FSH and LH), which leads to egg production. 

If Clomiphene citrate doesn’t provide satisfactory results, your doctor may directly inject hormones such as 

  • Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Human menopausal gonadotropin (HMG)
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)

Other fertility medications that doctors may prescribe include letrozole, metformin, and bromocriptine.

 

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a treatment that helps promote fertilization.[9] It may be recommended for infertility due to male factor, cervical mucus problems, or endometriosis-related infertility, 

This procedure involves washing, concentrating, and injecting millions of sperm directly into the uterus. This is done during your most fertile period to maximize the possibility of fertilization. In about two weeks, the doctor checks to see if a successful pregnancy has occurred. 

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In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

In simple terms, in vitro fertilization (IVF) involves using sperm to fertilize mature eggs in a lab.[10] The embryo formed is transferred into the uterus for implantation. 

The reproductive cells used for this procedure may be from donors or you and your partner. An added advantage of IVF is that it allows for the screening of genetic disorders. 

 

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

In some cases, the sperm needs a little help getting through the outer coat of the egg. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a complex form of IVF that solves this problem. After harvesting the reproductive cells, the fertility specialist uses a micro-needle to inject the sperm into the egg.[11] Once fertilization occurs, the doctor transfers the embryo into the woman’s uterus. 

 

Conclusion

Many couples trying to conceive may struggle with overwhelming emotions, especially if it’s taking longer than expected. Although several factors contribute to a successful pregnancy, you can boost your chances by tracking ovulation, relaxing, eating healthier, caring for your health, and getting in the right mindset. 

Monitor your menstrual cycle with your Daysy fertility tracker to discover the best time to try. And if something seems off, discuss it with your doctor. Knowing when to seek medical support is crucial. 

Experts recommend contacting a fertility specialist If you’ve been trying for over a year, are older than 35, experienced miscarriages, have irregular menstrual cycles, or managing chronic health conditions. Your partner may also need medical support if they’re aging or experiencing erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction. Start tracking your menstrual cycle with your Daysy fertility tracker today. 

 

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Sources 

1. ABC of subfertility: Extent of the problem - PMC - NCBI

2. Should You Try a Birth Control Cleanse?

3. Preconception stress increases the risk of infertility: results from a ...

4. Fertility and the Aging Male - PMC

5. Miscarriage - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf

6. Can Erectile Dysfunction Affect Male Fertility?

7. What is Fertility Testing? | NOVA IVF

8. Female infertility - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic

9. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) - Mayo Clinic

10. In vitro fertilization (IVF) - Mayo Clinic

11. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) - HFEA