Stack the odds in your favour
Once you've decided to try for a baby, an active happy sex life is probably all you’ll need to conceive. But if you want to increase your fertility right from the get go, check out these top tips for boosting your chances of getting pregnant.
At a glance
- Both men and women can try and boost their fertility before trying for a baby
- An active sex life is usually all you need to conceive
- Keep calm and chill out - stress isn't great for fertility
We know it’s not easy to quit smoking, but it’s worth it.
“Smoking can affect egg quality and is one of main causes of low birth weight babies,” says Richard Smith, Consultant Obstetrician. “
It also brings the menopause forward and damages the ovaries too. Men need to kick the habit too – smoking affects sperm quality and quantity.”
It feels tough now, but when you’re holding your baby, it will all be worth it.
Find a healthy weight
If you want to get pregnant, finding a healthy weight will really help you conceive. “
If you have a body mass index of 29 or more, excess oestrogen (a female sex hormone) gets stored in your body fat cells, causing hormone imbalances that reduce ovulation,” says Smith.
The good news? Losing just 5-10 per cent of your body weight can trigger ovulation again. Being underweight is also bad for your fertility – half of women with a BMI of 19 or less suffer from irregular periods. So best to hit the middle ground if you can.
Get him involved too...
It’s the same with men too. If they’re overweight, the male hormone testosterone can convert to the female sex hormone oestrogen, reducing the sperm count. And men with a BMI of less than 20 also have lower sperm counts.
Keep calm and chill out...
We all know too much stress isn't great for fertility, so it’s time to do some serious relaxing. Pick treats you really enjoy, like a luxury facial, gentle yoga or a glorious soak in the bath. A 30 minute workout works just as well, but make sure you don’t over train. Breathe and unwind...
Get busy in the bedroom
If you consistently have sex two or three times a week, you're guaranteed to hit your fertile period at some point in the month.
Know when you’re ovulating
If you want to boost your chances of getting pregnant, find out when you’re fertile and have lots of sex. Use our ovulation calculator, look out for common signs , or use an ovulation predictor kit. Having sex once a day when you’re most fertile, will certainly increase your chances of getting pregnant. But if your partner has a low sperm count, chat to your doctor first.
Try those fertility positions
Some people believe the position you have sex in makes a difference. While it’s no guarantee, some say the good old missionary position works the best as it allows for deeper penetration and gives the sperm less of a swim to the cervix. It’s also said that placing a small pillow placed under the hips during sex and for about 10 minutes after is believed to help.
Keep those testicles cool
Believe it or not, keeping testicles one or two degrees cooler than the rest of your man’s body, can boost fertility. Tight underwear, hot showers and hot baths can all raise the temperature of the testicles, so you might want to ask your man to keep things cool down there.
Give your man zinc
"Supplements can make a difference." Says Smith “Zinc can boost fertility, so take a supplement or eat zinc-rich foods such Brazil nuts, eggs and seafood. Include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables too, for their high vitamin C content which can also help."