Have you and your partner been eager and ready to have a baby yet somehow feel like your body is working against your excitement? Does it seem like it's "opposite day" for your body wherein everything is set, and you're ready to grow the family, but now your body isn't?
Fret not because there are a lot of ways to boost your conception efforts through sex! Not only will you gain pleasure in trying, but you also increase the chances of getting what you want.
10 Sex Tips for Women Trying to Conceive
Here, we will provide a breakdown of what you can do physically and sexually when trying to conceive to ease your efforts and increase your chances.
Tricks to get pregnant
There are some things you can do physically such as following the calendar method or maintaining a healthy lifestyle which increases your chances of getting pregnant. Below are five feasible tips to try.
Take note of your menstrual cycles
Because getting pregnant entails conception during the fertile window, it is advised for women trying to conceive to record her menstrual cycles. Things to take note of include the first days of periods and to see if it arrives regularly or at intervals that are more or less the same every month.
If you have an irregular cycle, meaning the lengths come and go at different lengths, it will take more effort to get the median or average time when you are ovulating. You can download an app to record your cycles conveniently and more accurately.
Ovulation is when a woman's ovaries release an egg during every cycle. According to the American Pregnancy Association, it is only fertile for 12 to 14 days, hence the need to monitor the days. Meanwhile, a man's sperm can stay inside a woman's body for up to five days.
Balance your sex frequency during the fertile window
It is understandable to want to have sex every moment possible and make the most out of your fertile window or the five days before ovulation plus the day of the egg release. These six days are considered the highest fertility period for a woman, pulling up your chances of getting pregnant.
As mentioned earlier, you can download an app to track your fertile window. These take note of past periods to calculate a more accurate prediction of your next opportunity to conceive. However, it is essential to note that the frequency of sex during the fertile window is equally important.
According to research, there isn't much difference in having sex every day during the six days compared to every other day attempts. The latter is also more feasible for couples, giving them more room to take a breather and lessen the pressure of trying to conceive.
Push to maintain healthy body weight
Each woman has a range of healthy and recommended body weight based on their natural build, body type, lifestyle, health conditions, among other considerations. When one is too heavy or too thin, the chances of conceiving are reduced.
According to Dr. Mary Ellen Pavone, an overweight woman can take double the time to get pregnant compared to someone who's BMI is within a normal range. Consequently, it takes up to four times as long to conceive for an underweight woman. Dr. Pavone is a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist and medical director of the in-vitro fertilization program at Northwestern Medicine's Fertility and Reproductive Medicine department in Chicago.
The reason for such numbers is that the presence of body fat yields extra estrogen, which hinders ovulation. The lack of body fat, on the other hand, typically leads to irregular period cycles while some women stop ovulating altogether. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine noted a rule of thumb would be to lose five to ten percent of body weight before conceiving to increase one's chances.
Indulge in fertility-promoting food
While there isn't a specific miracle food that would promote fertility and conception, a woman who eats a variety of healthy food and maintains a balanced diet ensures she has an arsenal of nutrients such as iron, protein, and calcium, which are crucial to pregnancy and fetus development. Following a healthy diet also means one stays within a healthy weight range, thus promoting fertility.
You can also take a supplement with folic acid for the much-needed dose of B vitamin. Folic acid is considered one of the most important B vitamins to have during pregnancy. This vitamin helps reduce the baby's risk of developing birth defects and boosts red blood cell production. Women who plan to conceive increase their B vitamin intake, whether through supplements or food like dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, nuts, legumes, bread, and cereals.
Foods to minimize when conceiving include high-mercury fish such as tilefish, swordfish, and tuna, caffeine, soda, trans fat, unpasteurized soft cheeses, among others. Meanwhile, you can also consider taking beverages such as tea, that has been designed to promote fertility and pregnancy.
When altering your diet during this stage, remember that you are prepping your body for a completely different stage, entailing creating a new life. By pampering your body and making sure it has all the essentials for the task, your pregnancy experience would be so much more fulfilling.
Lessen strenuous workouts or activities
In line with keeping your body in pristine condition, it is also advised to stay within healthy levels of exercise or activities. Continuing exercise is a must; there's no doubt about that. However, too much of it or engaging in high-intensity training frequently could interfere with ovulation. Doctors often advise women who are used to frequent or strenuous exercise and activities to cut back on them due to menstrual disturbances.
Whether you're pushed to get some exercise in to prepare your body for pregnancy or minimizing them to avoid strain, do remember to stay as stress-free as possible. Stress has a direct effect on menstruation and could mess up one's cycle. If it means you need to take it slow, stop getting pressured by the need or want to conceive, or focus on yourself more to de-stress, do it!
What are sexual positions to use to get pregnant?
Sex becomes more scientific and planned than being fun or done for pleasure when trying to get pregnant. With that said, you can make specific changes to your sexual routine that could increase your chances of getting pregnant.
It should be mentioned that any position, as long as the male orgasm is done inside, could result in conception and pregnancy. However, you can assist those little swimmers in reaching the egg faster and successfully.
Go for deeper penetration
Doggie style or a woman bent over on her hands and knees while the man stays upright from behind her, is dubbed as the position with deep penetration. Physically and anatomically, the man is closer to the cervix's proximity, which is the end goal. This position could help the sperm by decreasing its travel distance.
Let gravity work for you
We're talking missionary style where the man is on top and thus puts gravity in your favor. If the woman is on top, the sperm has to swim upwards compared to having the man on top, which keeps the path for the little swimmers flat and even. You can even put your legs on his shoulders to bring your cervix a little closer while ensuring gravity is on your side.
Go for a rear entry
This position consists of the woman lying on her stomach and the man entering her from behind. This achieves deep penetration like doggie style while ensuring easy travel effort for the sperm. This position has been discovered to be highly pleasurable, too.
Try something new
If you're trying to conceive and are bored with your current routine, you can try to switch things up! Aside from deep penetration and getting gravity to work for you, any sexual position would do. You can try reverse cowgirl, which needs you to sit up but achieves that deep penetration.
Side-by-scissors, where you and your partner spoon each other during intercourse, is worth trying for those days when energy levels are low, yet you both are turned on. This position also gives close proximity to the cervix.
The best position is the one that feels good
The goal is to reach arousal and to experience an intense climax. When you both thoroughly enjoy the sexual encounter, the woman is well-lubricated, making the man want the whole thing more and can ejaculate fully. It is a tag-team effort wherein both parties should be turned on to heighten the chances of fertility and conception.
How To Know If You Are Fertile?
Let's look at the possible signs that could make your attempt to get pregnant so much easier, shall we? Do go through the following checklist to see if your body's current "setup" is ready for childbearing. Furthermore, the signs below could guide you as you tweak some aspects to achieve the same goal.
Your period is as regular as can be
If you can count the days to a T when your period comes, you have more control over when to conceive during ovulation. Regular periods are those that come every 25 to 35 days. According to the Southern California Reproductive Center, if your cycle is longer than the typical five days, this could also mean a stronger ovarian reserve. This means eggs – and a lot of them.
The cramps are there
Let's face it – no one likes the cramping, bloating, breast tenderness, and headaches that generally come before the period starts. However, these PMS (premenstrual symptoms) means you have ovulatory cycles. In other words, your body is ready to conceive. So, it's a yes to PMS in this case!
There's discharge and good blood flow
If you notice an increase in clear, odorless vaginal discharge halfway through your cycle, take this as a good sign because it means you have balanced estrogen production and good cervical gland function. Meanwhile, you could also check your blood flow during the period. You want to be in the middle or have average blood flow (not too heavy nor too sparse). This means you have a healthy lining of the uterus that is produced and shed during each cycle.
When Is The Best Time To Have Sex?
As mentioned earlier, the best time to have sex when trying to get pregnant is about a day before ovulation. When looking at a calendar, this means 14 days after the first day of your last period, given your cycles lasts about 28 days.
Pair this with every other day sexual activity to get things moving – and this isn't limited to the ovulation period. You can enjoy sexual activity throughout the month to increase your chances.
Early Signs of Pregnancy
You've done the deed and followed the book and the calendar when trying to conceive…now what? It's time to wait for the strongest sperm cell to make contact with your egg. But how does one know that it was successful without waiting for the positive pregnancy test result? Here are a few early signs of pregnancy you can keep in mind.
Of course, the most common sign that could indicate pregnancy is a late or missed period. If you follow a regular cycle and your first day didn't come, you can begin concluding pregnancy. Due to the body's hormonal changes, some women experience tender or swollen breasts, nausea, discomfort, vomiting, fatigue, among other signs of morning sickness.
After a successful conception, implantation bleeding (when a fertilized egg attaches to the uterus lining) can occur within 10-14 days. This includes spotting or a very light period but isn't really your regular period. A woman's body temperature also increases, which is similar to when you sweat extra quickly during hot weather or exercise before your period. With that in mind, do ensure you are hydrated and avoid strenuous activity.
Of course, one can't entirely rely on these signs to confirm pregnancy as these symptoms vary greatly among women. You would still need to get a test result to be sure.
The process of conceiving might seem like a daunting thing, especially when you are faced with a failed attempt. However, do remember that you are not left with minimal options or tips and tricks to try. Look at the whole opportunity as an exciting adventure and enjoy every moment of it. This would also lessen the pressure on your body, which increases your chances of return.