1. Have a preconception checkup.
Now, before you start trying officially, have a check-up. Ask your doctor about prenatal supplements that have folic acid that can protect against certain birth defects, such as spina bifida. Folic acid works during the early stages of pregnancy, so it’s important to make sure you get enough folic acid before you get pregnant.
“Do this before you start trying,” says Paula Hillard, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University. “If you have any underlying medical issues, you need to be under control before you can become pregnant.”
2. Get to know your flow.
How much do you know about the menstrual cycle? Real understanding helps you know when you’re most fertile, says Hillard. Ovulation is the best time to become pregnant. “Now is the time to reflect on having children,” says Hillard.
It helps to become conscious of the symptoms of ovulation, such as changes in the cervical mucus. It usually gets thin and slippery when you’re the most fertile. Some women may also experience a one-sided twinge of pain.
Ovulation Prediction Kits will also help you predict the best time to get pregnant, says James Goldfarb, MD , Director of Infertility at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland. Not only can they help assure you that you are ovulating, “if you are having infrequent intercourse, this tells you when to have it to increase your chances of getting pregnant,” he says.
Here’s how it works: The first day of your menstrual period is considered day one. “Start testing on day nine and keep going until you get a positive,” advises Joanne Piscitelli, MD, an associate professor of gynecology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. Women with a 28-day cycle tend to ovulate on day 14. But many women have longer or shorter cycles, so casting a wide net can help you be sure.
What if you’ve been using birth control? Do you need to wait a while before trying to get pregnant? Not really, says Goldfarb. “Years ago, the conventional wisdom was to wait a certain amount of time after stopping birth control to try to get pregnant but that is no longer true. You can start trying to conceive right after you stop birth control,” Goldfarb says. The only thing to keep in mind is that you could get pregnant before you get your period, so tracking ovulation may be difficult, and it might be harder to figure out your due date. For this reason, “some people may feel better waiting until they get one period on their own,” he says.
3. Don’t worry about the best styles to get pregnant.
Myths abound about the best positions for getting pregnant, but they are just that myths. There is really no scientific evidence saying that the missionary position is better than the woman being on top when it comes to maximizing your chances of making a baby.
“Very rarely, a woman’s cervix is in an unusual position where certain positions can make a difference,” Goldfarb tells WebMD.
Certain gravity-defying positions, such as sitting or standing during intercourse, however, may discourage sperm from traveling upstream. “It’s a matter of gravity [and] you don’t want all the semen to run out and semen are quick little critters,” Hillard says.
4. Lay in bed right after intercourse.
You have probably heard this one — lie in bed with your feet in the air after having s3x to increase your chances of getting pregnant. The verdict? Not (totally) true.
“It’s good advice to lay in bed for 10 to 15 minutes after intercourse, but you don’t need your feet in the air,” Goldfarb says. “Your pelvis does not move when you put your legs in the air.” Don’t go the bathroom during this time either, he says. “If you wait 10 to 15 minutes, the sperm that is going to get into the cervix will be in the cervix.”
5. Don’t overdo it.
Having s3x every day even during ovulation will not necessarily increase your chances of getting pregnant. “In general, every other night around the time of ovulation helps increase your chance of getting pregnant,” Goldfarb says. Sperm can live up to 5 days inside your body. The best suggestion is to have sex regularly when you’re ovulating, and when you’re not.
Speaking of sperm, “wearing tight-fitting clothing can negatively affect sperm count,” Piscitelli says. So too can spending time in hot tub or Jacuzzi. Your man’s cell phone habits may also also need some work. A study in the journal Fertility and Sterility showed that men who used a hands-free device with a cell phone and kept their phone close to their testicles had poorer sperm quality.
He might want to pass on the edamame and other soy foods for a while, too. Men who eat a lot of soy foods may have a lower sperm concentration than men who don’t eat soy foods, according to a study published online in Human Reproduction.
6. Don’t not over stress any way you can.
Try not to get stressed out about starting a family. You may roll your eyes if someone says, “Just relax and it will happen,” but stress can actually interfere with ovulation. So the more relaxed you are, the better!
Whatever helps you de-stress is fine, as long as it’s healthy. “There is some evidence that acupuncture can help reduce stress and increase your chances of becoming pregnant,” Goldfarb says. And although drinking too much alcohol when trying to get pregnant isn’t smart, a glass of wine won’t hurt.
7. Live a healthy life.
Exercise is a healthy habit, especially if it helps to keep you at your ideal weight. You can get too much of a good thing, just like anything else. “You can’t get too much exercise to ovulate,” Goldfarb says.
What’s too much? It may be different for different women. If you are a hard-core exerciser and are still getting your period regularly, your exercise regimen is most likely not a problem, he says.
But, Goldfarb adds, your menstrual period is not the first thing to go if you are exercising too heavily.
“The first thing that happens is that you have a shorter second half of your cycle. You should have a period 14 days after you ovulate, but too much exercise can shorten this phase.” This would be the first hint that you need to curtail your fitness regimen. He suggests tracking how long it takes you to get a period after you ovulate as the best way to know for sure.
Goldfarb says the best way to increase your chances of getting pregnant while getting the health benefits of regular exercise is to do moderate exercise think brisk walking two and a half hours each week (or at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week).
Stop smoking to increase your chances of getting pregnant,” Hillard says. Aside from all the other negative health effects of smoking, this nasty habit also decreases fertility. “It affects estrogen levels and ovulation.”
And don’t worry too much about your day planner. “Eighty-five percent of women will become pregnant within one year of trying,” Hillard says.
Watch video on how to get pregnant below;