Getting pregnant might seem as simple as a sperm and an egg meeting, fertilizing, and becoming a baby. But there are many factors that affect a couple’s fertility and its ability to get pregnant. Both the woman and the man have things to think about and steps to take to ensure that they’re physically ready to conceive a child.
From diet to regular sex, here are five things a couple can do to increase its chances of conceiving.
Pay Attention to Ovulation
A woman has a fertile window, which is the most likely time during her monthly cycle to conceive. The five or six days before ovulation, and the day of ovulation, comprise that window. Eggs survive for a day, but sperm can live for up to a week. While it’s possible for a woman to figure out when she’s ovulating, you’ll also want to consider having regular sex — at least once every two to three days — to ensure that sex happens during the fertile window.
Quit Smoking, Stop Drinking, and Cut the Caffeine
Couples trying to get pregnant shouldn’t smoke. Not only are women who smoke less fertile than women who don’t, smoking damages both egg and sperm. Quitting smoking is difficult, so couples that take on the task together have the advantage of mutual support and the worthy goal of a baby to look forward to.
Women don’t have to completely eliminate caffeine consumption, but limiting it to about a cup of coffee a day is going to increase the chances of conceiving, according to Time Magazine.
While there isn’t definitive research about exactly how much alcohol is safe to drink while trying to conceive, the consensus is that the more alcohol a woman consumes, the lower her fertility is. Alcohol can also lower male fertility, so couples trying to get pregnant should avoid drinking as much as possible.
Follow A Healthy Diet
A woman’s body needs a lot of vitamins and minerals to prepare for pregnancy. Varying the food groups and following a balanced diet is key — so fruits and green vegetables, dairy, and proteins are all quite important. To cover all the bases, a woman should also take a multivitamin while she’s trying to conceive.
Exercise is important, too. Being overweight or underweight can reduce the chances of becoming pregnant, and weight issues can also cause miscarriages. A BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 — the healthy weight range — is best for a woman who wants to become pregnant.
Don’t Forget About the Sperm
It’s easy to focus on getting a woman’s body ready for pregnancy and the best ways for her to conceive. But the sperm is just as important in the equation, which means that a man’s body also needs to be in the right shape to produce the best sperm. Taking steroids or hormones can disrupt fertility. Just as women should follow the right diet, men should eat or avoid certain foods as well. For example, folic acid and zinc are important vitamins, so eat greens, whole grains, and eggs. Stress also reduces sperm count and can make it more difficult for a man to perform, so buy sildenafil if he needs help relaxing.
See The Doctor
As a couple, you should both get a checkup. Not only can a doctor advise both of you on diet and exercise, but a doctor can also check out other health factors that might affect a couple’s fertility, like certain medications that might lower fertility rates. Whether a couple is just starting to try to conceive or have been at it for a while, the family doctor is a fabulous resource. He or she will guide you to lifestyle changes and offer tips to help conceive quicker.
The best things for you as a couple to do are give up favorite vices like smoking and drinking, commit to being healthy, and enjoy your sex life. Stress can make it more difficult to conceive, so take the necessary steps and keep your spirits up. Envision the new life you’ll have with a cuddly bundle of joy in your home and your hearts.