Patient education & support

Tips to Conceive Naturally

When interested in growing their family, most couples attempt to conceive naturally. While there is no magic formula to ensure conception happens, there are a few things couples can do to help increase the chances of pregnancy.

The fertility specialists at The Fertility Institute have compiled this resource to help couples conceive naturally.

Make Some Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle affects fertility, and being as healthy as possible can improve fertility odds. This is true for both the men and women contributing to conception.

Eating healthily, exercising moderately, and maintaining a healthy weight can help increase the chances of pregnancy. Drugs, tobacco, and alcohol all decrease your chances of pregnancy. Reduce or eliminate drinking and smoking when you’re trying to conceive.

Speak with your doctor about your current medication regime. Some medications can make it more difficult to conceive. You may need to stop taking those medications or adjust the dosage as guided by your doctor.

Take Prenatal Vitamins

Some prenatal vitamins, available to both men and women, can help increase fertility. These vitamins, such as folic acid, prepare your body for pregnancy and can help your baby’s spine develop when you become pregnant.

Find Out When You’re Most Fertile

There are certain times a month when a woman is most fertile and most likely to get pregnant. Finding out when that is and planning intercourse around those days can increase the chance of pregnancy.

A woman’s “fertile window” occurs five days before ovulation and the day of it. That’s because an egg is only fertile up to 24 hours after release, but a man’s sperm can remain viable within a woman’s body for up to five days. Intercourse every one to two days during the fertile window is ideal. Research has shown little difference in pregnancy rates for couples having sex every other day compared with every day.

Intercourse prior to ovulation is more likely to result in pregnancy than intercourse after ovulation. Try to anticipate when ovulation will occur and have intercourse before ovulation happens. There are apps to help with that, but be aware their efficacy is questionable. Ovulation tests are available over the counter to help you track your cycle and determine your fertile window.

Be Patient and Reduce Stress

Everyone has heard stories of couples getting pregnant quickly. However, most people need some time to conceive. Most couples will get pregnant within a year of having unprotected sex every two to three days. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine reports that the chance of a young couple getting pregnant in the first three months ranges from 20% to 37%.

Age can make a difference. If a woman is under age 40, there is an 80% chance the couple will get pregnant within one year and 90% within two years.

Age & Fertility

Do your best to reduce stress in your life and be patient. Growing your family can be an emotional process, which can take time. Pressure and stress, including how fast or slow you may be at conceiving, can make it more difficult.

Some tips on reducing stress:

  • Talk about what you’re going through with a therapist, friend, or a support group.
  • Take some time each day to meditate/do some deep breathing exercises.
  • Keep up with what makes you happy, like your favorite hobbies. Make time for what you love.
  • Spend time with your partner outside of discussions around conception and fertility.
  • Begin journaling. This lets you express your feelings with a safe and healthy outlet.

When to See a Fertility Specialist

If you and your partner are under 35 and have been struggling to conceive for about a year, it’s time to see a fertility specialist. You should also see a fertility specialist after six months if you and your partner are over 35. Those over 40 should see a fertility specialist after 3 months of trying.

The fertility specialists at The Fertility Institute of New Orleans can assess your fertility, recommend personalized treatment methods, and help you grow your family.

When Should I See a Fertility Specialist?

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