Before getting pregnant (Preconception health)
Things to do to know-how for getting pregnant
We’ve put together a comprehensive list of tricks and treatments to help you conceive and some common reasons why you can’t be getting pregnant. The tips aren’t just for you either – we’ve also included some handy ways to boost male fertility which your partner should think about doing to help you are trying to get pregnant.
Cut out caffeine: first step for trying to get pregnant
Caffeine has been shown to increase the length of time it takes to conceive, so ditch that morning coffee and don’t forget that even tea contains caffeine – switch to a herbal tea instead. If you’re struggling to give up Coke, switch to a caffeine-free variety.
Check your BMI: second step for trying to get pregnant
Being overweight or underweight can make it harder for you to conceive. If you’re overweight you have more fat cells which release the hormone estrogen. The more estrogen you have, the less your body produces another hormone, FSH, which is essential for getting pregnant. At the other end of the spectrum, if you’re too thin you might not be ovulating regularly and may lack the hormones your body needs after fertilization. Our BMI chart can offer guidance on a healthy weight for your height and build.
Visit your GP: a third step for trying to get pregnant
If you or your partner are taking any medication, it’s worth letting your GP know that you’re trying to conceive. Some drugs, like antibiotics and anti-depressants, can affect fertility in both sexes.
Get an STI check: fourth step for trying to get pregnant
Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia can seriously affect your fertility but have no symptoms, so you may not be aware that you have it. It’s worth going to your doctor for a check-up or visiting your local GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinic.
Take a supplement
There are lots of supplements on the market that will help make sure both your bodies have the proper nutrients they need for sperm production and conception. You also need to be taking a folic acid supplement for the health and growth of the baby. All the big brand pre-conception vitamins contain the recommended daily amount of folic acid your body needs.
Know your cycle
Women are only fertile for a few days at a time. You can find out when you’re ovulating by using our ovulation calculator or buying an ovulation kit from your local chemist. Boots do an ovulation test kit that includes 7 tests to tell you the best 2 days to conceive naturally. Having sex on those two days will increase your chances of conception. If you don’t want to buy a kit because it takes the spontaneity out of your sex life, just try to have sex every two or three days.
Try a conception lubricant
You can buy special lubricants from chemists who claim to enhance sperm motility (swimming ability) and make sperm live longer. Try Sasmar Conceive Plus Fertility Lubricant from Amazon.
Exercise releases endorphins which make you feel happy and help you relax. It will also help lower your cholesterol, also good for helping you conceive.
Watch your diet
A balanced diet is important for both you and your partner. You need to be having your five a day, plus calcium-rich foods like cheese and milk, wholewheat bread and meat, Quorn, or eggs for protein. Balance is key. Not too little or too much of anything.
Rethink your sex positions
Choose the right sex positions for the conception date. Avoid ones where the woman is on top. Try and keep your hips raised for a little while after sex so the sperm has the best chance of going in the right direction!
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