1. Get in sync with your cycle – Know when you ovulate. This may seem like a no-brainer but it can take most of the guesswork out of conceiving. Generally, ovulation occurs 14 days prior to the next period. Ovulation predictor kits (like the First Response Simple Ovulation Test Kit) can be used to help monitor hormonal changes in the body and find your “fertile window”. Based on your ovulation cycle, the fertile window is typically the four- to five-day window ending on the day of ovulation. Try to have lots of baby-making sex during this timeframe.
2. Use a fertility-friendly lubricant. Use Pre-Seed to make sex more comfortable and fun! Clinical studies show that Pre-Seed is safe for use when trying to conceive, so you can be confident you are using the right lubricant to optimize your natural fertility.
3. Get into the right position after sex – Contrary to some rumors, there is no “perfect” position that is proven to help you conceive. However, the position you take after sex can make a difference. Stay horizontal for at least 10 minutes after you do the deed. Don’t get up and go to the bathroom or get dressed. Just rest and let the sperm get to where it’s going. A perfect excuse to scroll Instagram.
4. Start taking prenatal vitamins! Women should begin taking prenatal vitamins before trying to conceive, throughout their pregnancy journey, and even in postpartum. When preparing for pregnancy, the most important first step is to start a prenatal vitamin with 1000 mcg of folate such as OB Complete three months prior to conceiving.
5. Stop using birth control before you start trying – “No kidding”, you say. While it seems intuitive, not all birth control methods are created equal. Some will stay in your system for weeks or even months, especially Depo Provera. Check with your OB/GYN to find out the details on any of the potentially lasting effects from your method of birth control.
6. Schedule an appointment with your doctor – Since you know you’re ready to conceive, this is one of the most important things you can do. Your doctor can give you the advice you need on nutrition, lifestyle and overall health.
7. Be patient! It can take up to one year for a couple to conceive. If you are 34 years old or younger, I recommend trying for one year before seeing a specialist for infertility. However, if you have irregular menses, you should seek care from a fertility specialist immediately. If you are 35 years old or older, I recommend trying for six months before seeing a specialist such as a Reproductive Endocrinologist.
- Gloria Richard-Davis, MD:
University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS) Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology author of Planning Parenthood