Most couples don’t begin trying to start a family expecting that they will need tips to help get pregnant. Unfortunately, as many as one-sixth of prospective parents find that there’s more to conception than just making love when the mood strikes. Nutrition and timing play a large part in the process.
How Can Timing and Nutrition Help Conception?In order for the egg to be fertilized by sperm, it is critical that the timing be correct. Sperm have a life span of as much as five days, but there needs to be sufficient cervical fluid present to keep them alive. The egg will only live for 12-24 hours. This means that the window of opportunity for conception is fairly narrow.
In as many as 30 percent of cases seeking tips to help get pregnant, the problems can be traced back to issues with ovulation. Walter Willett, head of the HSPH Department of Nutrition at Brigham and Women's Hospital stated “making the right dietary choices and including the right amount of physical activity in your daily life may make a large difference in your probability of becoming fertile if you are experiencing problems with ovulation”.
Tips to Help Get Pregnant
- One common misconception is that having intercourse on alternate days will increase the chances of conception. For men with normal sperm counts, there is no need to limit intercourse. Ideally, the couple should have intercourse several times during the fertile window in order to maximise the chances of conception.
- Charting basal body temperature and looking for signs of fertility (cervical fluid and position) will help predict when the fertile window will occur. Ovulation prediction tests or cervical fluid lenses will confirm ovulation, but these are not necessary with consistent charting. Learning to chart temperatures is simple and can be done manually or at one of a number of websites that interpret the data for help getting pregnant.
- Make sure to keep all of your charts. Even if you are unable to conceive without medical intervention, having the charts available when you schedule an appointment is invaluable. Your health care provider will be able to read your charts, potentially saving you months. Additionally, some health care providers will be willing to treat you sooner if your records show that you have been having intercourse during the fertile window.
- Physical fitness is important for both men and women who need help getting pregnant. Exercising more and gaining or losing a few pounds, even if it doesn’t bring you to your ideal weight, may help you to begin ovulating or raise the sperm count.
- A Harvard study showed that women who only consumed low-fat dairy were less likely to ovulate. Even adding as little as one eight-ounce serving of whole fat dairy will increase your chances of ovulating. Pastured dairy is especially nutritious, full of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and K2, all helpful in increasing fertility. However dairy is not suitable for all women and whether dairy is suitable for you can be evaluated by your naturopathic physician.
- Avoiding excess carbohydrates, especially refined sugars and starches, is another one of our tips to help get pregnant. Eat plenty of fresh produce and moderate amounts of whole grains in order to prevent or help reverse insulin resistance and avoid polycystic ovarian syndrome and type II diabetes.
- Let food be your medicine. Stock your refrigerator with superfoods. Chia seeds are a South American food known for their ability to stabilize blood sugar. They are full of zinc and omega 3 fatty acids, both critical for the preconception diet and make great tips to help get pregnant. Pomegranates, whether served as fruit, juice or even in dehydrated capsules, are full of antioxidants. As little as one glass of juice will supply an entire day of folic acid. This vitamin has been shown to substantially reduce the chances of neural tube defects but is only effective if taken prior to conception. Maca root flour does not contain hormones but supports the body in producing hormones necessary for conception and a healthy libido.