How to increase chances of getting pregnant naturally
Getting pregnant can be extremely frustrating. For some people, it happens right away. For many people though, getting pregnant involves months, even years, of trying, running back and forth to the store for pregnancy tests, and seeing doctor after doctor. Luckily, there are several natural ways to increase your chances of getting pregnant. See below for which one might work for you.
Natural remedies to get pregnant
The first step to increasing your chances of getting pregnant naturally is to plan sex around ovulation. To do this, track your cycle with ovulation tests and plan sex around 36 hours before ovulation as this is when LH levels are highest and you are the most fertile. Ovulation only occurs for 12-48 hours once every menstrual cycle when your body releases an egg. By planning sex around ovulation, you are maximizing the chances for sperm to meet the egg and create a baby. Other than ovulation tests, we recommend menstrual cycle tracking apps like Clue, Flo, and Glow to know when you are ovulating.
Additionally, studies have found that cutting back on smoking, drinking, and recreational drug use for both partners proves beneficial in conceiving naturally. Evidence on moderate alcohol consumption doesn’t show a link to infertility, but one study found that drinking more than 8 drinks per week leads to a longer wait time in getting pregnant. This is not true for everyone, but if you find yourself struggling to conceive, limiting your alcohol consumption might provide some help. Once you do get pregnant, however, your doctor will tell you to stop drinking and smoking completely.
There are plenty of supplements you can take that have been found effective in increasing fertility. First, folic acid is a supplement found in many prenatal vitamins that increases the chances of conception and reduces the risk of neural-tube birth defects. Apart from supplements, folic acid can be found naturally in foods like leafy greens, citrus, whole grain rice, and beans. Zinc is another natural supplement found in vegetables and eggs that both partners can take every day to enhance the chances of pregnancy. Your primary care provider will probably recommend a specific brand of vitamins, but good ones usually contain folic acid, calcium, iron, vitamin D, and fish oil. These can be bought over-the-counter at your drug stores and should be taken before and during pregnancy.
Getting pregnant also involves a change in lifestyle (this is especially important if you have PCOS). Start with making sure that you’re getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep leads to low melatonin and serotonin levels, which have been linked to a shorter luteal phase, the time between ovulation and menstruation. A shorter luteal phase means less time for the uterine lining to grow strong enough to support a growing baby which, in turn, makes it harder to conceive. High-stress levels can take a toll on your fertility, so try cutting out any unnecessary stress that you notice every day. Finally, if you have PCOS and are struggling to conceive, doctors recommend taking a 4-month break from trying to conceive to focus on eating healthy and exercising.
Exercise and pregnancy
Pushing yourself to exercise can be hard enough when you’re not pregnant, so just imagine how difficult it is when you are pregnant. Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or are currently pregnant, moderate physical exercise should be included in your journey. Being overweight or underweight can disrupt your natural hormone balance and impact your ovulation, making it harder to conceive. For those trying to conceive, doctors recommend 30 minutes of exercise 3-4 times a week, whatever that might look like for you.
If you are pregnant, exercise can have a positive impact on your mental health while you are carrying. One study found that subjects exercising 1-2 times a week during pregnancy were less likely to report depression than those who worked out either more or less. Exercise balls can also be helpful during pregnancy for easy exercise as well as increasing blood flow and opening up the hips during the third trimester. If you are looking for more advice on exercise during pregnancy, check out our tips for making workouts during pregnancy less scary.
The most important thing to remember with exercise during pregnancy is that you are the only one who knows your limits and what is comfortable for your body. For example, with high-risk pregnancies, exercise can do more harm than good. Every pregnancy is different, so be sure to talk to your doctor about your unique case and how much exercise is recommended.
The recovery period postpartum also looks different from person to person. Your doctor will recommend different amounts of time to rest based on various factors about the birth, such as the method of birth (natural or C-section) or complications that occurred. Your body is changed forever after pregnancy, so take it day by day. It is far more important to take care of yourself emotionally, rest, and spend time with your newborn.
Diet and Pregnancy
Focusing on your nutrition and knowing what you’re putting into your body is one of the most important things you can do when trying to get pregnant to increase your chances of natural conception. Your body simply won’t allow pregnancy if it doesn’t have the proper nutrients and foundations to withstand it, so swapping out fried and processed foods for vegetables and protein is a great first step to take.
Foods that are rich in antioxidants, like vegetables, nuts, and grains, help to boost fertility. Antioxidants work to deactivate free radicals in your body, which can damage sperm and egg cells. It’s also helpful to avoid trans fats, mostly found in vegetable oils and fried food. One study found that the negative effect trans fats have on insulin sensitivity leads to an increased risk of ovulation infertility. Sometimes, replacing animal proteins with vegetable proteins increases fertility and the likelihood of conception because animal protein is more closely linked to infertility than vegetable protein.
If you’re considering starting the Keto diet before getting pregnant, it’s important to do your research. This diet is a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb, and helps with quick weight loss. While you’re trying to conceive, the Keto diet can reduce levels of insulin and regulate levels of testosterone and LH, increasing fertility. However, you should not use the Keto diet as a weight-loss regiment while trying to conceive. Instead, it’s best to look at it as a kick-start to your new health routine to teach yourself and your body a more healthy way of eating.
If you are finding it harder than you expected to get pregnant, don’t blame yourself. One in six couples experiences an unwanted delay in conception. No matter what your journey looks like, Stix is here for you every step of the way. Sign up for a subscription pregnancy or ovulation test delivery so going out to buy tests is one less thing you have to worry about.