This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo with tips on family planning.
Once you and your partner have made the decision of having a child, it’s a good idea to look at some ways to help you increase your chances of conceiving. It’s a good idea to remember that getting pregnant can take time and you should be mentally and physically prepared for the journey. There are many changes that new parents face and not all parents are prepared for the struggles and challenges that lie ahead.
Basic pregnancy advice
First, let’s cover the basics.
You won’t necessarily get pregnant on the first try. It’s a little more complicated than that!
Every month, a woman will experience hormonal changes that cause an immature egg in the ovary to grow and mature. Each woman experiences a different cycle but the process takes around two weeks on average.
Once the egg is mature, it’s released from the ovary in a process called ovulation. The egg will move down the fallopian tube to the uterus and will be viable for around 24 hours. If this egg is fertilized by sperm cells during these 24 hours, the fertilized egg will continue traveling towards the uterus.
The goal is to try to conceive in the days before and during ovulation because sperm can survive in the female reproductive tract for up to five days. This way, sperm cells will be in the fallopian tubes when the egg is released from the ovary. This greatly improves the chances that you’ll conceive a child.
What about IVF?
In vitro fertilization, also known as IVF, is one of the techniques available to help people with fertility problems have a baby. It involves collecting mature eggs from the ovaries and fertilizing them with sperm in a lab. In case of the absence of healthy eggs in the female body, couples also have the option available to have their chosen egg donor’s frozen eggs delivered to their clinic of choice.
The fertilized egg is then transferred back into a uterus. This process is fairly involved and requires consultation from specialists such as Advanced Fertility. However, if you’re having trouble conceiving a child and would like more advance, then a fertility clinic is often the best choice for professional advice.
There are many myths about sex and fertility, but one of the undisputed concerns that you should have in mind is the lubricant that you use. Certain types of lubricants can actually decrease the mobility of your sperm. It may also cause the sperm to be less likely to fertilize the egg. If your lubricant contains ingredients such as petroleum, parabens, propylene glycol or N-9, it could be reducing the viability of the sperm.
Maintaining a healthy body
It’s also important to maintain a healthy body if you want to increase your chances of conceiving a child. Reaching a healthy BMI and improving your nutrition can be a huge positive. You should also aim to eliminate bad habits such as drinking too much alcohol, smoking or even drugs.
Once you’ve conceived, your next concern is to maintain a healthy body and look out for any concerning pregnancy symptoms that you might face. Every couple goes through a different pregnancy journey, so it’s important to be prepared for any potential challenges ahead of you.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.