Best Ways To Conceive

Best ways to conceive: If you've been trying for a baby for a few months and have had little success, there are possible reasons why that you haven't thought about.

Still not pregnant?

If you've been trying for your first baby for a few months now with little success you're not alone.

It has been estimated that one in eight couples have fertility problems while trying for their firstborn.

Of course, a few months of trying doesn't mean that you have a "˜fertility problem.' It's more than likely you just aren't making love at the right times - after all, in a woman's one month menstrual cycle, she has a window of approximately 2-3 days in which pregnancy can occur - so just missing the boat is a likely cause.

Becoming pregnant isn't just about making love at the right time. Your body has to be ready for things to happen. Factors outside of just having intercourse at the right times could be delaying you becoming pregnant.

Read this list thoroughly and make steps to complete each instruction. If after 6 months you still haven't conceived, take a trip to your doctor for a little help. This list of instructions is aimed at both parties in the couple.

1. Women who are obese or very overweight can have problems conceiving. In an ideal world pregnancies would be planned at the weight you are at the time of conception is your ideal weight - making it much easier to return to this after the birth. Try slimming down a little while trying to conceive. Eat healthily, and exercise a little extra each day.

2. Give up smoking - it can triple your chances of not being able top conceive. This could be the barrier between you conceiving and actually being pregnant. Giving up before you conceive will also be substantially healthier for your unborn baby.

3. Reduce your caffeine intake; it is known to reduce fertility. Drink water or fruit juice instead.

4. Watch your alcohol intake. It is agreed that 3 months before conception should be alcohol free.

5. Give up any drugs. They deplete oxygen in the womb (or would-be womb) and can cause birth defects - even for those using drugs before conceiving.

6. Ensure you are getting enough vitamins and nutrients. Take extra supplements of iron.

7. Avoid certain foods while trying to conceive: raw and undercooked eggs, undercooked meat, pate and mould ripened cheese, oysters, uncooked shellfish such as prawns, unpasteurized milk, liver and liver products.

8. Calculate how long your menstrual cycle is: The length is from the beginning of one period to the beginning of the next. Count the first day of bleeding/spotting at day 1. Note in your diary the dates you start your cycle and when you have intercourse.

Length of cycle:

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

days after your last period you should make love:

5 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

9. Using the table above, find the length of your cycle on the top line. The number underneath is the number of days from the beginning of your last period, which you will be your most fertile - and therefore should be having intercourse in a bid to conceive. Have intercourse for eight days to ensure catching your most fertile day.

Example: Carrie has her period every 28 days. She started her period on the 4th, so including that day she counts for ward 11 days and begins making love on the 14th for eight days.

10. Check with your doctor if any prescription medicines may be interfering with be able to conceive.

11. Your age may play a part. Women start to become less fertile at the age of around 30. By age 37 the egg cells start to disappear at a faster rate.

12. Are you trying too hard? It's very easy for an outsider to tell you not to think about it or try to relax. When you want something, it's extremely hard to be patient. However, stress and anxiety can be the reason you aren't conceiving. It is estimated that couples trying for a second child often conceive within just a few months - this is thought to be because of the loss of anxiety and pressure present with first-timers.

13. Is your partner wearing the right underwear? Wearing boxer shorts rather than close-fitting briefs helps the sperm breath, thus producing more.

14. Try a different position. Tests reveal that having the man on top of the woman during intercourse ensures more sperm get to its destination.

It's been a year and I'm still not pregnant"¦

I think it's time you thought about a trip to the doctor. Take along your diary and any notes you've recorded concerning your period.

Your doctor will be able to find out why you aren't conceiving, and also give help and professional advice. Referral to a special fertility clinic may not be necessary.

If you are told you care unable to conceive naturally there are many options open to couples you. Have you considered fertility treatment? Adoption? Fostering?

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