Maximise your baby-making
The best way to get pregnant is to have sex – but understanding your body, knowing when to have sex and even what position to have it in can improve your chances of making a baby this month.
Here’s some of the must-know information for every couple to increase the probability that you conceive this month.
To maximise your chances of conceiving, getting to know your body is probably one of the best things you can do. Are you across your menstrual cycle? Can you tell when you’re about to ovulate? Do you know the best time to have sex?
The average menstrual cycle is about 28 days and ovulation occurs 14 days before the first day of a period, which in all the information around also called is Day 1 of your cycle.
A woman is at her most fertile around ovulation, and in the couple days beforehand.
There are three common cues that your body is about to ovulate – and all of these require you to pay attention to what your body is doing.
- Changes in cervical mucus: at the time of ovulation is becomes clear and slippery with an ‘egg white’ consistency and there probably seems to be more of it.
- Increase in basal body temperature (BBT): at ovulation your “resting” temperature increases. By charting your temperature over a couple of months you can work out when you ovulate and, if possible, start trying a day or two before the predicted ovulation time.
- Bodily symptoms: some women feel what’s called “ovulation pain” while others may notice a change in libido, sleep patterns or even appetite.
Charting all of these bodily changes over a couple of cycles will help you get to really know your body well.
When and how often
Clinically speaking, the best time to make a baby is when you ovulate, but starting a few days before because sperm can lie in wait for an egg for about 72 hours. But if you really want to give yourself a good shot at conception, the thing is to have sex and a lot of it.
There was a popular myth that you can have sex too often while trying to conceive, lowering the quantity and quality of sperm. The fact is, you only need one healthy sperm to fertilise an egg and even if his numbers drop, there will still be millions in each ejaculation.
Sydney naturopath and fertility specialist Leah Hechtman encourages her patients to make a concerted effort to have sex regularly.
“There is no doubt that the major thing to do when wanting to get pregnant is to have sex. And while the focus should be on love-making not baby-making, if you’re not having sex you won’t get pregnant,” she says.
“I tell couple who come to see me to have sex every day and not to only watch the calendar.”
The best positions
Don’t worry, you won’t need to be an expert of the karma sutra to help the sperm along their way. In fact, scientific data on which sexual position is best to conceive is pretty light on the ground.
But it’s assumed that those positions with the deepest penetration and that therefore get the sperm as close as possible to the cervix are the best – such as missionary (man on top) and man from behind.
And many fertility specialists advise that the woman doesn’t leap straight up afterwards but lies quietly and lets the semen stay inside for as long as possible.
The average couple has sex 104 times before falling pregnant and one in 10 women have called their partner home from work to have sex because of ovulation, according to a UK study.
The research found that it takes a typical woman six months to conceive her first child, during which time she and her partner have sex about four times a week.
Worth noting is that nearly a quarter of the 3000-plus women surveyed admitted to becoming bored with sex when trying to conceive.
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This article was written by Fiona Baker for Kidspot, New Zealand's best conception and pregnancy resource. Sources include naturopath and fertility specialist Leah Hechtman from the Natural Health and Fertility Centre.
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