Feature Stories Getting Pregnant Faster Old wives' tales and myths abound - but there are some things you really can do to get pregnant faster and easier! But while you were certain that getting pregnant would be fast and easy, after six months of trying it's just not happening.
Could something be wrong? Of course that's always a possibility. But if you are young between 18 and 34 and you and your partner are generally healthy, doctors say more often than not some simple problems -- with easy fixes -- may be standing in your way. Among the most common: Miscalculating your most fertile time of the month. Goldstein says that, while most women know they must ovulate in order to conceive, many don't realize that waiting for this to happen before having sex causes them to bypass their most fertile time.
Since sperm can live in your reproductive tract for up to 72 hours, doctors say having sex beginning at least three days before ovulation dramatically increases your chance of conception. Indeed, a year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in found that having sex beginning six days prior to ovulation is the most conducive to achieving conception.
In the same study, not one pregnancy occurred when sex took place 24 hours after ovulation. Continued But how do you know when you are about to ovulate? Goldstein tells WebMD you should keep an accurate menstrual calendar, tracking your period for at least two or three months prior to when you want to conceive. Then, he says, when you are ready to get pregnant use the calendar to predict when your next period will arrive, and simply count back 14 days from that date.
But what if your periods aren't regular? In this instance, Goldstein says consider having sex from day nine through day To help you further hone in on your most fertile time, both Goldstein and Winer say ovulation predictor kits can help.
But, says Winer, be certain to read the directions carefully, since every kit works a little differently in terms of how and when it predicts ovulation and that can influence the timing of intercourse. Because a rise in body temperature also correlates with ovulation, many couples use daily temperature readings to guide them to the right time for conception.
However, experts warn that most don't use the information correctly, and also wind up missing their pregnancy opportunity month after month. MD, division director of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the University of Michigan Health System. Continued In truth however, Randolf tells WebMD that, once your temperature goes up, it's probably already too late -- and your chances of getting pregnant are slim. And how often should you "try" to conceive and can there ever be "too much sex?
Today experts are less concerned. I don't think you should worry about having too much sex when you are trying to conceive," Winer tells WebMD. The same the New England Journal of Medicine study cited previously found that having sex every day is slightly more likely to result in pregnancy than intercourse every other day.
However, experts do caution couples not to put their love making on a schedule. That, they say, just might decrease chances of conception. In a second study conducted at the University of California at San Diego, doctors found that women undergoing fertility treatments , who remained relaxed and optimistic, had better overall outcomes than women who were pessimistic about their ability to conceive. Continued "If you are worried all the time about getting pregnant, if you obsess over it and think about only that, you might influence your body chemistry in a way that does affect your fertility," says Randolph.
The key, he says, is to "think about making love -- and not just about making babies. Doctors say try pillow therapy!
What probably won't make a difference, however, are the position you are in when you have sex, that is, unless you're standing up at the time. Conception Misconceptions As easy as it might be for some women to get pregnant, doctors say there are also some common "myths" about conception, which, for some couples, could make it harder to conceive.
One such notion is that using a lubricant makes it easier for sperm to slip slide and get inside. Not only is this not true, it could actually prevent you from getting pregnant. If you find you must use a lubricant avoid petroleum jelly. It's just too sticky he says. Instead he advises trying a natural vegetable product, such as olive oil, which is less likely to cause sperm any serious problems. Winer also cautions women to avoid douching , either prior to, or especially after intercourse, citing possible changes in the vaginal environment that could negatively impact sperm.
Continued As to the boxers vs. Randolf says this is simply an "old husband's" tale. The type of underwear your partner wears is of little consequence, he says. Finally, many women are concerned that coming off the birth control pill might affect their ability to get pregnant, but doctors say that generally there is little to worry about. As far as safety goes, Goldstein says the steroids used in the pill are out of your body within a week or less -- so they won't affect your baby or stop you from getting pregnant.
If, in fact, you are between the ages of 18 and 30 and you and your partner are relatively healthy and having regular intercourse, particularly during your most fertile times, doctors say you should conceive within 12 months or less.
If more than a year goes by and you are not pregnant, check with your gynecologist about whether or not you or your partner could benefit from fertility testing. Colette Bouchez is the author of Getting Pregnant: MD, professor, obstetrics and gynecology; director, division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, University of Michigan Health System.
New England Journal of Medicine, Dec. Fertility and Sterility, April, ; vol Fertility and Sterility, October , vol