Get more information about the second week of pregnancy. You’re not pregnant yet but you’re gearing up to conceive. You’re roughly aware of when you should be ovulating and you’re getting ready to put the cogs in motion. Here’s what you should know to increase your chances of conception.
You’re not pregnant just yet, but your body is preparing itself for ovulation. In preparation for an egg being released, mucus is beginning to line your uterus, fallopian tubes and the opening of your cervix. This will help protect and transport sperm in order to increase chances of fertilisation.
Women tend to ovulate around day 14 of their cycle and are most likely to conceive between one and three days before they ovulate. Sperm can survive three to five days in the womb so if you’re having sex a few days before you ovulate you will maximise your chances of conceiving.
If you’re reading this there is a very good chance you’ve made the decision to start trying for a family. Congratulations! Hopefully these eight tips will help you improve your fertility and your chances of conceiving.
It can feel like so much is out of your control when you are trying to conceive – especially if it is taking longer than you hoped to fall pregnant.
But there are things you can do to boost your fertility and maximise your chances of success – whether you are trying to conceive naturally or using assisted conception.
3 ways to improve your fertility
- Ensure both partners have a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI): Being underweight or overweight can delay the time it takes for a woman to conceive. Ovulation disorders are a leading cause offemale infertility, resulting in the disruption of hormones, menstrual cycles and conception. About 15 per cent of such disorders are linked to an unhealthy weight. Men also need to watch their weight. Obesity can lower sperm counts by up to 50 per cent. In both men and women a BMI of 18.5-24.9 is considered normal weight, 25-29.9 is overweight, and 30 or higher is obese. The good news is that tackling weight problems can have a big impact on fertility.
- Protect sperm: Men should avoid certain sources of heat, as temperature can affect sperm quality. Stay away from tight underwear, continually sitting on hot surfaces or placing a laptop on your lap for long periods.
- Consider your age: Women are born with all their eggs and as they get older, the quality and quantity of their eggs decreases. By the age of 36, the chance of a woman conceiving each month is decreased by almost half from the time she was her most fertile, in her early 20s.
5 top tips for conception
- Time intercourse: In order for conception to occur, a healthy sperm needs to meet a healthy egg. It’s vital that sperm are there and ready to fertilise an egg when it’s released. Sperm can live inside a woman for three to four days, so you’re more likely to conceive when you have sex one to two days before ovulation. A woman typically ovulates 14 days before her period, regardless of how long her cycle is. Ovulation kits can be a good way to help to time when intercourse needs to take place.
- Think about your diet: Eating foods rich in folate and iodine can assist conception. A nutritionist can suggest what food groups you need to introduce into your diet. Some of the best sources of folate include green leafy vegetables, salmon and chicken. Good sources of iodine are cod, yoghurt and seaweed.
- Reduce stress: While stress has no impact on the actual meeting of the sperm and egg, it can prevent couples from getting to the bedroom – which might be why you hear so often about people conceiving while on holiday.
- Get acupuncture: Some studies suggest acupuncture can increase general wellbeing when trying to conceive. Women often report improvements in physical and mental health including better sleep and improvements in mood and self-confidence, which are all very important when trying to conceive. If you’re using assisted conception treatments, there is some evidence that using acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer can be beneficial during an IVF cycle.
- Early diagnosis: If you’re having trouble falling pregnant, don’t delay in seeing a fertility specialist. There are a number of infertility treatments available and early accurate diagnosis is vital.
Your physical pregnancy changes
You can buy ovulation testing kits from your local pharmacy, which will tell you if you’re ovulating or not, but there are also a few bodily changes you can look out for.
A woman’s temperature usually increases by a couple of degrees when she is ovulating, so if you’re feeling a bit flushed around day 14 of your cycle it could be that this is the prime time to have sex.
You may notice that your discharge has become more slippery and looks a little like egg white. This is because of the changes to your cervical mucus around this time.
Also, much to your partner’s liking, you may experience an increase in libido thanks to your body releasing extra hormones during ovulation. This is your body’s natural way of prompting you to have sex at your most fertile time. Listen to your body and go with any natural urges you feel.
Your health and fitness during pregnancy
Stay on course with your healthy eating, exercise and folic acid intake because it all helps. Don’t get too stressed out or anxious about conceiving. Easier said than done, we know, but there are plenty of stories of women trying unsuccessfully for months and then falling pregnant as soon as they’ve given up worrying about it.
Your week 2 pregnancy checklist
- Keep track of your monthly cycles so you can calculate your most fertile dates
- Buy an ovulation testing kit if you want to be sure
- Keep up with your fitness and healthy eating routine
- Take 500mcg of folic acid every day
- Most importantly, keep having sex