Are you trying for a baby?
There are many proactive steps that you and your partner can take to increase your fertility, look after your general health, and boost your odds of getting pregnant. These steps include eating healthily, exercising regularly, and saying goodbye to things that don’t go well with trying to get pregnant.
Taking folic acid and asking your partner to do the same (yes, it’s for men too!) is another thing you can do.
After you’ve taken care of “the basics”, you’ll want to know when your most fertile days are, and plan to do the deed accordingly.
How to tell when your most fertile
There are many ways in which women can find out when they are most fertile.
You can start charting to conceive and measuring your temperature each morning to find out when you ovulate, for instance, or learn to recognize the body’s natural signs of ovulation.
There are also ovulation predictor kits that very accurately tell you when you are fertile.
One simple and easy method that can be of great help – and which is also free – is an online ovulation calendar.
How do you get pregnant using an ovulation calendar? Here are the steps:
Find an ovulation calendar that you like, and sign up for it.
Enter the relevant information. Every ovulation calendar requires users to input basic data – the date of your last menstrual period, and the average length of your cycle. If you are not sure how long your cycles tend to last, you can start off using the average of 28 days, and keep note of the length yourself, then adjust later if necessary. Women who also know the length of their luteal phase, the number of days between their ovulation and their period, have an even higher chance that the ovulation calendar will accurately tell them when they are most fertile.
Some ovulation calendars have a feature that sends emails to women three days before ovulation, and again on the day of the expected Big O. You can also use the data to note the date in your diary instead. You and your partner can plan intercourse on those days.
Remember that sperm can survive for up to five days in the female body, so if you plan to do the deed five days before your ovulation, you may well get pregnant.
Many women opt to use an ovulation calendar in combination with ovulation tests. This way, you will know for sure that you are actually ovulating on the days the calendar indicated.
There are women who ovulate unusually early or late in their cycles, so using tests the first few months will give you more information than going by the calendar alone. Because ovulation tests are relatively expensive, the ovulation calendar’s data can be used to tell you approximately when you should start testing.
I recommend commencing ovulation tests five days before you expect your ovulation. Ovulation tests should be taken in the afternoon, when levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), which the tests detect, are highest.
Finally, I’d like to wish you the best of luck on your quest for a child. I hope you have great success.
Olivia writes about fertility and reproductive health at Trying To Conceive. Her blog is also filled with topics related to pregnancy and babies.