Female body produces around 300 to 400 eggs during their reproductive years. An average male produces 290 million sperms a day. During intercourse, approximately 200 million sperms are ejaculated out of which only 2 million make it to the cervix. About one million of these make it to the uterus. From one million only 10,000 can go up to the primary organ, among which 5,000 lose their direction and towards the end only 1000 can enter the fallopian tube. Somehow 200 sperms make it to the egg, and the only one can fertilise it.You get the math. Couples who are trying to conceive need to rely on the exact time the egg is produced. Otherwise, the opportunity of conception goes to waste, and they will have to wait for a month. Let us see how you can increase your chances of getting pregnant.
1. Follow these 3 step conception routine.
Step 1 : Know your cycle and eliminate the negatives.
Learn about your cycle so that you can track and identify your most fertile time. A general menstrual cycle is of 28 days. Most women ovulate about two weeks before their period which dramatically varies for every female as it depends on their body weight, exercise schedule and routine and levels of stress. In some cases, the ovaries produce less estrogen leading to shifting in the ovulation time. Polycystic ovary syndrome leads to excess production of male hormones by ovaries, which interferes with your cycle. There has been a significant increase in early menopause cases off late. If you are trying to conceive, visit your gynaecologist to rule out the causes which could be possibly affecting your fertility and ovulation schedule. If you have been recently on oral contraceptives, it will take some time for your hormonal levels to balance and your cycle to become regular.
Step 2 : Recognise the signs of ovulation.
An easy method of calculating your cycle naturally is by taking your body temperature every morning before you get out of bed. As one gets closer to ovulating, the body temperature will drop slightly, and a sudden spike occurs during ovulation. This is the perfect time to conceive. Changes that occur in vaginal discharge can also estimate signs of ovulation. Around ovulation, the vaginal discharge becomes more sticky. To realise the texture of mucus, you will have to observe the viscosity of the cervical mucus throughout your cycle. When you near ovulation, the mucus turns thinner and slippery which allows the sperm to reach the egg more easily. You can plan the intercourse accordingly, for the next 24 hours as the egg remains viable only for a stipulated 24 hour period.
Step 3: Work out when you are most fertile.
The best time to have intercourse is the day before or the day of ovulation. This is the time when you are the most fertile. It is believed that having sex in the missionary position, increases your odds of getting pregnant. Lie on your back with your hips tilted up post-coitus and place a pillow under your hips. This may increase your chances even further as it encourages the flow of semen to your uterus.
Once you have started tracking your cycle its time to concentrate on your health. A healthy body and sound mind is the key to being fertile.
2. Find your healthy weight.
Having a healthy Body Mass Index is essential. The healthy body mass index (BMI) range is 18.5 to 24.9. You can measure your BMI by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in square centimetres. Being both underweight and overweight can impact your chances of conception.
Maintaining a healthy BMI is easy if you track your meals, exercise regularly, have a sound sleep. But if you are struggling to manage your weight, you can get support from your doctor or consult a dietician.
3. Food to eat and avoid.
A balanced diet is crucial for nutrition. You can supplement your diet with pregnancy multivitamins. Eating food which increases the levels of estrogen in body substantially can decrease your chances of conception.
To eat :
Folic acid and vitamin B12 rich food like spinach, broccoli and dried legumes such as beans, chickpeas and lentils.
Omega 3 fatty acids rich seafood like salmon, sardine.
Include adequate amounts of fruits, vegetables and whole grain food, olive oil in your diet.
To avoid :
Beverages like alcohol and aerated drinks such as soda.
Junk food, food with high transfat content like Deli meat.
Food items which contain listeria bacteria such as goat cheese, brie, bleu cheese.
Limit your daily caffeine intake.
4. Exercise regularly.
Regular exercise is important. Try and schedule at least 30 minutes of your day to exercise. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and that fits your daily routine. You can either go running, be skipping, swimming, cycling, whatever suits your schedule and taste. Exercise decreases the stress hormone cortisol in your body. Cortisol has shown to delay the ovulation and interfere with your cycle. You can also try certain yoga poses such as supported bridge pose, seated forward fold and bee breath.
5. Improve your lifestyle.
Certain lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or recreational drugs could be affecting your health and thus your chances of conceiving. If either you or your partner smoke it can have a detrimental effect on overall chances of pregnancy. Your partner can also do a few things to optimise their fertility. Mental health is also significant during this conception period. Take adequate amount of vitamin D supplements to keep depression and other such psychological symptoms at bay.
6. Remember to be patient.
Your chances of conceiving each month are roughly around 20-25%. Do not get discouraged if the odds are not in your favour. For an average couple, it takes about 12 months to get pregnant. Be regular with your gynaecologist and go for combined visits. Follow the three-step conception routine and take good care of your health and you will increase your chances of getting pregnant.