Timing is everything. The average healthy couple has a 15-25% chance of conceiving each month. Let’s increase those odds.
You can ONLY get pregnant during the 6 days around ovulation. You can do it all month long but if you miss that window you have to wait a month.
If your periods are always exactly 28 days apart, then you should ovulate at day 14. Day 14 is counted from the first day of bleeding. Most women vary a day or two at least with many women (millions) having extremely irregular periods. If you are even 2 days off on when to try you may miss your window entirely.
A period does NOT guarantee you are ovulating! Bleeding happens because of a shift in hormone levels. Eggs have nothing to do with it really. There are several methods to help you make sure you ovulate and pinpoint the day.
*I DO NOT get paid for my opinion! No one has asked me to review or discuss any product on this post. I only suggest or link to things that I use (or really want to try, which I will state) If you click on a product that sends you to AMAZON.COM & buy it I get 1-2% of that product’s sale
Ovulation test strips
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on ovulation predictor kits. These strips are my favorite. Not only are they accurate (I used them to get pregnant) they will start very faint and get darker in the 2-3 days leading up to ovulation. I used their pregnancy tests and they told me 2 days before my fancy expensive test did.
Natural Family Planning
NFP can be complicated to start -but it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. It looks at the major physical signs your body gives throughout the month – basal body temperature, cervical mucus, position of the cervix. Taking Charge of Your Fertility explains everything you could ever want to know. The book is such a great resource and is super easy to read! This method will tell you exactly what your cycles look like!
This thing is soooo cooool. It’s more expensive, $200-300 depending on which you get. Using an oral sensor or vaginal sensor it measures enzyme activity to find your most fertile window and confirms ovulation. You don’t need super regular cycles for it to be accurate but you do have to be having periods.
You’re Ovulating!! Yay! Now what?
The only way you can get pregnant is if his sperm can make it to your egg.
You want to start trying 5 days prior to ovulation and have sex daily or every other day through your fertile window. You don’t have to have sex constantly or stick to any kind of schedule! Research has shown position does NOT matter. So just go for it.
Still not pregnant after a few months?
♦ Check what you are using. If you are using lubricant, you may need to switch it up. Lube can make it hard for sperm to swim. Skip it altogether or change to something like Pre-seed, which is made to be easier for sperm to pass through.
♦ If you took hormonal birth control before trying to conceive your body may still be estrogen dominant. This can also make it hard for your guy’s little men to swim. Drinking lots of water and taking plain Mucinex during your ovulatory window can help. All plain Mucinex does is thin body fluid (yeah I know, eww). This can help reverse the effects of too much estrogen.
♦ Add extra yoga or meditation. A Harvard study showed a 30% increase in conception rates when women added stress-reduction activities. That’s a big jump. Yoga is not my thing – for the life of me I just can’t relax doing it. Massages? Oh yeah! Reading Harry Potter in bed with tea? Yes please!! Find your thing and commit to chilling out a couple times a week.
♦ Acupuncture has great success in treating unexplained infertility. I tried it once…the month before I got pregnant… after 9 months of trying.
Not Ovulating or too irregular to find a pattern?
Try Lunaception. Even small amounts of light can interact with your hormones and mess up menstrual cycles by stopping melatonin production.
♦ For 14 days starting on day 1 of your cycle (or pick a day if you aren’t having a period) sleep in TOTAL DARKNESS. Cover or removal all light sources including little lights from TV’s / DVRS, get black-out curtains, do not look at your phone, ect…
♦ Sleep with the closet light on or a 100 watt lamp on for days 15-17.
♦ Return to total darkness for the rest of the month. This mimics the full moon which regulates ovulation for primates – research shows it can bring on ovulation and regulate hormones.
Get your levels checked. PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women. This hormone imbalance causes high levels of male hormones. Many women end up getting pregnant with PCOS! It can be tough to deal with but I’ll be going into detail about treating this in an upcoming post.
Avoid environmental hormones. Hormone disrupting chemicals and hormone-mimicking agents are in TONS of things we use every days. Apps like Skin Deep and Healthy Living from the Environmental Working Group help you identify chemicals in products and food that can harm your hormones. Soy and Tofu are major sources of estrogen-mimicking chemicals. If you have any hormone balance issues, avoid these!
Check your weight. Being underweight or extremely physically active are major causes of anovulation. Training for a marathon is amazing, but not when you’re trying to get pregnant. Our bodies don’t know we live in a time with grocery stores and kitchens – if you are 102 pounds or burning 2000 calories a day your body may think there’s a famine or you are in danger. It’s not going to try to get you pregnant if it thinks you can’t eat or gain weight!
Being overweight can impact fertility as well. Fat cells (adipose tissue), store estrogen. Having extra estrogen can make your body produce other hormones as well to try and balance it out. This can lead to some wild hormone levels.
Signs your hormones may need to be checked (and dealt with)
- Extreme difficulty loosing weight
- Facial hair
- Cystic acne (the big, painful type)
Remember around 80% of people will get pregnant in their first year of actively trying to conceive!
Have any other tips? What worked for you? Comment below
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