So you’ve been trying to conceive for some time….now what?
First of all, relax, don’t panic!
You’re doing great. The fact is that it sometimes it just takes time. If you’ve been trying for more than a few months and are feeling a little impatient, know that it’s common to take a year or more to conceive and that sometimes it just takes time. Usually there’s no need to seek help just yet. Still there are some things you can do to get the most out of your efforts and improve your chances of getting pregnant.
Find YOUR fertile window
As you may already know, in order for conception to take place, sperm must be waiting in the Fallopian tube at the moment that ovulation occurs so it can fertilize the egg within 12-24 hours of the egg being released from the ovary. Because sperm can only live for up to 7 days in the female body, and only a small number of sperm will even survive the long journey to the egg, you and your partner need to have sex at the right time to maximize the chance that you will conceive. This means you need to know when you will ovulate, which is more difficult to determine than you might think. One reason for this is that due to normal fluctuations in your body, you won’t always ovulate on the same cycle day from one cycle to the next.
This will even be harder for those with irregular cycles. Fortunately, there are reliable ways to measure what’s going on in your body and predict when your most fertile days in each cycle will fall. The most important thing is to find a method for pinpointing your fertile window that works well for you! Aside from using a basic period calculator, you can also use Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs). These are a popular method for predicting ovulation. OPKs detect the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. Approximately 12-36 hours before ovulation occurs, the amount of LH in your body “surges”. By testing with OPKs, you can identify this LH surge, which allows you to know that ovulation is just around the corner and that you are in your fertile window.
Create a sperm-friendly environment
Many major lube brands harm sperm motility (ability to swim) and viability (ability to survive). When you are trying to get pregnant, it is important to understand that all lubricants are NOT created equal, and you need to be careful when selecting the best lube to use when trying to conceive.
Most everyday lubricants have a low pH and very high salt concentrations, creating a harmful environment for sperm. Another way to help sperm survive is to support your body’s production of fertile-quality cervical mucus. Each cycle during your fertile window, your cervical mucus changes consistency to be very slippery and pH matched to semen. To help increase production of this natural lube, drink LOTS of water. Water is a key ingredient in the creation of this body fluid.
Regulate your cycle and support egg health
An irregular period is defined as a menstrual cycle that is consistently shorter than 21 days or consistently longer than 36 days. Your cycle can also be considered irregular if the length varies significantly from cycle to cycle, for example sometimes lasting 28 days, then 40 days, then 32 days. What does this have to do with fertility? Irregular cycles make it more difficult to predict your fertile window and ovulation, however, you may be able to improve your cycle regularity. For women with chronic irregularity, the cause is likely that there is an underlying hormonal imbalance. The herb commonly known as Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus), included in the dietary supplement FertilAid for Women, is frequently used to help women restore hormonal balance and cycle regularity. FertilAid for Women also contains a comprehensive prenatal vitamin, which helps to ensure that trying-to-conceive women take in all of the nutrients (think iron and folate) they need to sustain a healthy pregnancy.
Egg health is another factor you should consider, especially if you are over the age of 35. Each woman has a limited supply of eggs and you want to make the most of yours. Natural products like the dietary supplement OvaBoost protect your eggs from toxins and stress through a specialized formulation of antioxidants and vitamins, supporting egg quality and healthy ovulation.
Trying to conceive is a team sport
If things are taking a while, both partners have an opportunity to up their game. While you are keeping your cycles on track, your partner can help move things along, too. A non-invasive and first step is testing his sperm health through a semen analysis to determine what his actual sperm count is and whether or not his sperm motility and morphology are normal. The good news is that a growing body of scientific research indicates that supplementing with antioxidant nutrients, like those found in Fertilaid for Men, Countboost and Motilityboost can improve overall sperm health.
Acknowledge that life is stressful
If you’re reading this, you may be stressed out about how long it’s taking to conceive. According to many fertility experts, chronic stress can be a fertility-buster, as it causes the body to be in “fight or flight” mode constantly, which suppresses reproductive hormones. While it’s probably not realistic to think you’ll be able to eliminate stress all together, now is the time to lean in to your most effective stress-reducing tactics and self-care favorites. Take a careful look at the relationships and other activities in your life that might be impacting your stress levels and consider what options you have for changing those dynamics. It could make all the difference!