12 Top TTC Tips: All You Need To Know When You Are Trying To Conceive.
Are you thinking about having a baby? Congratulations as that is a huge step to take and you will rock being a mom! And you may be underestimating as well about how easy it is to get pregnant. That is despite what you had learned in high school about the dangers of unsafe sex that can ultimately lead to teen pregnancy, and STIs and STDs. You also see on TV how a couple can only have sex once and bam, a pregnancy has happened. It is not to say that cannot happen in real life either, but the odds are against it.
That is why you want to arm yourself with knowledge of the best tips and tricks to utilize when you are trying to conceive. Let's now go over the best TTC tips so you can maximize your chances of conception and have your baby sooner rather than later.
1. Start Keeping Track Of The Menstrual Cycle
If you are already keeping track of your menstrual cycle, then you are already ahead of the game. But if you haven't been tracking the days of your cycle or you are not even sure how often you get your period, this is the time to pay attention. Start tracking it for three months and this way you will know the length of your cycle and if you are regular as well. You will also want to do the next step in conjunction with this step.
2. Keep Track Of Your Ovulation
When you are TTCing, you must know when you are ovulating. Because if you are having sex at the wrong times of the month, then you won't get pregnant - or the odds are strongly against it that you will. You can take your body basal temperature each morning before you even get out of bed. And track the temperature you have and mark it on graph paper. A small increase in your temperature indicates that you had ovulated and check to see if there is a pattern over the next three months. You have to use a basal body thermometer for this. That is not the thermometer you use to check if you have a fever.
You can also use ovulation prediction kits or OPKS to check if your LH hormone is surging before ovulation. If it is, then it is the perfect time to have sex. The trick is to have sex every two days starting from a week before ovulation to the day you ovulate to increase your chances.
3. Diet Is Everything
Are you eating too much junk food? Are you eating too much candy, fast food, potato chips, and so on? Then you will want to change things around and limit how much junk you eat. Too much sugar, additives, and trans fats in your diet can have a negative impact on ovulation and your hormone production. There is nothing wrong with indulging in a sinful treat once in a while such as once a week. However, the rest of the time, stick to lean meats, fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts and stick with the fertility-friendly diet. Also, be sure to take your prenatal supplements including folate three months before you TTC.
4. Ditch Bad Habits All Together
Do you smoke? This is the time to start working with your doctor so you can quit smoking. Do you drink? It is time to put the booze away. Do you do recreational drugs? It is time to stop that too. You know that those things are bad for a growing fetus as it is. Not to mention, those things can hinder your chances of getting pregnant as well. If you also live a sedentary lifestyle, then it is time to get moving. But if you do light weight-lifting, and take half-hour brisk walks for five days a week, that is perfect.
5. Don't Overdo It With The Exercise
It is important to get some exercise but if you are heading to the gym daily to do intense workout sessions for hours, that needs to stop as well. You are stressing your body out and working out too much on that level will only cause hormonal imbalances which hinder your chance at conceiving. Skip the gym and rest more, and cut back on the working out.
6. Learn To Manage Stress Better
Life is full of stress and there is no getting away from that fact. Stress can have a negative impact on your body as it can cause your cortisol levels to increase and that causes weight gain as well as hormonal imbalances. While you cannot avoid stress altogether, you can manage it. Take up meditation and yoga, and always do something relaxing each evening after a long day of work to help you sleep. Listen to your favorite music, and watch a relaxing television show. Do whatever calms you down.
7. Get Ample Sleep
Are you getting enough sleep each night? Are you getting from 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep? That may sound unrealistic but it is important to get your sleep while you are trying to conceive because it will help keep your hormones in check. If you don't get enough sleep, then find time during the day to nap for a half-hour. But you will want to clean your sleep hygiene as well. Turn off screens two hours before going to sleep. Go to bed at the same time each night, and wake up at the same time each morning. Make sure your room is dark and is at a comfortable temperature because that helps to increase melatonin production.
8. Get To An Optimal Weight
If your body mass index (BMI) is under 18.5, then you are underweight. If your BMI is over 25, then you are overweight. If it is over 30, then you are obese. You want to make sure that your BMI is between 19 to 25 when you are TTC. Firstly, this will help keep your hormones in check. Secondly, being pregnant at a healthy weight reduces the risks of complications drastically. Work with a dietician to make healthy weight changes in a safe way as well.
9. Have Sex Every Two Days Before Ovulation
This was briefly mentioned in the first point. However, sperm lives in your reproductive tract for about a week. Start having sex one week before ovulation and keep having sex every two days up until the day of ovulation. You don't want to have sex daily or else it will deplete your man's swimmers which will defeat the purpose.
10. Have Your Man Do His Part
The bottom line is that too much heat in the scrotum area can deplete the number of swimmers. This means your man will have to wear boxers instead of briefs, loose-fitting cotton pants instead of jeans or tight-fitting pants, and to take short lukewarm showers instead of hot showers.
11. Talk To Your Doctor Before You Start Trying
Go have a checkup before you start attempting to conceive. Make sure you are healthy, and if you are on any medications, talk to your doctor about that as well. It is actually very important to take this step right away.
12. Know When To Seek Help
If you have been trying for 12 months and nothing has happened, then there is a problem. If you are over 35, then you should be seeking help after six months of trying. This is the time to talk to your doctor and you will be referred to a fertility specialist to investigate the issue.
That is a lot of preparation to do when it comes to TTC, but this is just the beginning when it comes to parenthood. When you are pregnant and have that baby, you will be doing a lot more planning! But in the meantime, enjoy the journey!