1. ENJOY EACH OTHER
Have fun, be light hearted. Focus on why you are together not just on the process of making a baby.
2. STAY HYDRATED
Drink at least 8 glasses of fluid a day. Your fluid count can include ideally filtered water, soda water, herbal tea and anything unsweetened and not containing caffeine. A good way of knowing if you are hydrated is to look at your finger tips; if they look ‘pruney’ like you just got out of a bath you need fluid, if they look nice and smooth and plump your hydration is adequate.
3. EAT AND DRINK WELL
4. GET TO KNOW YOUR CYCLE
The best way to do this is to chart your basal body temperature.
Accept that for most people a drawn out trying to conceive (TTC) process is stressful. Learn what helps you de-stress and use these techniques regularly. Take a look at our guide to fertility de-stressing.
6. TIME YOUR INTERCOURSE
It may come as a surprise to many, but not having sex at ovulation is actually a significant factor in many delayed conception cases. For conception to occur the sperm and the egg must meet! One of the best ways to know when you are ovulating is to chart your basal body temperature so that you can get to know your cycle.Intercourse BEFORE ovulation is important. It can be easy to confuse when you should have intercourse based on ovulation. It is important to remember that the sperm needs time to swim to the egg.
In the lead up to ovulation intercourse every second day is best. This will help ensure that the window is not missed.
Do not try to ‘build up’ sperm. Contrary to some beliefs, building up sperm is NOT a good thing. Lack of ejaculation can actually impair the percentage of normal and motile sperm. Studies indicate that men with lower sperm counts (less than 20 million per ml) who are TTC should have a maximum of two days between ejaculations to ensure the greatest amount of healthy sperm. This applies to natural conception, IUI and IVF.
7. HAVE REGULAR INTERCOURSE
Timing is very important but making sure you still have spontaneous moments together is also essential to eliminate the ‘chore’ aspect of trying to conceive.
8. GET HIM TESTED
It takes two to make a baby. So often the woman is trying everything to conceive and the other 50% of the equation has not even been looked at!
9. GET EDUCATED ABOUT YOUR BODY
The more you know about your internal health the sooner you can actively go about changing it if needs be. Get your hormones tested, have an ultrasound of your pelvis, have your full blood work analysed.
10. USE A SPERM FRIENDLY LUBRICANT
Unless the lubricant is sperm friendly it is most likely the sperm’s enemy and will significantly reduce the chance of conception.
11. UNDERTAKE REGULAR, MODERATELY INTENSE, EXERCISE
Nothing can replace exercise and its mood re-setting, muscle moving, heart pumping, circulation improving goodness. Under exercising is not great, over-exercising can also be very detrimental. Attempt to achieve a healthy, balanced approach to your exercise routine. Check out our guide to fertility exercise.
12. DRINK NO MORE THAN 3 STANDARD DRINKS PER WEEK
It has been proven time and again that alcohol significantly hinders the conception process. If you want to get seriously pregnant you need to get serious about getting pregnant! Treating your body as if you are already pregnant is a good guide.
13. STOP SMOKING
Smoking of any kind is extremely detrimental to your body’s physical health. If you are a smoker, before beginning the TTC journey, quitting smoking should be your number one priority.
14. BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Accept that TTC may take longer than you had hoped and that the journey of conception is one of greater health. Your physical and mental health are very important. Try to always use positive phrases that make your mind sing, not negative phrases that make your heart hurt. Read our guide on how to be gentle to yourself and improve your fertility.
15. STICK TO ONE ESPRESSO COFFEE PER DAY
Instant coffee is full of chemicals, as is most decaf. So stick to the real stuff and try to limit that to one a day. The jury is out on whether coffee is good, bad or amazing for you so moderation is the key here.
16. MAKE GOOD QUALITY SLEEP A PRIORITY
Everyone requires different amounts of sleep per night but as a general guide 7-9 hours is ideal. When you sleep is also very important. The most restorative sleep occurs before midnight. Every hour before midnight is equivalent to 2 hours after midnight. Put simply, the earlier you get to bed the better your body can restore and heal itself. Good sleep ensures reduced cortisol levels which helps to ensure happy, healthy hormone balance.
17. USE SANITARY PADS INSTEAD OF TAMPONS
Not only will this stop a potentially toxic foreign body compromising your health, it will also allow your menstrual flow to do exactly what it is intended to do, and that is to ‘flow’. This may also help reduce the risk of endometriosis caused by ‘back flow’.
18. REDUCE YOUR CHEMICAL LOAD BY ‘DE-TOXING’ YOUR HOME
19. GET OUTSIDE
Take time in your life to smell the roses, touch the grass, feel the sunlight and breathe the fresh air. Get out into nature and experience the wonder that is our world. Our bodies and minds were not designed to be locked inside, breathing air conditioned air and being exposed only to fluorescent light and backlit screens. There is no way your happiness and health can flourish being exposed only to this. Do your body and mind a favour, make getting outside at least once a day a priority, they will thank you for it.
20. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
In this constant go, go, go world it is easy to think resting is only for the lazy. In actual fact, resting is for the smart, the relaxed, the less stressed, the rejuvenated, the happy, the productive. Nothing is more important than YOU. Reward your body and mind for all their hard work and allow yourself time to rejuvenate and recover. Think of your mind and body as a rechargeable battery. If you never give them time to recharge they will eventually run out. Burn out is such a modern day epidemic and most of it is caused by the modern day mentality that our minds and bodies have a never ending supply of energy. Respect yourself and allow yourself to rest. Sleep in, have a nap during the day, go to bed early, don’t take work home, say no occasionally, ask for help, let the chores slide occasionally, take life less seriously, be light hearted, laugh.
21. Have regular Acupuncture with a registered Acupuncturist
Acupuncture may help promote blood flow to the uterus, balance hormones and relax and calm your mind. Tips on finding the right Acupuncturist to assist your fertility journey:Ensure registration with AHPRA (Australia only).
Ensure they are experienced and passionate about fertility.
Are they happy to work in with a specialist if necessary?
Are they comfortable understanding hormonal blood work, ultrasound reports and reading a basal body temperature chart?
Do you feel comfortable? It is important that you enjoy your Acupuncture treatments as this will improve their effectiveness.