How to get pregnant

How to get pregnant

Starting your journey to parenthood can be exciting, but also challenging if you find it is not happening as quickly as you were expecting. We would expect that 85% of couples will conceive within six months of trying to get pregnant.

There are three important ways to improve your chances of getting pregnant naturally:

  1. Calculate your fertile window and have intercourse one or two days prior to ovulation. Regular ejaculation by the male (every 2-3 days) will improve the quality and motility of the sperm in the ejaculate. This should occur in the time between menstruation and ovulation.
  2. Improve your health, diet and lifestyle – for both partners
  3. Visit your GP for pre-pregnancy health screening and advice

Pre-pregnancy health & lifestyle advice

You both need to think about your lifestyle and health before you start trying for a baby. Here are some important tips:

  • Make sure you eat a healthy diet,
  • Maintain a healthy weight,
  • Stop smoking and using recreational drugs,
  • Only drink alcohol in moderation,
  • Exercise regularly.

Women should also:

  • Take 0.5mg folic acid daily.
  • Visit your GP for an antenatal screen to ensure optimum pre-pregnancy health. This may include blood tests, including checks for rubella (German measles) and varicella (chicken pox); your blood group, antibodies and Rh factor; hepatitis B and hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis; and a full blood count.
  • Check with your GP to ensure you have had a pap smear and breast check with a normal result within the past two years.
  • Review current medications and any implications for pregnancy with your GP.
  • Understand your menstrual cycle.

What’s the best time to have sex to get pregnant quickly?

  • To conceive, Calculate your pregnancy window by using your diary or menstrual app. Aim to have intercourse for the interval right before ovulation.
  • Remember that you ovulate exactly 14 days before your next period is due. Find out more about natural ovulation cycles.
  • To conceive quickly, have regular intercourse two to three times a week during the fertile window - it is better for a male to regularly ejaculate.
  • The best time for sperm to be inside the female is right before she ovulates – this increases chance of pregnancy.
  • We recommend avoiding urine testing or temperature charting. It will only cause undue stress, and won’t help you conceive any quicker!

What if I have irregular periods?

Menstrual cycles outside of the normal range would be considered cycles shorter than 21 days or longer than 35 days. It can be normal to have varying length of menstrual cycles, for example, one month it might be 29 days, the next month might be 31 days, and the next 26.

Irregular menstrual cycles may also be a sign of irregular ovulation. Consult the advice of your GP if your cycle is outside of the normal range.

When is the best time to come off birth control to conceive?

If you have been using oral contraception, an IUD (such as Mirena) or an implant (such as Implanon), there is no need to wait for a natural period before you start trying to get pregnant. Once you stop contraception, there will be a variable time before your next normal menstruation. During this time it is safe to conceive, but you may not be able to pinpoint the exact time of ovulation and gestation (the duration of your pregnancy). Gestation is easily determined by an early pregnancy scan.

Using contraception over any period of time will not cause infertility but if your periods are irregular once you stop using contraception you should see your GP.

What are the first signs of pregnancy

While some women experience symptoms early on in their pregnancy, others may not have any symptoms. The only way to know for sure is to take a pregnancy test, either at home, or at your doctor’s office.

Symptoms experienced can include missed period, swollen or tender breasts, nausea, feeling tired or run down, bloating and constipation, or urinating more often than usual.

What if you do not conceive?

If you are concerned about your fertility or have been trying to conceive for twelve months or more without success (or six months if you are over 36), we recommend a fertility assessment with a Melbourne IVF fertility specialist.

If you have any further questions or would like to book an appointment to see a fertility specialist of your choice, contact us on 1800 111 483 or fill in the form below.

Trying to conceive: Where to start?