Disclaimer: These tips are not for those of you who’ve been trying for some time, have done hours of research, and are at your wits end. These are for beginners. These are the tips that are shared over a boozy happy hour a few weeks after a friend mentions that she and her husband are “trying.” Usually this is followed by a revelation that they’ve done a little research, and getting pregnant does not seem as easy as they were previously warned by awkward gym teachers doubling as health experts. (Full Disclosure: If you are a 16-year-old in the back of a Ford it IS actually this easy).
1. Cut back on the booze (after your boozy tips happy hour with me, of course)
You want to be as healthy as possible when trying to conceive. It’s okay to have a glass of wine here and there, but don’t binge-drink like a college freshman on pledge week. Eat a well-balanced diet, including lots of healthy fats like salmon and avocado, and get some light exercise.
2. Prenatal Vitamins
Ask your doctor for a recommended brand of prenatal vitamins. You should start taking these even before trying to conceive. If you have trouble swallowing pills that appear to be designed for a horse, there are gummy chews out there too!
3. Learn about your cycle with fertility tracking apps.
It is important not to go into this blindly. The more you can learn about your cycle, the more likely you are to ‘hit the mark’ when you ovulate. Try Period View, it’s free! That being said…
4. Don’t be cheap. Use the smiley faces.
I have lots of friends who used ovulation tests to help them get pregnant. Almost all of them browsed through the awkward isles of Target looking for the best deals on these overpriced little buggers. In my humble opinion, the only one of these tests worth your money are the slightly pricier, much cuter ovulation tests that come with little smiley faces for when you are ovulating. Not only will it save you squinting at some blue lines and trying to decide which is darker, but you’ll get a little rush the first time you see that stupid smile–I promise.
5. Don’t kill your Soldiers.
Avoid lubricants that are not sperm-friendly. Use Preseed or something similar in order to better your chances.
6. More than once, silly.
Unless your partner has been diagnosed with a low sperm count, you need to try more than once per ovulation cycle. A completely unscientific poll of my friends suggests trying 4-6 times per ovulation is optimal.
7. Prop it up and rest.
While there is no scientific data to support this, I say prop a small pillow under your lower back at a slight angle immediately after sex. Rest there for 20 minutes. Use this time to relax – – it’s a great excuse to do absolutely nothing.
8. Keep it in perspective.
All good things take time. The average couple takes six months to conceive. It’s tough to not get a positive test the first time, but try to have fun with the process.
9. If none of these tips work after 10-12 months, go see a doctor.
Don’t panic if you reach this point. Oftentimes there are small issues that are easily remedied, so the sooner you reach out, the sooner a doctor can help.
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