Particularly, mothers of an older age who may be anticipating fertility difficulties.
From lifestyle changes to developing your knowledge of your fertility, there are many ways a woman can increase her chances of becoming pregnant naturally. We’ve spoken to some of our doctors and fertility experts at London Women’s Clinic to ask for their advice about how to best get pregnant. Their suggestions are below.
1. Track Your Ovulation Cycle
For the average woman, knowledge about their fertile window can be limited. Prior to understanding of female fertility as we do now, general advice given to women trying to get pregnant was to have intercourse on a regular basis – most typically every other day for a month. However, we now know that a woman is most likely to become pregnant in the week that she is ovulating.
Your ‘fertile window’ can last up to a week. This week is based on the given lifespan of an egg usually lasting about 12-24 hours, as well as that sperm can survive in the uterus for up to 5 days. As such, your most fertile week will take place 5 days prior to ovulation, and lasts up to 24 hours after this. Tracking your cycle will lead you in the right direction when it comes to your fertile window. If you add the use of ovulation tests you will become pretty accurate in finding your fertile window and optimise your chances for pregnancy.
Tracking your ovulation cycle is easy, and can be done online or with the use of apps. All it requires is for you to input data about your menstrual cycle, and to be mindful of the signs that your body is going through ovulation.
2. Prenatal Supplements
One of the most important pregnancy tips when trying to conceive is to prepare your body for pregnancy, something that can be achieved by taking prenatal supplements. Soon-to-be mothers should start by taking folic acid supplements, as this helps with preventing any neural tube defects in your baby.
Additionally, our doctors also recommend taking Vitamin D supplements if you are trying to get pregnant. Vitamin D, which can be found in foods such as red meat, oily fish, and eggs, helps to manage your calcium levels which, in turn, keeps your bones and muscles healthy. This is especially important to women of a darker complexion or who may spend a large amount of time indoors, and therefore are in greater need of Vitamin D.
If you are unsure about what prenatal vitamins you should be taking, you should consult a medical professional. Some prenatal supplements recommended to women trying to get pregnant are not evidence based or backed by science, and may not be helpful.
3. Consider any Underlying Health Conditions
If you are actively trying to get pregnant, it is common advice to maintain a good standard of general health. This includes immediately stopping smoking and any drug use, as well as reducing your alcohol consumption – the NHS recommends women consume no more than 1-2 units of alcohol every 2 weeks.
However, an often overlooked pregnancy tip is to consider how any underlying health conditions in yourself or your partner could be impacting your ability to conceive. For women who are taking certain medication or have conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, you may find that your current treatment isn’t appropriate for someone trying to get pregnant. The medication that you are taking, whilst otherwise beneficial, may actually be impeding your ability to conceive.
The solution to this isn’t to stop taking any medication you may be on, but we recommend that you consult with a doctor to see if your health conditions will impact your chances of becoming pregnant. Furthermore there are conditions that don’t require medical treatment but can still affect your fertility, like polycystic ovarian syndrome or endometriosis. In this case it might be useful to see your GP before you start trying for a baby to evaluate your risks and challenges.
4. Seek Professional Help
Finally, if you have been trying to get pregnant for a while and have been following the above advice, to no avail, it may be time to seek professional help. We recommend for women aged under 38 to see a fertility expert if they have been trying to become pregnant for a year, and for women aged over 38, we recommend seeing an expert after six months.
When you seek professional help to get pregnant, you will most likely be required to undergo a fertility assessment to check your ovarian reserve – the amount and quality of eggs you have – as well as to see if there are any complications that may be impacting your ability to conceive.
At London Women’s Clinic, our Fertility MOTs are available to women and couples who are seeking an insight into their fertility status and trying to get pregnant. Our MOTs involve a pelvic ultrasound and AMH blood test, as well as a semen analysis for any male partners, which will be able to provide an accurate picture of your fertility as a couple. We offer an in-depth explanation of your fertility health and a comprehensive consultation with one of our fertility specialists, who will be able to offer personalised treatment advice to help you conceive.
If you are interested in getting a clearer picture of your fertility health, and uniquely tailored advice to help you start your family, visit our Fertility MOT page here or speak to a member of our experienced enquiries team to find out more.