- There are several misconceptions on how to increase the likelihood of conception and what actually boosts fertility.
- There are manageable lifestyle changes and stress-management habits you can incorporate to boost your fertility naturally.
- Diet changes and supplements are key to help bolster your fertility rate.
If you’re ready to try for a baby, congratulations! This is no doubt a very special time, but any mom who’s been in your position will know that the journey from thinking about getting pregnant to actually getting pregnant can be a bit of a rollercoaster. Buckle up!
Whether you’re marking your most fertile days on the calendar or stocking up on foods and vitamins to help boost fertility, how to increase the likelihood of conception can feel a bit mind-boggling. The fact is, there are tons of old wives’ tales and myths about fertility that simply aren’t true. Here’s some of the most common ones, and some other tips on how to increase fertility naturally.
6 common myths about fertility and conception
1. Missionary is best for conceiving.
Some people believe that trying certain positions during sex will up your chances of conceiving, but there’s no real research to back this up. The theory is that with positions where your partner is on top, sperm can get more access to the cervix and protective cervical mucus. There’s no data to confirm that, though. Since every woman’s body is built differently, there isn’t a hard and fast rule for certain positions increasing conception. With that in mind, go for what you and your partner enjoy the most—the less stress surrounding getting pregnant, the better. Growing your family is an exciting time, so while you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s important to remember to have fun.
2. If you’re over 35, it’s unlikely you’ll get pregnant.
It is true that your eggs decrease over time, so as you get older, the odds of conceiving may decrease. However, lifestyle choices, emotional wellbeing and even diet can affect fertility. And while getting pregnant may take a little longer, it’s by no means impossible! The average age when women have their first child is now 28—up from age 24.6 in 1970. In fact, more American women are having babies in their 30s than their 20s. Why the increase? Some contributing factors for women may include wanting to focus on their careers in their 20s or wanting to travel. They may want to be able to afford a house or feel more financial stability before growing a family. Another reason is that they may simply want to spend some more years childless before baby arrives. Every path to starting and building a family is different. Regardless of the reasons, it’s important to focus on what’s best for you in terms of trying for your little bundle of joy.
3. You have to lie on your back for 30 minutes after sex.
You may have heard that that lying on your back, elevating your hips and staying put for at least 30 minutes after sex can increase conception. In fact, 40% of women polled in a study hold this false belief. Science has shown that sperm are surprisingly speedy swimmers: they can reach the Fallopian tubes in just one minute. As such, there’s no need for gravity to give them a helping hand, and your fertility isn’t affected if you don’t take a long lie-down after sex. With that said, a post-coital nap certainly never hurts!
4. Most women ovulate on day 14 of their cycle.
Conception is most likely to happen around your fertile window, and there’s many articles out there saying that most women ovulate on day 14. However, it’s very common to ovulate on other days during your cycle as well. So, if you’re off on what days you’re ovulating, you’ll be off on what days you’re most fertile. Cycles vary in length from woman to woman (and even from month to month). Even if you have a 28-day cycle, ovulation can occur as early as day 11 and as late as day 20. Getting familiar with your fertile window is key to how to boost fertility, so you may want to keep some home ovulation kits handy to help conceive. While home ovulation kits won’t magically do anything to boost your fertility, they can alert you to the days when you’re most fertile. This means that if you’re trying for a baby, you can make sure that you’re having sex when sex is more likely to lead to conception.
5. Your diet can influence the sex of your child.
Don’t be fooled that eating more salt or alkaline foods will help you to conceive a boy. And there’s no data to support that eating dairy-rich meals will improve your chances of having a girl, either! Your child’s sex is down to whether a ‘male’ or ‘female’ sperm fertilizes the egg first. That said, your diet and specific supplements can influence your fertility rate. It’s best to prepare your body for pregnancy for at least 3 months before you plan to start trying.
6. Smoking is fine if you quit shortly before trying.
Some people believe that you only have to quit smoking for a few months before trying, and everything will be hunky-dory. In fact, the sooner you ditch the cigs, the better. Beyond the general negative effects of smoking, smoking causes a faster decline in ovarian reserve, increases the chances of an ectopic pregnancy, and can negatively impact fertility treatments. If you do smoke, all is not lost, but it would be helpful to work on quitting sooner rather than later. Your doctor can help with resources and techniques to help nip it in the “butt.”
The best fertility boosting foods and vitamins to boost fertility
Nutrition is a very important part of increasing your fertility. Eating a varied diet and taking specific supplements to boost fertility is important, especially
Other ways to boost fertility naturally
Along with diet, living a stress-free life (or as stress-free as possible) is key to boosting fertility and increasing conception. Try to identify exactly what’s causing stress in your life to see how you can feel more in control. Do you need to get on top of budgeting, or are chores piling up? Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and even small steps can alleviate feelings of overwhelm.
Consider what self-care methods work best for you to reduce stress in your life. Are you needing to connect outwards with a friend or therapist to discuss any worries, or does an inner dialogue approach like journaling appeal to you? Can you take on habits like meditation or gentle exercise? Even self-soothing habits can help destress, such as warm bubble baths or even lighting a few scented candles to decompress at the end of a hectic day.
Along with your mental health, it’s helpful to take a look at your sleep hygiene to ensure you’re getting adequate rest. Getting enough z’s can help mitigate anxiety or moodiness, as well as maintain energy levels throughout the day, which is key for maintaining and boosting fertility.
All things considered, trying to get pregnant can be an exciting, albeit nervous time no matter who you are. You may be feeling a whirlwind of exhilaration, joy, apprehension and concern, which is completely normal. Now that you’ve brushed up on your fertility and conception facts, take a look at the 9 most common early pregnancy symptoms to watch out for.