Whether you have wanted a baby for as long as you can remember, or you have recently made the decision to start trying for a family, not knowing how long it might take for you to conceive can be frustrating.
Now that you are trying for a baby, it is possible pregnancy may not happen as quickly as you expect, and this can be for numerous reasons If you are trying to conceive, here are our top tips to help you have the baby you long for.
1. Attend a Pre-Conception Check-Up
Often, many women wait to see their GP if problems conceiving arise, However, we would recommend attending a pre-conception appointment to check your health, address any issues and discuss any concerns you may have. Pre-conception appointments are very beneficial and will help you tick all those healthy check boxes before you start trying to conceive.
2. Get a Sexual Health Check
Before trying for a baby, it is important to have a full sexual health check to ensure everything is healthy and working. Ensure your partner is checked as well. After all, you are embarking on the conception journey together. A full sexual health check will raise any concerns, such as chlamydia, which may make it difficult to conceive. With most sexually transmitted infections, a simple course of antibiotics usually clears it up, allowing you to start trying for the family you’ve always wanted.
3. Start Healthy Habits
If you are trying to conceive, it is important to start enforcing healthy habits for both yourself and your partner. If you are underweight, you might want to work with a dietician to put on weight in a healthy way to increase your chances of successful conception. If you are overweight, it is more likely you will run into complications conceiving, such as diabetes during pregnancy. To reduce your risks, take regular exercise and maintain a healthy diet. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are both extremely beneficial to successful conception, So, if you are trying to conceive, start making those healthy life changes now.
4. You Should Quit Smoking
Smoking is extremely detrimental to your attempts at contraception, making it extremely difficult to conceive. If, however, you do become pregnant while smoking, you have an increased risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. So, we would strongly recommend you quit smoking before you start trying for a baby. If you require help quitting smoking, the NHS and other health organisations offer helpful resources, support groups and counselling services for people trying to quit smoking. The sooner you quit smoking, the better your chances are of conceiving and achieving a healthy pregnancy.
5. Reduce Your Intake of Alcohol
In line with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it is important you stop drinking alcohol while you are trying to conceive and throughout your pregnancy. While the occasional glass of wine is not known to negatively affect your fertility, it does decrease your chances of having a successful conception. Therefore, we would encourage you to either reduce your alcohol intake or stop drinking completely to maximise your chances.
6. Stop Taking Contraception
Of course, one of the most important steps to take when trying to conceive is to stop all prevention methods. If you are on hormonal methods such as the Pill, we would recommend coming off it a few months before trying for a baby and using condoms in the interim while your hormone levels balance out again and ovulation returns. While it is certainly possible to become pregnant immediately after stopping the Pill or having the coil or implant removed, it is worth giving your body a few months free from contraception to adjust before you begin trying to conceive.
7. Increase Your Chances with Supplements
Although you should always aim to receive all of your nutritional needs through having a balanced diet, taking supplements can help increase your chances of conception. If you are trying to conceive and wish to increase your chances of success, talk to your healthcare provider about the right supplements for you.
8. Have Regular Sex
Although the best time to conceive is timed around the days before, during and after you ovulate, regular sex is also extremely important. Having unprotected sex every couple of days throughout the month will give you the best chance of a successful natural conception. However, if your schedule doesn’t allow you to have regular sex, there is no need to panic as sperm can survive in your body for up to seven days. You don’t have to time sexual intercourse around your ovulation. Trying to rigidly time when you have sex can make the process stressful, hindering your chances at conception and possibly causing you to have less sex. So, our advice would be to keep it fun and regular. Don’t turn it into a chore. Sex is to be enjoyed.
9. When to See Your Doctor
If you don’t conceive straight away, there is no need to panic. For many healthy couples, it can take anywhere between 6 months and 1 year to conceive. However, it is also good to know when you should ask for help. We would recommend you visit a doctor if:
– You are younger than 35 and have been having regular, unprotected sex for 1 year without a successful conception.
– You believe you may have signs of infertility.
– You or your partner is struggling with sexual libido or function.
– You are older than 35 and have not been able to conceive within 6 months of trying.
If you are struggling with any of the above, you may be having fertility issues. If your doctor believes this is the case, he/she will refer you to a fertility specialist who will be able to carry out further tests, diagnose you and discuss the next steps.
10. Contact IVI Today
We hope you have found this article useful. Conception can be a longer process than many people would expect. And sometimes, lack of conception could signify issues with fertility. Whatever stage of the journey you are at, whether you are just about to start trying, are 6 months in, or have been diagnosed with infertility, the experts at IVI are here for you.
Book a free consultation at one of our clinics or call our UK Patient Support Services on 0800 52 00 161 for more information.