Having a baby can be one of the most exciting and rewarding events in a person’s lifetime. Despite the high level of excitement, not every couple is able to easily conceive a child and carry to term. This can be very frustrating and stressful.
If you have been trying to conceive without success and you’re not ready to seek the assistance of a fertility specialist, you and your significant other may be trying some tactics on your own.
Here is an overview of some fertility tips that many couples have tried, some which are scientifically proven, and others are not. This will help you separate fact from fiction with fertility tips and what will work best for you and your fertility journey!
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Fertility Tip # 1
Hold your legs up in the air after sex
Fiction- Many couples believe having the woman hold her legs in the air after sex will increase the chances of conception. It is believed that this post coital position will enable all or most of the sperm to remain in the vagina and head in the right direction.
While it certainly won’t hurt for the woman to practice certain acrobatic positions by keeping her legs in the air for 10 or more minutes following intercourse, it’s not scientifically proven to be effective.
Upon ejaculation, millions of sperm begin swimming toward the cervix, as they race to meet (or wait for) the egg. While it could take anywhere from minutes to days for the sperm to reach their destination, maintaining a certain position after sex isn’t going to make the sperm arrive any faster or any more successfully.
Plus, many male fertility factors like sperm motility will determine how fast sperm reaches an egg.
What’s important when it comes to sex is ensuring that you’re having sex at the most optimal time during your cycle. There are only approximately 5-6 days in a woman’s cycle when pregnancy can occur. This is referred to as the “fertile window.” During the fertile window, certain indicators will alert you that ovulation is approaching.
One especially important indicator of fertility is changes in cervical mucus, because hormonal levels prior to ovulation cause cervical mucus to increase in amount and change in consistency. This fertile cervical mucus will resemble the consistency of the whites of a raw egg.
Upon detecting this type of cervical mucus, which is referred to as EWCM (egg white cervical mucus), it’s important to begin having sex. Sex should continue until the cervical mucus is no longer fertile. It’s not necessary to have sex daily, as every other day should suffice.
Sperm can live up to 3 days and sometimes longer inside a woman’s body. Having sex during your fertile window will dramatically improve your chances of conceiving. The best way to ensure you are having timed sex during your fertile time is with ovulation testing!
Fertility Tip # 2
Women trying to conceive should take the miracle supplement Vitex
Fiction (with some fact) – Taking the natural supplement Vitex can work miracles for fertility, yet not for all women. If your menstrual cycle is regular and comes on a monthly basis, and you ovulate in the middle of your cycle, then Vitex will likely not work a miracle for you.
In fact, women with normal cycles who decide to take Vitex will often find that their ovulation is negatively affected, as well as the timing of their periods.
Vitex is ideal for women who have irregular cycles, as it works to balance the hormones and regulate the cycle. It can also help women who experience frequent nonovulatory cycles (months in which ovulation does not occur) to ovulate more regularly. Although many women swear by Vitex, it is not a true miracle for everyone.
Even some women with irregular cycles who take this herb continue to be infertile. If your cycles are irregular, then you might want to give Vitex a try. However, it is best taken under the guidance of a medical professional for best results.
Fertility Tip # 3
Fibroids can make pregnancy impossible
Fact, in some cases – Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow inside and around the uterus. Fibroids vary in size, and can be small, medium, or even as large as grapefruits. Fibroids are more common in women over 35 and they can cause pain, heavy bleeding and even infertility.
Not only can fibroids inside the uterus prevent a possible embryo from implanting into the endometrium, but fibroids can also prevent adequate blood circulation to the uterus, which is essential for pregnancy to occur. Lack of blood flow to the uterus could compromise egg health, and uterine and ovarian function.
Even though fibroids can make becoming and sustaining a pregnancy challenging for some women, other women are able to become pregnant and give birth to healthy babies regardless.
If you suspect that you have fibroids, you should visit your gynecologist for an evaluation. He or she can determine whether your fibroids are interfering with your ability to become pregnant and recommend a treatment plan if necessary.
Fertility Tip # 4
Lack of EWCM affects fertility
Fact -The purpose of EWCM egg is to protect, assist and nurture sperm as they begin their journey to your cervix. The consistency of this type of cervical mucus is slippery, allowing sperm to more easily make their way to their destination where they will await the arrival of your egg.
Too little EWCM may make it nearly impossible for sperm to reach their destination. Also, cervical mucus that isn’t the right consistency can be hostile to sperm instead of providing assistance. If you’re not noticing EWCM around your time of ovulation each month, there are strategies you can try to increase it.
There are even over-the-counter products available to mimic EWCM that many women swear by. I always suggest a fertility friendly lubricant and products like Fertile CM to increase EWCM.
Fertility Tip # 5
Acupuncture can improve fertility
Fact – Various studies have been conducted on acupuncture performed on women attempting to achieve natural pregnancies as well as pregnancies via IVF. These studies have shown that women have dramatically increased their chances of conception by undergoing acupuncture.
In a 2002 study in Fertility and Sterility found women who added acupuncture treatment in combination with IVF treatment experienced increased pregnancy rates.
Not only does acupuncture increase blood flow to the pelvis and all the female organs, improving their production, but acupuncture can promote relaxation. Relaxation can ward off stress, as stress is a common culprit in infertility. High stress levels can cause hormones levels to become out of balance, and progesterone levels are especially sensitive to stress.
Adequate progesterone levels are necessary in order to prepare the uterus for a possible pregnancy. High levels of stress lowers progesterone levels, which could lead to early miscarriage.
Infertility is becoming more and more common for many reasons. With many possible contributing factors, the reason for infertility can be anything from advancing age, to a low sperm count, to anything in-between. There are even cases when there are multiple factors that must be addressed before a pregnancy can be successful.
Regardless of the reason for your inability to have a baby, there are many natural ways to increase your chances of conceiving and delivering a happy, healthy baby. However, every couple is unique, meaning that the treatment for one couple’s infertility will differ greatly from others. If none of these tips lead to a bundle of joy, don’t lose hope.
Perhaps a consultation with a fertility specialist might be a good idea, as unknown issues could possibly be detected and corrected. This can reduce stress and frustration, and hopefully lead to a healthy pregnancy and birth.