How should we plan if we are trying to get pregnant naturally? What are the things to do when you are trying to conceive?
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak:
Every couple wants to get pregnant naturally and fast. If a couple is experiencing difficulty to get pregnant naturally, there may be underlying medical, emotional or psychological issues. Here we describe some steps to help you get pregnant naturally.
- Track your ovulation: To get pregnant naturally, the egg released from your ovary should fuse with a healthy sperm. Hence knowing when your egg is released, i.e. when you are ovulating is important. Ovulation can be tracked by ovulation tracking kits, apps/calculators, measuring basal body temperature or by tests on cervical mucus.
- Make health changes: Both partners should stick to a healthy diet and exercise regimen. Quit smoking!
- Have sex during your fertile period: You are most fertile during the 3-5 days following your ovulation. This is the best time to have sex to get pregnant naturally. Understand your fertile phase to get pregnant fast!
- Seek assistance from a fertility specialist: Meet a fertility specialist if you have been trying to get pregnant for more than one year. Couples who are older than 35 years should seek assistance earlier.
When is the best time if we are trying to conceive? How to use the information to get pregnant naturally?
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak: The best time to get pregnant naturally is when a woman is ovulating. Ovulation is the time when an egg is released from the ovary.
Ovulation normally occurs around 14 days before the start of a woman’s next menstrual period. However, ovulation can vary from woman to woman and can also vary from month to month for the same woman. Try using an app/calculator to determine your fertile period. You need to track the date of your last period and the average length of your cycles.
Intercourse during the fertile period increases your chances to get pregnant naturally. Sperm can survive inside the female reproductive tract for up to five days. Hence it is possible to conceive even if sex occurs a few days before ovulation.
If you don’t know your fertile period, the best way to get pregnant is to have regular sex between the 10th and 20th days of your cycle month.
You should consult a gynecologist for more information on this topic or if you have irregular periods.
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak: There are several diet and health changes that can help you to get pregnant naturally.
- Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight or underweight can affect fertility. It is important to maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise to get pregnant naturally.
- Eating a healthy diet: A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can benefit your fertility. It’s also important to limit your intake of junk foods and saturated fats.
- Folic acid is important for the healthy development of a fetus. So make sure you’re getting enough of it in your diet. Nuts, leafy greens, and cereals are good sources of folic acid. You can also ask your gynecologist for folic acid supplements if you are planning a pregnancy
- Caffeine and alcohol can negatively affect your fertility. It is best to limit your intake of these substances when you’re trying to conceive.
- Managing stress: Exercise, yoga, or meditation can help manage stress, which can affect fertility. Get on a good exercise plan to manage stress if you are trying to get pregnant.
- When trying to conceive, it’s crucial to quit smoking. Smoking can harm the developing fetus, as well as affect fertility in both men and women.
- It’s also critical to avoid exposure to toxins, pesticides and heavy metals, as these can harm fertility.
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak: Maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, and improving overall health can all help you have a better chance of getting pregnant naturally. Exercise is a great way to achieve these goals. You can try the following exercises.
- Aerobic activities: Brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, or dancing can help you maintain good cardiovascular health and a healthy metabolism.
- Strength-training: Weightlifting, resistance band training, or bodyweight training can help build muscle mass and increase energy levels.
- Yoga and stretching: Yoga and stretching may help reduce stress, increase flexibility, and promote relaxation.
- Pelvic floor exercises, can help increase the strength of the pelvic floor muscles and prepare your body for pregnancy.
It is advisable to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day of moderate intensity.
Too much of anything is often bad. Overdoing it might also have an impact on fertility. It is important to not overexert yourself.
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak: There are several nutritional supplements that might assist in conceiving if you’re trying. However, they should be recommended by a healthcare professional before they are taken to avoid any possibility of side effects.
It is critical to remember that supplements should not be used as a substitution for a nutritious diet. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can provide all the required nutrients for pregnancy.
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak: The time taken by a healthy couple to get pregnant naturally varies with age, knowledge about the fertile period and habits. Studies have shown that-
About 20 to 25 percent of healthy couples get pregnant within the first month of trying.
About 50 percent of couples conceive within three months of trying to get pregnant naturally.
Cumulatively, about 75 percent of couples conceive within six months, and 90 percent conceive within a year of trying to get pregnant naturally.
When a couple has been trying, regularly to conceive for one year without success, they must be evaluated for infertility. It is critical to contact a doctor or fertility specialist in such cases.
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak: Aging is associated with a decline in fertility in women. This is often referred to as the “biological clock”.
A woman’s fertility peaks in her mid-late 20s and begins to decline after the age of 30. After the age of 35, a woman’s fertility significantly decreases. By the age of 40, the chance of conception is less than 5 percent per month. There is also an increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities as a woman approaches her late 30s.
It is critical to keep in mind that these figures relate to the averages in the population. Some women continue to be fertile and conceive naturally later in life. In other women this process of ovarian aging may occur earlier.
Overall health, lifestyle, and family history have an impact on fertility. It is best to visit a fertility specialist if you are 35 or older, and have been trying to conceive for over six months. They can assist you to make decisions and choose the best course of action for you.
Why do some people find it easy to get pregnant naturally where as others find it so difficult? Why am I not getting pregnant naturally? What are the reasons for not getting pregnant?
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak: There are many factors that may affect a couple’s ability to conceive. This includes age, ovulation disorders, male factors, and lifestyle choices.
While some people have an easy time conceiving naturally, others struggle. Some of the common factors that could possibly affect fertility include:
- Age: As a woman ages, her fertility declines and her chances of conceiving decrease significantly. Age over 35 years may affect fertility and may be one of the reason for not getting pregnant
- Ovulation disorders: Some women may ovulate irregularly, which makes conceiving difficult. Conditions that may cause irregular ovulation such as PCOS may be a reason for not getting pregnant
- Male factor: Some men may have a low sperm count, poor sperm motility, or sperm structure. This can impact their fertility and is known as a male factor. Nearly 50% of couples who are not getting pregnant have an underlying male factor. A simple semen analysis test to ensure that male factor is not the reason for not getting pregnant.
- Smoking, alcohol consumption, and caffeine consumption are all known to affect fertility in both men and women. You should stop smoking and drinking alcohol if you want to increase your chances of conception.
- Weight can affect fertility in both men and women. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to get pregnant easily
- Medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, thyroid disorders, and diabetes can affect fertility. Visit a doctor and get checked to ensure that this is not the reason for not getting pregnant
- Some couples may have a genetic predisposition to infertility. See a fertility specialist if you don’t conceive after trying for over six months or a year.
- Exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, plastics and heavy metals can harm fertility. Exposure to radiation, solvents and specific gases such as ozone or nitrogen dioxide may affect fertility. Rule out exposure to such toxins at home and work reason for not getting pregnant.
Infertility’s is a complex disorder with many patients having more than one cause. Speak to a fertility specialist if you are finding it difficult to conceive at the earliest. They can help you make choices and decide on the best course of action for you and your partner.
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak: The effects of COVID-19 on fertility and conception are not fully understood yet. However, there is some evidence that the pandemic has had an impact on people’s ability to conceive.
Stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic can disrupt hormonal balance, which regulates ovulation and sperm production, potentially affecting fertility in both men and women.
Furthermore, preliminary research indicates that COVID-19 itself could temporarily affect the ovaries and reduce the number of eggs produced in infected women. It’s important to note that these findings are preliminary, and further research is necessary to fully comprehend the effects of COVID-19 on fertility.
If you’re facing difficulties conceiving, it’s advisable to consult a fertility specialist. They can help identify any underlying causes, provide guidance on available options, and recommend the most suitable course of action for you and your partner.
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak: Men and women who consume a lot of alcohol may have a diminished fertility. In men, heavy alcohol consumption has been connected to a reduced sperm count and mobility.
Heavy alcohol consumption has been connected to an elevated risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and reduced fertility in women. Women who consume more than 3-4 drinks weekly have a slightly higher risk of miscarriage and may take longer to conceive.
Additionally, alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which causes serious physical, behavioral, and intellectual problems in the fetus.
It is important to keep in mind that these effects are fairly modest and that many people consume alcohol without any adverse effects on their fertility.
However, if you’re trying to conceive, avoiding or limiting your alcohol consumption would be a good idea.
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak: Coffee is known to have an impact on fertility in both men and women. Caffeine, the active ingredient in coffee, has the ability to affect fertility in both men and women.
The risk of miscarriage and reduced fertility is higher in women who consume more than 200 milligrams of caffeine daily (about 2 cups of coffee).
The chance of fathering a child is additionally lowered in men who consume more than 500 milligrams of caffeine daily (about 5 cups of coffee).
It is important to realize that the impact of caffeine is relatively small, and that most people ingest caffeine with no consequences for their fertility. However, if you are attempting to conceive, you might want to keep your caffeine consumption to a minimum.
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak: A miscarriage, also known as a spontaneous abortion, occurs when a pregnancy is lost before the 20th week of gestation. After a miscarriage, many couples would like to attempt to conceive again.
The chances of conceiving normally after a miscarriage vary depending on the cause of the miscarriage, the woman’s age, and overall health. Most women who have had a miscarriage will be able to conceive naturally again, and about 75% of women who have had one will have a successful pregnancy.
The chance of having another miscarriage, however, is slightly higher for women who have had one before, at around 15-20%.
The risk of miscarriage decreases as the pregnancy progresses. The majority of miscarriages occur in the first trimester, and the risk decreases significantly after the 12th week of pregnancy.
It is recommended to wait for at least one menstrual cycle after a miscarriage before attempting to conceive again. This allows the body to heal and recover and also helps to establish an accurate due date if you conceive. It’s also important to consult with a healthcare provider or a gynecologist for guidance and support. They can help you understand the cause of the miscarriage, evaluate any underlying factors that may have contributed to it and recommend the best course of action for you.
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak: Irregular periods can make it more difficult to predict ovulation and the fertile window, but it is still possible to conceive naturally.
If a woman has irregular periods, tracking basal body temperature (BBT) can be helpful in determining ovulation. BBT is the temperature of the body at rest and it rises slightly after ovulation. By tracking BBT for several months, a pattern may emerge that can indicate when ovulation is likely to occur.
Another way to track ovulation is through the use of ovulation kits, which measure the level of luteinizing hormone (LH) in the urine. LH is a hormone that surges just before ovulation, signaling that ovulation is about to occur.
Fertility awareness-based methods (FABM) can also be helpful in determining the fertile window, these methods involve the observation and charting of cervical mucus, basal body temperature, and cervical position which can indicate ovulation.
If you are having difficulties with irregular periods, it may be helpful to consult with a fertility specialist. They can help determine the cause of the irregularity and recommend appropriate treatment options, as well as tracking methods that can help you predict ovulation and conceive.
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak: There are several medical conditions that can affect a couples chances of conceiving. A doctor may treat or manage most medical conditions.
Some medical conditions that can affect fertility include:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): This is a hormonal disorder that can affect the ovaries and the menstrual cycle.
- Endometriosis: This is a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): This is an infection of the reproductive organs that can cause scarring and damage to the fallopian tubes.
- Thyroid conditions: Both hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) can affect fertility.
- Diabetes: Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can affect fertility.
- Obesity: Being significantly overweight or obese can affect fertility.
- Male infertility: There are many different factors that can affect male fertility, such as low sperm count, poor sperm quality, and certain medical conditions.
If you have a medical condition and are trying to conceive, it may be a good idea to speak with a fertility specialist. They can help you understand how your condition may affect your fertility and suggest treatment options.
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak: Yes, some medications can affect a person’s chances of conceiving. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider about the potential fertility impacts of any medications that you are taking.
Some medications that may affect fertility include:
- Certain types of antidepressants
- Medications for epilepsy
- Medications for acne (isotretinoin)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Chemotherapy drugs
It is important to note that not all medications will necessarily affect fertility, and the impact can vary from person to person. If you are taking medications and are trying to conceive, it is a good idea to talk to a healthcare provider about the potential fertility impacts and any alternative treatment options that may be available. They can help you understand how your medications may be affecting your fertility and suggest steps that you can take to increase your chances of conceiving.
When should I see a fertility specialist if I am not able to conceive in spite of trying get pregnant?
Response by Dr. Chaitra Nayak: If you have been trying to conceive for more than one year without success, it may be a good idea to speak with a fertility specialist. Healthy couples younger than 35 may take up to a year to conceive naturally.
If you are over the age of 35 and have been trying to conceive for more than six months without success, it may be a good idea to speak with a fertility specialist sooner rather than later, as fertility tends to decline with age.
If you have a history of fertility issues or have other risk factors for fertility problems, such as irregular menstrual cycles or a history of sexually transmitted infections, it may also be a good idea to speak with a fertility specialist sooner rather than later.
A fertility specialist can help determine the cause of any fertility issues and suggest treatment options. They can also provide support and guidance throughout the fertility journey.