How to improve your chances of getting pregnant?

As a couple wanting to start a family, the wait for a positive pregnancy test can seem endless if months pass with no sign of a baby on the way. It is natural to feel impatient and to worry about what might be wrong, but fertility testing is only really advised for couples who have been having regular and unprotected sex (without contraception) for at least one year without getting pregnant.

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If you have been trying for several months, but fertility testing is not yet an option there are several ways to improve your chances of getting pregnant:

  • Make sure you are a healthy weight: this is particularly important for the female partner, as being underweight or overweight can make getting pregnant more difficult. However, if the male partner is carrying a few extra pounds, becoming a healthier weight will do no harm and it may make sex more pleasurable and frequent.
  • Make sure you eat a healthy diet: you want your body to be in the best condition for getting pregnant, and eating a good diet, balanced with protein, complex carbohydrate, fresh foods, vitamins and minerals is going to achieve that much more successfully than a diet of chips and junk food.
  • Make sure you have regular sex throughout the month: this sounds so obvious, but modern life can become very busy and many couples only realise they have been having sex at the weekend when they start to keep a diary. If you ovulate at the start of the week, this may mean you are missing your most fertile part of the month.
  • Get to know your body better so that you can spot the signs of ovulation: cervical mucus gets clearer and thinner and your temperature may rise for a couple of days. Following these signs can help you focus your lovemaking around your most fertile time. You can also buy ovulation kits that measure hormone levels in your urine to help target ovulation.
  • Make sure the male partner’s sperm are in good condition: another obvious one, but wearing tight trousers or underpants or doing a lot of competitive cycling can mean the testicles are overheated, lowering sperm production. To improve your chances of getting pregnant, your partner may need to look at his lifestyle too.

Getting pregnant is one of the most natural things in the world, but one in six couples have a problem with infertility at some time. This may even be after they have already had one child. If, after trying for 1–2 years, you are still not getting pregnant, it is then time to have some tests and perhaps start on a journey towards fertility treatment.

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