I’m sure you’ve heard every “trick” in the book about exactly what you and your partner should do (or shouldn’t do) to fall pregnant. From your family, his family, your friends, his friends and even random strangers. You know the ones… Put your legs up the wall after sex.. Have sex every day… Oh wait no they said every 2 days…. Or was it 3 days… Ahhh! So much confusion and most of this advice doesn’t actually help. I’m here to help bust through these myths and give you real tools to help you conceive.
First things first … Track your temperature!
Charting your BBT shows your ovulation patterns allowing you to determine where you are in your cycle and exactly when you have ovulated. BBT charting makes it easy to decipher when is the best time for conception to occur. Read my BBT charting blog here.
Get in touch with your fertility and know your cervical mucus:
Throughout the menstrual cycle, the presents of cervical mucus changes in accordance with level of estrogen in your body. When estrogen levels are high, as your body prepares for ovulation, the amount and quality of cervical mucus increases. Making this one of the most obvious changes that identifies when you are within your fertile window and is an essential tool if you are trying to conceive!!! Read more about cervical mucus here.
As there is only 5-7 days you can conceive in one cycle, timing sex using BBT charts and cervical mucus is key to giving you the best chance to conceive. The best time to have sex is on all the days you see mucus, especially on the days when you see clear, stretchy mucus. You want to be having sex before ovulation in order to conceive, as it is important for the sperm to be there waiting to meet the egg once ovulation occurs.
If you are only having sex on “ovulation day” or “cycle day 14” because that’s what all the books say, you may have missed 5-6 days of high fertility every cycle. This is because the egg only survives for 12-24 hours after ovulation, unless a sperm fertilises it that is.
This means you need to be tracking in order to know when you should start having more regular sex (ie when you see cervical mucus) and when you can take it a bit easier, once ovulation has occurred (you confirm this with your BBT chart). The 3 days before ovulation, the day of ovulation and the day after ovulation are the best days to find each other very attractive.. Wink, wink! There is not evidence to show that every day or every second day is better when trying to conceive naturally, so my advice is just do it as much as you can around ovulation. There are no rules, just bring back the love I say…
Keep sex spontaneous and fun by really tuning in with each during your fertile window. Keeping intimacy stress-free can be challenging when trying to conceive, but it is so important to connect sexually, physically and emotionally with your partner without the pressure of ‘baby making’ during this time. I recommend reading the book ‘The 5 Love Languages‘ to keep the intimacy deeply connected. Once your learn your partners language and they learn yours, you can both do what I call ‘for-forplay’ throughout this time of you cycle. Trust me.. Just watch how attractive you find your partner when they are speaking your language.. Bingo!!
Oh, and one final thing on sex.. ORGASM, ORGASM, ORGASM!! The female orgasm helps to suck the sperm up through the vagina and cervix. So, make sure that you are orgasming each and every time you have sex. Not only does this make it more enjoyable for you it will assist the sperm with getting it to where it needs to go. No need to thank me ladies..
Don’t forget about your man..
Importantly, infertility is not just “a woman’s problem”. It is shared equally… In one third of cases it is due to the woman, one-third of cases it is the man and the other third of cases is caused by combined issues (both male and female) or unexplained infertility (ie. modern science just isn’t as intelegent as the body). So what does this mean for you and your partner…if you are having delays in conceiving it is time to get the sperm checked! It is simple, non-invasive and so so important to ensure you are able to find out what is going.
This is a great time to make healthy lifestyle changes! Eating healthy, exercising and reducing stress will not only boost your fertility but also help you to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. Think about how you would be eating and drinking if you were pregnant and start these changes now. You can do this as a couple to ensure you are both maximising your health and fertility together.
Some simple fertility improving lifestyle hacks:
~ Exercise : Regular exercise (but not excessive) is vital for healthy blood circulation and hormone production. I would advise doing a brisk 30min walk daily or perhaps some gentle yoga, swimming, or Qi Gong. Make sure to do at least 3-5 flowing movement sessions a week. Though, if you are feeling tired after a workout you have pushed yourself too hard, so ease off during the next one. Remember, too much exercise can interfere with healthy female hormone production so don’t overdo it.
~ Using food as medicine: Lots of leafy greens, vegetables and fruit are the way to make a baby. Your plate should look like a beautiful rainbow at each meal. When wanting to conceive, avoid to much raw, cold and processed foods. Here’s a little dose of Chinese medicine dietetics for you: if you have to eat something cold or raw (ie, salads or juices) add a heating element such as cinnamon or ginger to aid digestion. Gentle stir frying is great as it breaks down the outside of the veggies without losing to much of their nutrients. My advice, cook all your meals yourself so you know exactly what goes into your food, and essentially your baby..
~ Reduce caffeine: Stick to having no more than one cup a day, or even better just have a herbal tea.
~Alcohol: Studies show that having two or more glasses a day can significantly reduce your fertility in both women and men. To enhance your fertility we recommend to stop drinking all together, it just simply isn’t worth it.
~ Smoking: This has a major impact on fertility. Studies have shown that men who smoke have reduced sperm count and damaged DNA. Women that smoke reduce how receptive their uterus is to receiving an embryo so can affect healthy implantation. Not to mention that women who smoke also have increased probability of having a miscarriage. This is a big no no. If you are currently smoking and are wanting to have a healthy baby, it is important to address this before you even begin to start trying. For assistance with quitting smoking I recommend for you to speak with your health care provider A.S.A.P.
~ Mindfulness: I know, I know… If one more person tells you to ‘just relax and it will happen’, you are going to punch them in the face.. Yep! That old just relax is the last thing you want to hear. However, studies have shown that meditation is a great tool to help reduce stress, and for optimal fertility you want a low stress internal environment. I’m all for daily short 10-15min guided meditations to get you started. This simple act of focusing in on your breath and being present in the moment allows your body and hormones, time to calm down, regulate and do what they are meant to be doing instead of keeping you in a constant state of heightened alert as you ‘run’ from all the modern day ‘tigers’ that we have chasing us.
Stepping back and taking a deep breath during your fertility journey is a must, and hopefully you have found this blog to be a nice big breath for you. Sometimes simply letting go of all the crap people tell you that you should be doing and focusing on the stuff that actually works is the key to success. However, keep in mind that what works for you may be different to what works for others, so there may be a period of trial and error as you work on creating your little miracle.. But don’t stress as this is perfectly fine. I like to say that we are ‘learning how to become pregnant’ and it is with these lessons that much wisdom can be gained. If you want more one-on-one advice about your individual fertility journey, then I highly recommend seeing a natural fertility expert to get you holding your baby sooner… Learn more about our IVF Support Program or Natural Fertility Support Program here.
~ Philippa Dunstan
Philippa is our incredibly talented receptionist at Spring Acupuncture and is currently studying her Bachelor of Heath Science (Acupuncture). Philippa has special interest in female health, fertility, pregnancy and children’s health. She is passionate about sharing knowledge and empowering women in the understanding their bodies throughout all stages of life. Philippa strongly believes acupuncture enables us to listen to our bodies, take time for ourselves, and optimise our bodies innate ability to restore health and well-being.
Spring Acupuncture is an integrative Chinese medicine and acupuncture clinic committed to providing the best outcomes for our patients, and empowering them along their journey to optimal fertility, pregnancy health, IVF success and general wellness. We are located in Springwood, Brisbane, and are conveniently situated right next door to The Fertility Centre, IVF clinic.
We are humbled to be able to assist patients from local suburbs and all over Queensland. Proudly servicing Springwood, Brisbane, South Brisbane, Acacia Ridge, Algester, Annerley, Archerfield, Beenleigh, Burbank, Calamvale, Coopers Plains, Darra, Doolandella, Drewvale, Durack, Dutton Park, Eight Mile Plains, Ellen Grove, Fairfield, Forest Lake, Greenslopes, Heathwood, Holland Park, Holland Park West, Inala, Karawatha, Kuraby, Larapinta, MacGregor, Mackenzie, Mansfield, Moorooka, Mount Gravatt, Mount Gravatt East, Nathan, Pallara, Parkinson, Richlands, Robertson, Rochedale, Rocklea, Runcorn, Salisbury, Seventeen Mile Rocks, Sinnamon Park, Stones Corner, Stretton, Sumner, Sunnybank, Sunnybank Hills, Tarragindi, Tennyson, Upper Mount Gravatt, Wacol, Willawong, Wishart, Yeerongpilly, Yeronga, Bahrs Scrub, Bannockburn, Beenleigh, Belivah, Berrinba, Bethania, Boronia Heights, Browns Plains, Buccan, Carbrook, Cedar Creek, Cedar Grove, Cedar Vale, Chambers Flat, Cornubia, Crestmead, Daisy Hill, Eagleby, Edens Landing, Flagstone, Flinders Lakes, Forestdale, Glenlogan, Greenbank, Heritage Park, Hillcrest, Holmview, Jimboomba, Kagaru, Kairabah, Kingston, Logan Central, Logan Reserve, Logan Village, Loganholme, Loganlea, Lyons, Maclean, Marsden, Meadowbrook, Monarch Glen, Mount Warren Park, Mundoolun, Munruben, New Beith, Park Ridge, Park Ridge South, Priestdale, Regents Park, Riverbend, Rochedale South, Shailer Park, Silverbark Ridge, Slacks Creek, Stockleigh, Tamborine, Tanah Merah, Underwood, Undullah, Veresdale, Veresdale Scrub, Waterford, Waterford West, Windaroo, Wolffdene, Woodhill, Woodridge and Yarrabilba.