Get Pregnant Fast!

While some couples prefer to take a completely relaxed approach to the business of babymaking -- leaving their reproductive fate in the hands of Mother Nature -- not everyone is willing or able to surrender quite that much control. If you're a little more eager to get on with the show -- either because the alarm on your biological clock is about to go off or because you tend to be a card-carrying control freak at the best of times -- here's what you need to know to increase your chances of conceiving quickly.

couple embacing with pregnancy test

Know thy cycle

The more you know about your menstrual cycle, the easier it will be for you to pinpoint your most fertile days. You may find it useful to start keeping a menstrual calendar, noting the day on which your period starts, the day when it ends, any pre-ovulatory symptoms you notice, and so on. This also will help you learn how to monitor your three key fertility signals:

  • The quantity and quality of your cervical mucus -- You're most fertile when your mucus is abundant and like egg white in texture.
  • The position and feel of your cervix -- It's high in the vagina and becomes soft and fleshy during your most fertile days.
  • Fluctuations in your basal body temperature -- It jumps once ovulation has occurred.

Make love on the right days

This may sound like a no-brainer, but mistimed babymaking can wreak havoc on your plans to conceive. You're at your most fertile during the five days leading up to and the 12 hours following ovulation. If you miss this window of opportunity, it's "game over" for another month.

Have unbelievably great sex

While it may sound too good to be true, hard science seems to back up this bit of advice. Researchers have found that a suction effect is created when the female partner achieves orgasm, which in turn causes the cervix to draw sperm into the vagina more efficiently. Since this can help to transport sperm from the highly acidic vaginal environment as quickly as possible, it may help to ensure the survival of the maximum number of sperm.

Don't get too much of a good thing

Attempting to make love each day during your most fertile period is physically and mentally draining, and it doesn't do much to increase your odds of conceiving. If your partner has a marginal sperm count, your doctor is likely to recommend an every-other-day babymaking regime anyway.

Create a sperm-friendly vaginal environment

Avoid vaginal sprays, scented tampons and artificial lubricants, all of which may interfere with your babymaking plans.

Don't hop out of bed right away

While you don't need to elevate your bottom with pillows or go to other extreme measures to give the sperm a head start, it's a good idea to remain in a horizontal position for at least five minutes after you've finished making love. After all, gravity is a pretty formidable adversary for sperm.

Remember that conception is a numbers game. You can do everything "right" but still not manage to conceive the first time around. Studies have shown that it takes normal, fertile couples an average of six months to conceive, and most doctors consider anything up to one year to be well within the range of normal.

That said, it's always best to seek out help sooner rather than later if you suspect a fertility problem. In these types of situations, err on the side of caution and consult your doctor.

More about conception

The right time: When sperm and egg meet
Conception countdown: Your preconception health questions answered
What is a healthy weight for fertility?


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