How can I improve my chances of conceiving?

September 23, 2011 12:00 AM by

Many young, healthy women assume that once they're ready to have a child, they'll naturally conceive within a short window of time. Unfortunately, however, some who once stressed over pregnancy scares find that when they're actually trying to become parents, the task isn't as easy as it once seemed. It's not unusual for it to take several months to successfully conceive, but there are things you can do to improve your chances of becoming pregnant in a timely manner. Here are our tips.

First, begin charting your ovulation, or the pattern in which you release eggs. Most women ovulate about 12 to 16 days before their period is due to start, so being intimate with your partner on and around that day is a good way to increase the likelihood that you'll conceive. In addition to your calendar, pay attention to the many physical signs that you may be ovulating, such as changes in body temperature and cervical mucus. There are a variety of drugstore kits available to help you chart these changes and determine your days of peak fertility (which can also help you avoid unintended pregnancies, a method known as natural family planning).

There are factors that can suppress your ovulation, such as stress and low or high body weight. If your periods are irregular or absent, this could also be a sign that you're not ovulating properly. If your fertility cycle seems to be off, consult a doctor and consider taking up relaxing hobbies and focusing on a healthy diet to improve your chances of conceiving.

If you've been trying to conceive unsuccessfully for a full calendar year, it may be time to visit a fertility specialist who can check up on your body and determine if other routes, like in vitro fertilization, surrogacy or adoption, could be the right fit for you. 

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