Your 10-step action plan: do this when you’re trying to get pregnant

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So you’ve had The Talk with your partner, and you’ve finally decided that you’re ready to have a baby. In this article, we walk you through a 10-step action plan that you can use to conceive. Let’s jump right in!

Step 1: Go off your contraception

Not all women ovulate immediately after going off their contraception – your body might actually take a few months to get back into its normal rhythm. Bearing this in mind, you can actually go off your contraception a month before you start trying to get pregnant.

Step 2: Reduce the stressors in your life

A study from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine News shows that stress plays a role in up to 30% of infertility problems, so if you’re serious about conceiving, you should definitely reduce the stressors in your life. If you need to, establish boundaries with regards to work (eg no checking emails after 7pm!), and allocate sufficient me-time to yourself.

Read: Our guide to managing your mental health before, during and after your pregnancy.

Step 3: Eat better

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We’ve all heard the phrase you are what you eat. Unsurprisingly, your diet plays a huge role in affecting your fertility levels. So start eating more balanced meals, and don’t subject your body to any faddish diets!

Read: Our guide to fertility foods: the good, the bad and the ugly.

Step 4: Start taking supplements

Here’s a common misconception among women trying to get pregnant: it’s perfectly fine to start taking supplements only when you’re pregnant. In actual truth, you should be consuming folic acid and other supplements before you get pregnant – this will lessen your baby’s chances of developing neural tube defects, including defects of the brain and spinal cord.

Read: Folic acid aside, what other vitamins are important for fertility?

Step 5: Exercise more

Many of us are guilty for not getting enough exercise, but if you’re hoping to increase your fertility, you should definitely make this a priority. Don’t go overboard and push yourself too hard, though… if you’re too fit, this actually reduces your chances of getting pregnant!

Read: 5 tips to ease yourself out of a sedentary lifestyle and boost fertility.

Step 6: Track your cycle

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If you don’t know when you’re ovulating, then trying to get pregnant is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Make sure you track your cycle, so that you can try for a baby during the most opportune time!

Read: 7 strange signs that actually mean you’re ovulating.

Step 7: Get your partner in on the action

It’s not just the women who should be changing their lifestyles, and getting ready for a baby. Men should do their bit too! Make sure your partner eats well, sleeps well, and exercises regularly. It’s been found that men who spend 90 minutes a week lifting weights experience a 25% increase in sperm count on average… so encourage your partner to hit the gym!

Read: 50% drop in sperm counts of men from around the globe: could you be at risk?

Step 8: Schedule in sex

It might seem, well, unsexy to schedule in sex… but it’s actually something that most ob-gyns recommend. If you want to get pregnant quickly, you simply can’t leave these things up to chance. You’ll need to ensure that you’re having intercourse during your fertile days.

Read: Does having an orgasm increase your chances of getting pregnant?

Step 9: Budget for your baby

Having a baby is expensive, so make sure you know what you’re getting into. Once you’ve got your finances all worked out, you’ll feel better prepared, and this will keep your stress levels low!

Read: How much it costs to have a baby around the world.

Step 10: Speak to an ob-gyn

If you’ve been trying for a year, and you haven’t conceived yet, then it’s time to speak to an ob-gyn. Your ob-gyn might ask you to go through fertility testing to “troubleshoot” the situation; following this, they’ll give you recommendations to improve your chance of conceiving.

Read: How to choose the right ob-gyn for your pregnancy.

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