Some couples seem to get pregnant simply by talking about it. For others, it takes time. If you’re looking for tips on how to get pregnant, here’s what you need to know. Ovulation can improve the odds of conceiving. According to Holesh, Bass & Lord (2017), ovulation is the process in which a mature egg is released from the ovary. After it’s released, the egg moves down the fallopian tube and stays there for 12 to 24 hours, where it can be fertilized. Sperm can live inside the female reproductive tract as long as five days after sexual intercourse under the right conditions. Your chance of getting pregnant is highest when live sperms are present in the fallopian tubes during ovulation. Beyond the calendar, you can also look for ovulation signs and symptoms, including: Change in Vaginal Secretions (Cervical Mucus) Just before ovulation, you might notice an increase in clear, wet, and stretchy vaginal secretions. After ovulation, the cervical mucus decreases and becomes thicker, cloudy, and less noticeable, as Franklin & Kutteh (1999) described. Change in Basal Body Temperature According to Steward & Raja (2021) body’s temperature at rest (basal body temperature) increases slightly during ovulation. Using a thermometer specifically designed to measure basal body temperature, take your temperature every morning before you get out of bed. Record the results and look for a pattern to emerge. You’ll be most fertile during the 2 to 3 days before your temperature rises. What to do to Maximize Fertility Have Sex Regularly The highest pregnancy rates occur in couples who have sex every day or every other day. Have Sex Near the Time of Ovulation If having sex every day isn’t possible or enjoyable, have sex every 2 to 3 days a week starting soon after the end of your period. This can help ensure that you have sex when you are most fertile. Maintain a Normal Weight Aladashvili-Chikvaidze, Kristesashvili & Gegechkori (2015) overweight and underweight women are at increased risk of ovulation disorders. Also, consider talking to your health care provider about preconception planning. He or she can assess your overall health and help you identify changes that might improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy. Your health care provider will recommend taking folic acid a few months before conception to reduce the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects. When to Talk to a Doctor With frequent unprotected sex, most healthy couples conceive within one year. If you’re age 35 or older and you have been trying to conceive for six months or more, or if you or your partner has known or suspected fertility issues, consider consulting a health care provider. Infertility affects both men and women and treatment is available. Depending on the source of the problem, your gynecologist, partner’s urologist, or family doctor might be able to help. In some cases, a fertility specialist offers the best hope. Factors to Consider Before Trying to Get Pregnant Get a Preconception Checkup Before you officially start trying, get a checkup. Ask your doctor about prenatal vitamins that have folic acid, which helps protect against some birth defects, such as spina bifida. Folic acid works during the early stages of pregnancy. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough folic acid even before you get pregnant. Moreover, if you have any underlying medical problems, they need to be under control before you can safely become pregnant. Get to Know Your Cycle How much do you know about your menstrual cycle? Really understanding helps you know when you’re most fertile. During ovulation is the best time to get pregnant. It helps to become aware of the signs of ovulation, such as a change in your cervical mucus. It usually becomes thin and slippery when you are most fertile. Some women may also feel a one-sided twinge of pain. Don’t Worry About the Best Positions For Getting Pregnant Myths abound about the best positions for getting pregnant. There is really no scientific evidence saying that the one sex position is better than the other when it comes to maximizing your chances of making a baby. Certain gravity-defying positions, such as sitting or standing during intercourse, however, may discourage sperm from traveling upstream. It’s a matter of gravity and you don’t want all the semen to run out and semen are quick little critters. Stay in Bed Right after Intercourse You have probably heard this one — lie in bed with your feet in the air after having sex to increase your chances of getting pregnant. It’s good advice to lay in bed for 10 to 15 minutes after intercourse, but you don’t need your feet in the air. Your pelvis does not move when you put your legs in the air. Don’t go to the bathroom during this time either. If you wait 10 to 15 minutes, the sperm that is going to get into the cervix will be in the cervix. Don’t Overdo it Having sex every day even during ovulation will not necessarily increase your chances of getting pregnant. In general, every other night around the time of ovulation helps increase your chance of getting pregnant. Sperm can live up to 5 days inside your body. The best suggestion is to have sex regularly, when you’re ovulating, and when you’re not. Get Rid of Stress Any Way You Can Try not to get stressed out about starting a family. You may roll your eyes if someone says, “Just relax and it will happen,” but stress can actually interfere with ovulation. So the more relaxed you are, the better chances you have to fall pregnant. Live a Healthy Life Exercising is a healthy habit -especially if it helps keep you at your ideal weight. Just like anything else, though, you can get too much of a good thing. Too much exercise can cause you not to ovulate as it will interfere with the hormones. References Holesh, J. E., Bass, A. N., & Lord, M. (2017). Physiology, ovulation. Franklin, R. D., & Kutteh, W. H. (1999). Characterization of immunoglobulins and cytokines in human cervical mucus: influence of exogenous and endogenous hormones. Journal of reproductive immunology, 42(2), 93-106. Steward, K., & Raja, A. (2021). Physiology, Ovulation And Basal Body Temperature. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing. Aladashvili-Chikvaidze, N., Kristesashvili, J., & Gegechkori, M. (2015). Types of reproductive disorders in underweight and overweight young females and correlations of respective hormonal changes with BMI. Iranian journal of reproductive medicine, 13(3), 135.