Help me get pregnant soon.
April 8, 2010 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Tips and tricks for getting pregnant?

I’m going to start trying to get pregnant. I have read and re-read Taking Charge of Your Fertility, though I have been using condoms as birth-control and have not been charting my waking temperature. I do chart my period with an app (Period Tracker for iPhone) so I know the general aspects of my cycle and know how to recognize fertile-quality vaginal fluid.

Other than that, what can I do to improve my chances of getting pregnant?

I’m not looking for medical advice, but personal experience and anecdotes about the before, during and after of conception are ok. Any other suggestion is, too.

Both my husband and I are in our late twenties and healthy. We don’t smoke and just drink socially now and then.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (29 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
If you're healthy, haven't started trying (and are therefore unaware of a problem), the primary strategy you need is HAVE A LOT OF SEX. You don't need to mess with the fertility stuff until you've been unsuccessful for a year of regular, unprotected sex. (Six months if you're nearer the end of your lifetime fertility.)

Start taking prenatal vitamins (you) and don't do anything to bake your balls (him) and it should all go fine.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:18 AM on April 8, 2010 [11 favorites]

For charting, take your basal temperature if you're not. That's really key to charting.

Have lots of sex, but don't let sex become a chore. Pay attention to your cycle's timing, but don't really worry about getting pregnant each month, and don't buy pregnancy tests until you have a reason to test. Keeping those in the house will only make you anxious.

And during the miserable two week wait each month, if you're an anxious sort of person, do whatever it takes to take your mind off of testing. And don't test too early. Really wait a full 14 - 17 days before you test so the first one or two days are bound to be accurate.
posted by zizzle at 11:21 AM on April 8, 2010

There is so much focus on infertility these days that its hard to remember that for most people its just not that hard.

Enjoy sex. Have fun. Don't make it a duty. Don't stress about it.

(If it makes you feel any better, I was 38 when we conceived my son and we did it on the first "try". That was actually kind of shocking -- I think we'd expected to have a little more "trying" time before we conceived. So, if anything, be prepared that you could conceive the first time you have sex.)
posted by anastasiav at 11:24 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, in my family, it's pretty much "Have sex. Once." Unless you have reason to believe you're going to have difficulity, just stop worrying about it and enjoy the ride. (Um..wait...that's not how I meant that...)

But seriously, enjoy it, because once the baby arrives, sexy-time will suffer.

Actually, it will probably completely disappear for a while.
posted by MexicanYenta at 11:34 AM on April 8, 2010

Do. Not. Stress.

Seriously, my mom had a friend years ago that would cry every month because she wasn't pregnant. My mom was like "stop worrying about it so much and trying so hard and it'll probably just happen for you" (this person was young-ish, healthy and had already had one child with no problem). The woman's stress level went down and she bore more sex fruit in 9 months.
posted by WeekendJen at 11:46 AM on April 8, 2010

Go on vacation! That's when I got pregnant. Of course I knew from my basal temp charting that I would be ovulating then. Vacation sex is great--you will be relaxed and will have energy for it.
posted by FergieBelle at 11:52 AM on April 8, 2010

I can understand the desire to want to control it a little, timing wise, which is probably what you're after with the studying-up and the charting and all (I did it too, the second time around, and managed to get pregnant before I even knew what hit me, which I did not expect given my circumstances).

Mostly though, this is one of those things where there's nothing much to think about until it's been a year or so and you haven't managed to conceive. Take prenatals, make sure to be getting enough folic acid which is known to prevent certain birth defects (and which some experts recommend should be taken by all women of childbearing age, just in case, even when there's minimal chance of conception). Otherwise, just enjoy the ride. It's a pretty exciting one.
posted by padraigin at 11:53 AM on April 8, 2010

Sounds like this will be your first pregnancy. Given that you're young and that you haven't disclosed any reason to think you'll have any difficulty in getting pregnant, I think the advice you're looking for here is "screw like rabbits."

That's basically it.

Most people find that that works just fine. If you aren't pregnant within six months, then it will be time to start looking into more deliberate approaches.
posted by valkyryn at 11:56 AM on April 8, 2010

The thing you both need to do now is make sure you are healthy. You should both abstain from alcohol and any other recreational substances.

Have fun!
posted by mareli at 11:57 AM on April 8, 2010

Step 1. What Eyebrows McGee said.

Step 2. If sex with no extraordinary intervention doesn't do it, and you think there's a problem, talk to your ob/gyn. A sonogram, read by a good ob (especially a "fertility specialist"), can tell exactly where your egg is *right now*, which temperature can't. The doctor can then tell you when to have sex for the best chances of fertilization. And yes, I've heard stories of couples being ordered to go home and get busy immediately.

Step 3. The vast majority of couples don't get here, and you probably won't. But, if you do, there's a whole list of tests and medical interventions that are too much for this space. Your doctor can guide you through it.

Good luck!
posted by Citrus at 11:59 AM on April 8, 2010

This certianly isn't medical advice, and YMMV and all that, but...back when I read up on such things, the prevailing wisdom was to have sex only every other day, something about letting the sperm concentration build up.

Worked for us, anyway--my wife got pregnant the very first month she was off the pill.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:03 PM on April 8, 2010

This thread was full of helpful advice.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:25 PM on April 8, 2010

Definitely chart your cycle so you know exactly when you're ovulating. In a standard 28 day cycle, the timing is very different for an 11 day LP than a 16 day LP.

Apart from that, yeah, have a lot of sex. starting the day your period stops, have sex every other day until 3 days after you ovulate. Good times!
posted by KathrynT at 12:29 PM on April 8, 2010

i concur with the folks above, save all the charting and strategy for a backup plan if you need it. It may increase your odds somewhat but can also increase your stress level unneccesarily. Discontinue birth control, take prenatal vitamins and have the sex as much as you want. I know it doesn't work for everyone, but it worked for us and it sounds like many others on metafilter.
posted by domino at 12:35 PM on April 8, 2010

Have sex multiple times a day, seven days a week, week after week until you're pregnant. Don't bother looking at the calendar. Worked for us.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 12:39 PM on April 8, 2010

I feel like a basic rule in life is: don't do more work than is going to do you any good. Sure, you could spend time charting your temperature and checking your secretions every day. Or you could read a couple pages of a novel every morning, and get to the same place: pregnant very soon. Try the easy way first; it works real well for most of us.
posted by palliser at 12:49 PM on April 8, 2010

Lot of sex multiple times a day is key, however, during the right times. Try getting ovulation predictor kits (sold at your local store). But also what helps is building up his count by abstaining during non key times. My husband had to abstain for a few days when we did fertility treatmetns so he could provide a sample. After he gave a sample and they filtered through it to keep only the good, he still had 60 million!!! So build up helps. He had less the first time we tried because he didn't build up. Second time + build up was a charm (well at least in a fertility environment. I couldn't get pregnant without help but still. Point I think still stands).

IMO the temp charting isn't really too accurate. And unless you're ovulation queen with predictability/reliable ovulation, that too can go ary and not mean anything serious. But still, they are worth a shot.

You may want to try some of the MedHelp fertility boards but note 95% of those people are in infertility treatments but still, trying to have a baby and the rollercoaster of frustration and emotions can get to you. Reach out and talk with people going through the baby process. It does help. They do talk about cervical mucus, ovulation, etc. the same as any non-infertile person goes through.

Good luck and you'll hear this a lot on those boards---wishing you lots of baby dust. :)
posted by stormpooper at 12:54 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

The website has a great, free, online course and software for charting. I found it really helpful to know exactly what was going on with my body at any given point. We must have done something right, since I am currently 6 weeks, 2 days pregnant! We conceived on our fifth cycle of "trying" but our third cycle of really really "good" timing.

I do recommend charting your BBT, though, because you may not be ovulating when you think, and that is the only way to pinpoint ovulation with any real accuracy. But since you have read TCOYF, you probably already know that. It doesn't really take up gobs of time or energy, you just have to get in the habit of popping the thermometer in first thing, and writing it down and there you go.
posted by fancyoats at 1:04 PM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

Boxer shorts instead of briefs. ;)
posted by cass at 1:15 PM on April 8, 2010

If you use lube regularly for sexy times, it may be worth getting the specially formulated kind. We were trying for a while (though all I did was keep track of my cycles on the calender, nothing really effortful) with no results, and the first time we used the Preseed lube, well, we're expecting a baby in August.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 3:00 PM on April 8, 2010

when we were trying to get preggo, i didn't do temps because I was up at different times every day, but I kept an eye on the cervical mucous. It worked for me ;) Watch for that egg white stuff and when you see it, go to town. :) Good luck!
posted by lemniskate at 3:52 PM on April 8, 2010

I’m not looking for medical advice, but personal experience and anecdotes about the before, during and after of conception are ok

Why would you prefer anecdotes to actual medical advice?
posted by Jacqueline at 3:57 PM on April 8, 2010

Wha...? Um, just stop using the condoms. That's all.
posted by kmennie at 4:50 PM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

ENJOY sex and don't just have sex when the thermometer tells you do. Seriously, stress is the worst. (and if you are going to go on those baby forums, avoid the "what can go wrong" threads like the plague. It will only make you stressed and unhappy if you read them.)
posted by Wuggie Norple at 6:53 PM on April 8, 2010

Do. Not. Stress.

I think most times when pregnancy does not occur this is the issue. Tranquilizers are like the opposite of birth control pills. There are positions that maximize entry to the uterus etc. and there is also making sure there is sex on fertile days, but keeping stress to a minimum and the mom actually wanting to get pregnant are important.
posted by caddis at 7:06 PM on April 8, 2010

If you're on the birth control pill, you should know that it can take a while to get pregnant after stopping. It took me over a year to get pregnant after I stopped taking the pill, but I know others who were pregnant within a few months, so it just depends on your body. Just don't worry if you don't get pregnant right away. Sometimes it can take time. You probably don't need to worry about infertility, so just have a lot of sex, and you'll get pregnant. I wouldn't worry about charting or taking your temperature unless you think there might be a problem, in which case, you should consult your doctor.
posted by lexicakes at 8:41 PM on April 8, 2010

Wha...? Um, just stop using the condoms. That's all.

Yeah, that.

Maybe this is naive or insensitive of me (though I don't intend it to be), but I feel like hundreds of thousands of years of human existence serve to indicate that following your natural instincts results in pregnancy. (Unless technological and intellectual development allowing infertile people to reproduce has had a large effect on the fertility of a large proportion of the general population. Then natural instincts alone wouldn't necessarily be a good strategy.)

Not to mention all of those teenagers who apparently don't know where babies come from and how to prevent them, and end up pregnant. And all the anecdata about how people get pregnant when they stop trying, when they least expect it, or when they have given up and begun to pursue other avenues of having children.
posted by sentient at 11:58 AM on April 9, 2010

If it doesn't happen immediately, don't worry. All I heard before I started trying was "oh it happened our very first try," seriously, from so many people (see above). That's fine, and does happen, but who you don't hear from as much are those who took up to a year (or more) to conceive, which is also perfectly normal.
posted by JenMarie at 3:53 PM on April 9, 2010

You have not yet had a problem with fertility. You probably will not. It's amazing how fast it can happen. My wife and I conceived the first night we stopped birth control. The second one might have taken two or three tries. On the other hand, if you are not up for a kid, be careful, very, very, careful with birth control.
posted by caddis at 6:37 PM on April 9, 2010

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