How To Increase Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant |

How To Increase Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant

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From most people, trying for a baby is pretty all-consuming and if it doesn’t happen instantly it can get stressful. Whilst, sadly, there isn’t a magic formula for everyone, for others, some simple methods have been proven to increase the likelihood of getting pregnant. To give you your best chance, we asked health and fertility experts for their advice.

Ann Bracken, fertility expert and author of Mind Body Baby

Fertility is deemed a peripheral need by the body, so if you’re stressed, your body may decide now is not the time to conceive. Recent research found women with the highest levels of stress took longer to get pregnant and had a higher risk of infertility – take charge and tune into your stress levels. Understanding how repeated stress can impact the body can help you move out of autopilot and become more aware of your symptoms before they escalate. Restorative yoga and mindful movement can help to reduce physical tension, allowing you to reconnect with your body and intuitive wisdom.

Certain diet choices can help overall fertility health and improve chances of natural conception. Make an effort to:

  • Increase your intake of essential fatty acids (e.g. oily fish or an omega 3 supplement), which aids cell production and contributes to balancing hormones.

  • Increase your intake of zinc – important for egg DNA and sperm health.

  • Eat foods with a high concentration of vitamin E (nuts and seeds) to contribute towards a healthy outer eggshell.

  • Eat organic whole grains and whole foods. This will reduce your exposure to additives, preservatives and pesticides, which can affect hormones and sperm count.

  • Take a high-level vitamin C antioxidant, especially in combination with vitamin E.


Dr Jaime Pawelek, Medical Director at AKEA Life

While infertility is often seen as ‘the woman’s problem’, it takes two when it comes to fertility. Falling pregnant isn’t straightforward and even a perfectly healthy sperm can have a difficult time meeting a perfectly healthy egg. Statistically, it takes most couples at least six months to get pregnant – the most important thing to do is visit your GP early on when you’re thinking about trying as they can offer personalised advice and optimise the treatment for any medical issues you may have.

Ignore the myth that IVF never works first time – half of all IVF babies are made in a first cycle and more than 10,000 babies are born via IVF in the UK every year. IVF success rates range from around ten to 30% depending on the maternal age.

Sex positions that allow for deep penetration can help to increase the likelihood of semen entering the cervical opening, so try spooning or doggy style. At the same time, to avoid gravity working against you, avoid positions where the woman is upright. 

Being very underweight or overweight can affect fertility by interfering with hormones and, once pregnant, extremes of weight can also have an effect on your baby. The best advice isn’t to achieve a ‘perfect’ BMI but to eat healthily, exercise, stop smoking, limit alcohol and generally live as healthy a life as possible.

On a Similar Note

Emma Cannon, fertility and women’s health expert, Founder of the Emma Cannon Clinic

If you’re a smoker, stop. Women smokers have an ovarian age that is two to three years older than their biological age, and a 40% lower success rate with techniques such as IVF than non-smokers. Also, cut out alcohol – countless studies suggest teetotalers conceive more quickly and have fewer miscarriages than even very light drinkers. It is also believed caffeine can interfere with conception, so limit yourself to two coffees per day.

Heat is a significant problem for sperm. Male chefs, for example, have a high incidence of infertility since their testicles are exposed to a constant heat source. Encourage your partner to keep cool by wearing loose-fitting boxer shorts and to avoid heated car seats, saunas and cycling. For women, Chinese medicine places a strong emphasis on keeping the body warm to encourage optimal blood flow. Keeping your midriff and lower back warm is said to encourage a “warm womb” – the ideal environment for implanting an embryo.

Exposure to environmental toxins from various sources has been shown to have a negative impact on both male and female fertility. BPA, found in soft plastics and food packaging such as plastic bottles and Tupperware, is an endocrine disruptor that decreases both sperm quality and sexual performance, as well as egg quality in women. Reduce your exposure for three months before trying to conceive.

Women may inherit their fertility through the female line, so talk to your mother about her gynaecological history. A strong family history of premature menopause (before 50), endometriosis, fibroids or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) should alert you to seek investigations earlier if things aren’t going to plan. Aside from this, your menstrual cycle is the only outward sign you have of your fertility, so learn to monitor it.


Lolly Stirk, pregnancy yoga teacher at Triyoga

Many of the reasons for infertility are hormonal and yoga deals with this on a very deep level. At its simplest, most of us have far too much adrenaline flowing through our bodies and although necessary in life and stressful situations, it does nothing to encourage fertility. The deep relaxation that comes with yoga practice creates the ideal hormonal environment for conception for both men and women.

There are many specific postures recommended to boost fertility. Utthita Trikonasana, triangle pose, massages and tones the pelvic area for men and women; Supta Virasana, reclining hero pose, is meant to treat disorders of the ovaries and Baddah Konasana, tailor pose, has long been encouraged to create a healthy, open pelvic area for both men and women. These postures should be practised in a non-aggressive way with no forcing and combined with breathing to get the best results.  



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