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Trying to Conceive? Read These 10 Must-Know Facts

Trying to Conceive? Read These 10 Must-Know Facts

Kindara | June 4, 2021 | trying to conceive
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Deciding to have a child can be one of the most exciting moments of your life. The moment after, however, can turn a little scary or overwhelming. There’s an endless amount of information out there on parenting and trying to conceive. It’s impossible to take it all in, but you shouldn’t feel pressured to learn everything at once. 

Becoming a parent is a process, and you’ll learn something new every step of the way. If you’re unsure where to get started, read on. Here are our top 10 must-know facts for women that are trying to conceive.

1. It’s never too early to think about preparing your body for pregnancy. 

Pregnancy is one of the most intense, physically demanding experiences that a body can go through. One way to prepare for this journey is to prioritize your health and fitness before you conceive. Regular exercise may boost fertility and help your body get stronger and more ready to tackle the challenge of pregnancy and birth (1). 

Plus, getting in shape puts your body through some changes that can improve your overall mental and physical health as well. For example, regular exercise may help prevent or improve high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, depression, and anxiety (2).

2. Your fertile window is your new best friend. 

There are only about 6 days each menstrual cycle when it’s possible to get pregnant — the day of ovulation and the 5 days before it (3). (To learn why, check out our blog post on figuring out when you're fertile.) Learning how to pinpoint these 6 days is one of the most important things you can do to increase your chances of conceiving.

Your body gives you certain clues around the time that you ovulate. These include changes in your cervical mucus, temperature, and cervical position (4). If you learn how to chart your fertility signs, you can read these clues to increase your chances of having sex when you’re at your most fertile.

3. What you (and your partner) eat may affect how long it takes you to get pregnant. 

Eating healthy is always a good idea, but it’s especially important when you’re trying to conceive. If you’re looking to boost your fertility, you and your partner should stick to a diet rich in whole grains, seafood, poultry, fruits, vegetables, and unsaturated fats (5, 6). Stay away from saturated fats and sugar, which are associated with decreased fertility (6).

Research also shows that full-fat dairy foods may be better than low-fat or no-fat dairy when you’re trying to get pregnant. It may also help fertility if you get most of your protein and iron from vegetables instead of animal sources (7).

4. You shouldn’t wait until you’re pregnant to start taking prenatal vitamins.

Eating healthy is an excellent step if you’re thinking of getting pregnant. However, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll get all the nutrients you need to have a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins can be a great source of essential nutrients, especially folate and iron, which your unborn baby will need to grow and develop (8).

If possible, try to start taking a multivitamin with folate at least 3 months before you conceive. That will ensure that the baby gets these essential nutrients from the very beginning of your pregnancy, before you even know you’re pregnant (8).

5. You may need to get some vaccines.

If you’re planning on getting pregnant, your healthcare provider may recommend getting some vaccines before you start trying to conceive. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, vaccines help you pass on protection from different diseases to your baby during the first few months after it’s born. Second, they can also protect you from serious diseases that could harm you or your child if contracted during pregnancy (9).

Two commonly recommended vaccines are the one for rubella (an infection that may cause birth defects or miscarriage) and the flu vaccine. Your doctor will be able to tell you more about which vaccines you may need before, during, and after your pregnancy (9).

6. Your cycles may be irregular when you stop taking hormonal birth control.

Depending on which form of birth control you use, you may notice irregular periods for a while after you get off of it. Women using birth control pills and intrauterine devices (IUDs) typically ovulate within a few weeks after they get off birth control. However, it may take some women up to a few months for their cycles to return to normal (10, 11).

Women who got the Depo-Provera birth control shot may become fertile again 12 to 14 weeks after their last shot (around the time they’d need to schedule another one). However, it may take some women up to 1 or 2 years to become pregnant after their last shot (12).

Note: If your menstrual cycles were irregular or infrequent before you went on hormonal birth control, there’s a good chance they’ll be like that when you get off birth control (10). Check out this blog post for a list of lifestyle changes that can help regulate your periods.

7. Pregnancy may affect your dental health.

It’s typically safe to get dental work done while you’re pregnant, but it’s still a good idea to visit your dentist before you start trying to conceive. Oral health is an important part of your overall health, and scheduling a visit with your dentist before you conceive will help you make sure that your teeth are in their best shape for your pregnancy (13).

Your dentist can also give you an idea of how the hormonal changes you experience during pregnancy can affect your oral health, such as causing gum inflammation (aka “pregnancy gingivitis”), increased risk of tooth decay, and abnormal gum tissue growth (13).

8. The cost of your delivery may depend on where you live.

According to a recent survey by the Health Care Cost Institute, the average cost of giving birth in the United States ranges from $8,361 in Arkansas to $19,771 in New York. Fortunately, average out-of-pocket costs are much lower, ranging from about $1,000 to $2,500 (14). 

If you want to lower your chances of being hit with unexpected bills before, during, and after your pregnancy (who doesn’t?), it’s a good idea to check with your insurance before you conceive to make sure you understand what’s covered and what you’ll be expected to pay.

If you don’t have health insurance, you may be able to find assistance with government programs, such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or the Affordable Care Act (15).

9. BBT isn’t the only option for temperature tracking anymore.

For a long time, tracking basal body temperature (BBT) was one of the only at-home methods for women to confirm whether they ovulated. Unfortunately, it’s notoriously challenging to track BBT correctly. Even if you follow the strict BBT-tracking guidelines perfectly, interpreting the results can still be pretty confusing (16).

Continuous core body temperature (CCBT) tracking is a new option for women who want to avoid the inconvenience and difficulty of BBT tracking. With CCBT, you don’t have to wake up early each morning to take your temperature. Instead, an intravaginal sensor does all the work for you. The sensor records your temperature continuously to both predict and confirm ovulation — unlike BBT, which can only confirm ovulation after it’s happened (17).


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10. You may need help conceiving, and that’s okay.

No one wants to think about the possibility of infertility, especially when you’ve just decided that you’re ready to get pregnant. However, about 1 in 8 couples have experienced problems with fertility (18). Infertility is defined as not getting pregnant after 1 year of trying, or 6 months if you’re 35 or older (19).

Fortunately, experiencing infertility doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to conceive. It just may take a little longer than you planned. There are many different treatment options, from lifestyle changes to medications to assisted reproductive technologies (19). Talking to a fertility specialist can help you and your partner decide which path to conception is best for your specific situation.

As you embark on this next chapter of your life, try not to get overwhelmed by the amount of (sometimes conflicting) information out there on getting pregnant and starting a family. Instead, work with your doctor, prioritize your health, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re already the best parent for your future child, and you’ll only get better with time.

Tired of another month gone by without a positive pregnancy test? Priya Fertility System Now Available

References +
How Not to Waste Another Month When Trying to Conceive
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