So you're ready to have a baby. Let's take a moment and think about the awesomeness of that! We are so excited to be here with you along your journey.
Here are the 7 steps to getting pregnant fast:
1. Get prepped for pregnancy.
- Make an appointment with your doctor and discuss your overall health as it relates to getting pregnant.
- Start taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid to help prevent spinal tube defects in your baby (taking it prior to getting pregnant makes it more effective).
- Stop taking birth control. Check out our guide to getting pregnant to learn more.
2. Decide: Wing it, or plan it?
Do you want to take more of a “let's see what happens" approach to getting pregnant, or would you feel better charting and strategizing? Either is fine! And know that you can change your mind as you go.
If you decide to have a conception plan, then understanding your cycle is key.
3. Understand the menstrual cycle.
Your fertile window is five to six days long, typically in the middle of your cycle.
On average, a woman with a 28-day cycle will ovulate on day 14. But you are so not average! So charting your cycle is key to identifying your unique fertile days.
Once an egg is released from your ovary, it will survive for 12 to 24 hours. That means that it must meet the sperm within that window in order for it to become fertilized. The good news is that healthy sperm survives in your body for up to five days.
The trick is making sure that the sperm and the egg are alive and well in your body at the same time.
This is why knowing when you ovulate is so important.
Say you ovulate on Wednesday at midnight. Having sex anytime on Wednesday means that the sperm is potentially going to meet the egg during that 12- to 24-hour window. But if you had sex on Tuesday (or Monday, or maybe even Sunday or Saturday), the sperm may still be alive and waiting for the egg when it's released. So if you are anticipating ovulation within a few days, having sex will increase the chances of having living sperm ready to fertilize your egg.
4. Use apps + tests to identify your most fertile time.
—Ovulation strips (like these). Just pee on the strip. If the test line is as dark or darker than the control, you are likely fertile.
—Fertility monitors (like Clearblue Fertility Monitor). Pee on a stick, insert it into the machine, and it will tell you when your fertility is low, high and peak.
—Wearable devices (like Ava). When you wear it on your wrist overnight, this device detects changes in your body that indicate approaching ovulation.
5. Read your body's signs.
Some women feel most comfortable paying attention to the physical signs their bodies show them:
Cervical mucus is the normal vaginal discharge that changes as you progress through your cycle. It will go from nonexistent or dry to sticky, then creamy, and then wet, and then finally it will be the consistency of egg whites. That egg-white consistency means it's fertile cervical mucus and indicates that you are about to ovulate. It's the most sperm friendly, because they can easily swim through it up to the uterus.
Drop in basal body temperature
If you're taking your temperature every day to chart your cycle using a fertility app or chart, you'll notice that just before you ovulate, you may see a slight drop in your basal body temperature, followed by an increase.
If you're up for doing your own vaginal exam, you might note that your cervix is softer, higher and more open around the time of ovulation.
You may also experience pain/cramping, breast tenderness, spotting and an increased interest in sex.
6. Have sex.
If you're not tracking ovulation, simply have sex every other day all month long.
If you are tracking ovulation, and your partner has an average or high sperm count, you can have sex every day in your fertile window. If he has a low sperm count, have sex every other day in order boost the sperm concentration in the ejaculate.
Sperm is healthiest when men ejaculate every two to three days, so encourage your guy not to wait too many days between orgasms. (Lucky guy.)
7. Have fun!
Trying to conceive can become a bit stressful, so make sure you're taking care of yourself and each other as a couple. Don't force yourself to do anything that doesn't feel right. And try to enjoy this process.
Good luck out there, mama.
Psst: Want more tricks + tips to get pregnant + enjoy it? Join Motherly and get your FREE, personalized week-by-week guide to motherhood. We can't WAIT for you to join us!