1. TRY STRAIGHT AWAY
Women used to be advised to wait for the pill to “come out of your system” before trying to
conceive, but research now shows that you’re actually more fertile immediately after
stopping the pill, as there is a big hormonal push within the body.
2. KNOW YOUR CYCLE
Your menstrual cycle begins on day one of your period and ends the day before your next
Each month, around 20 immature eggs start to develop within the follicles in the ovaries
and usually only one of these will develop to full maturity while the others shrivel away.
Around mid-cycle, this egg will then be released, which is ovulation.
While you can use ovulation sticks to track ovulation, by the time you see the result you
want, ovulation may have occurred and you’ll miss your fertile window. The best way to
determine when you are fertile is to understand your cervical secretions. The quantity and
consistency gradually changes, from dry, to moist and sticky, to wet and slippery (like raw
eggwhite) and back again. It’s during the ‘eggwhite’ stage you are at your most fertile.
3. HAVE PLENTY OF SEX
If you only have sex around the time when the woman is fertile, by the time you get around to having sex again, the sperm waiting to be released are old. The egg can only be fertilised in the first 24 hours after ovulation and sperm can survive two to three days, so it is important that regular quantities of fresh, active healthy sperm are present and ready to
attempt fertilisation. Plan to have sex at least three times a week.
4. TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF
This is something we see all the time with couples, they start trying, then if it hasn’t
‘worked’ a couple of months later, they start to lay unnecessary pressure on themselves.
Relax as much as you can and try to enjoy yourselves.
5. CLEAN UP YOUR LIFESTYLE
Alcohol, cigarettes, excessive stress, lack of exercise, work/life balance…all affect your
chances of conceiving. In an ideal world it would be preferable not to drink at all while
trying to conceive, but there isn’t any evidence to suggest that the occasional glass of wine
affects fertility. When it comes to cigarettes and drugs however, these absolutely affect
male and female fertility, so now is the time for you both to stop.
6. LOOK AT YOUR DIET
Nutrition is a key building block of fertility, and by giving careful consideration to what you
eat, while making changes where necessary, you will boost your chances of getting
pregnant. Rather than focusing on specific foods, aim for a sensible overall healthy eating
7. MANAGE YOUR STRESS
Another lifestyle trigger which affects fertility for both partners is stress. When a woman is
stressed and secreting high levels of stress hormones, these interfere with the secretion of
sex hormones which in turn can disrupt menstruation and ovulation.
8. EXERCISE MORE
Regular exercise is definitely recommended for fertility and as a preparation for pregnancy.
Exercise helps by relieving stress, helping digestion, controlling blood sugar, increasing
blood flow, managing weight and helping create a strong immune system; all key factors for fertility.
9. TAKE SUPPLEMENTS
In an ideal world if everybody had a balanced diet it would be wonderful and we might not
need them, and the way that we lead our lives in the 21st century doesn’t help. If you’re
stressed, eating processed food, eating on the run, drinking alcohol…you’re depleting your
body of vital nutrients.
10. GET CHECKED
Be prepared for pregnancy – make sure your smear test is up to date and check your rubella status.
We have recently launched Plan Ahead with Zita West, a home fertility test kit which tests
your levels of AMH and includes a 30 minute consultation to interpret the results.