5 Simple Tips No One Tells You About Getting Pregnant
My husband Stephen and I recently got back from an amazing three-day stay at Kripalu surrounded by wonderful people, beautiful energy and spectacular scenery. Not to mention, the delicious meals. The Yoga & Sexuality panel went well, about 250 attended the event, and many people came up to me afterwards to thank me for my insight. And, I have you to thank – I really appreciate that you took the time to read my last newsletter and fill out the survey – reading the responses was definitely a great way to help me prepare.
I’m 6 months pregnant. And, on my petite 5’2″ frame it’s fantastically obvious. I love being a Mommy-to-Be! Now that my pregnancy glow is on in full force, even more of my clients have been sharing their desires to get pregnant, how difficult it is when they got their period after trying that month, and wondering when it will happen for them. Funny enough that even though I know a lot about sexuality, it never quite prepared me for going through the process.
I remember when I was in my early 30′s and my doctor checked my Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) levels to test the viability of my ova (eggs). After all, females are born with all the eggs they will ever have, and as you can imagine with age that number is good to monitor. I remember getting my test results, and hearing that the number was high for my age, I got nervous. I was dating, and nowhere near ready to have kids. I hoped when I wanted to start a family – even if it was years down the road – that my numbers would be where they needed to be. In my late 30′s I checked again, and the numbers were creeping up. I always thought if I couldn’t get pregnant on my own, assisted reproduction or adoption were two wonderful and possible options. I knew I had to wait and see what will be.
My husband and I didn’t want kids right away, we wanted to enjoy our marriage. Truth be told, we were also caught up in our careers. A few months before our sixth wedding anniversary, and at the urging of a friend, I made an appointment at a fertility center to get a sense of my reproductive future even though nothing pointed to an infertility issue. I met with the doctor, got a better understanding of what they offer, and had my FSH and other hormones checked. All seemed to be okay for being 40, and the doctor said I should be fine getting pregnant naturally. Now it was up to me and my husband to make the magic happen. We tried for a few months, and with each period came a wave of disappointment at first cramp and sight of my flow. Then, through a series of synchronistic experiences and taking a new approach to common mistakes, I saw the words on a digital stick…Pregnant.
Knowing the basics of how to get it on, here’s what you really need to know to optimize your changes of getting pregnant. As when you really want it to happen, the opportunity can be elusive.
5 SIMPLE TIPS NO ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT GETTING PREGNANT
Regardless if you’ve been trying for a few months or longer, it’s helpful to know what you’re working with. Ladies, talk with your OB/GYN about getting your FSH level checked and make sure that you’re testing on the best day during your menstrual cycle – your doctor will likely suggest this blood test takes place on day two or three. Guys, an option for you is to have your sperm analyzed to test for things like the amount of sperm in the sample, pH, motility and morphology. You’ll have to ejaculate in a sterile specimen cup, which you can generally do at home and bring to the lab, or do so at a testing center – just be sure to bring your own viewing materials as the ones they often provide can put you in a sticky situation, so to speak.
Those hair thin needles can help when they’re in the hands of a truly skilled Acupuncturist. Essentially in terms of fertility, acupuncture works by increasing blood flow and energy through the reproductive organs, facilitating an optimal environment to conceive and maintain a healthy pregnancy. And, it’s helpful for guys to be treated too, as it can help with sperm quality. My husband Stephen is an Acupuncturist and Herbalist in NYC, and many couples seek out his expertise. I always joke that he gets a lot of women pregnant (LOL) – through his amazing healing and transformational abilities of course. You can learn more about Stephen and his practice at www.axiomholistic.com.
SKIP THE STICK AND INVEST IN THE MONITOR
Most of us – myself included – don’t have time to follow the Fertility Awareness Method. If you do, check out Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH. What we often do instead for a quick fix is buy the urine test sticks that show us a smiley face or some other indicator when we’re ovulating. Now, these sticks are not cheap, and they’re not that accurate either – here’s why: They do detect ovulation, but when you do the test you don’t know where you are in the ovulation range. Being that an egg lives for about 24-hours, you may miss the small window of opportunity due to timing. Say you took the test when you woke up in the morning and see the smile, but the egg actually released from your ovary the night before. Or, maybe you test with a smile and you or your partner don’t have time to get it on just then…the evening may be too late. When I tried for a few months this was my M.O., and clearly it failed me every time. However, once I bought and learned how to use the Clearblue Fertility Monitor and the test sticks that go with it, the results allowed me to be more proactive (as it shows your levels increasing throughout the week, and has a visual symbol for when you’re ovulating). The reality is that sperm can live for 5 to 7 days inside a woman’s body, so you want to have sex – every other day – starting a few days before you’re close to peaking, and when you’re ovulating.
When you’re trying to conceive use a lubricant that’s sperm friendly and not going to interfere with his swimmers. Check out pre-seed personal lubricant.
PELVIS TOWARD THE CEILING
Her orgasm helps facilitate the process to get his sperm to the egg. So ladies, if you don’t have an orgasm during sex, have your partner get you there or get there on your own as soon as he ejaculates. If you find your orgasms are elusive, doing Kegel exercises can help mimic the movements that orgasm creates. Then, prop your pelvis up by putting pillows under your tush creating an angle for the sperm to easily flow into the opening of the cervix. Some women have a tilted cervix, so if this is the case lay on the side that makes it easiest for the sperm to find their way to where they need to be.
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