Question: I am married and we are planning to have a baby. Can you please suggest some tips on how we can become pregnant?
As a sex educator and a college professor, I more often get questions about avoiding pregnancy. But most people want to become pregnant at some point and so this is important information for us all, especially since there are so many myths and misconceptions about pregnancy and fertility.
First, I’d encourage you and your wife to have an annual wellness exam from your doctors if you haven’t already. It’s good to get screened for sexually transmitted infections (STI) if it’s been a while and to let your doctor or nurse know that you’re trying to conceive (called “TTC” on many of the web forums). That gives your healthcare providers a chance to review your health and check for any possible medical conditions. It also gives you a chance to talk about any lifestyle changes you might make to increase your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy.
For example, men who smoke tend to have lower quality sperm, so if you smoke cigarettes, consider quitting. Ask your doctor or nurse for information or classes for smoking cessation (quitting smoking). Also, men with leaner body mass tend to have higher sperm quality so this might be an opportunity to take a look at your eating and exercise behaviors.
Timing and Fun
Second, you don’t have to have sex every day in order to become pregnant – although daily sex during the fertile period is fine. Many healthcare providers recommend having sex about every other day during the week before a woman ovulates (when her ovaries release an egg, which is needed in order to become pregnant). Indeed, you and your wife might want to start tracking her ovulation. You can buy ovulation tests that help women figure out when they are most likely ovulating so that you can plan to have sex the week before ovulation, and day of ovulation, as you try to conceive.
Although trying to become pregnant can be fun, it can also be frustrating for many couples – especially if they are expecting it to happen quickly. Some couples get pregnant the very first time they to try conceive whereas, for others, it can takes months or even years. Try to find time to relax together and to have sex that’s just for fun and pleasure (especially during the less fertile times of the month) to balance out the times you have sex specifically in order to try and become pregnant. I wish you both the best as you look toward planning a family together.