How to get Pregnant

How to get Pregnant

Are you trying to conceive? Your fertile window may be very short, but if you follow the right steps, you might get pregnant in no time at all. Getting pregnant becomes much easier when you are healthy, understand your menstrual cycle, and get together at the right time. How?

Before you start trying to conceive

Evaluating your health and lifestyle before trying to conceive offers many benefits – to your general wellbeing, your fertility, and the healthy development of your baby once you get pregnant. Not everyone has the chance to eliminate bad habits and focus on their physical condition, eating habits, and mental health. According to many estimates, around half of all pregnancies were unplanned. If you and your partner have decided to start trying to get pregnant in the near future, you will have the advantage of creating the best possible physical environment for your baby before you conceive.
Trying to Conceive

Perhaps looking at those aspects of your lifestyle that negatively impact your health and fertility, and bidding farewell to them, is the most obvious place to start. Smoking, for instance, decreases fertility in women who are trying to conceive, and can have extensive consequences for unborn babies. An increased chance of miscarriage, stillbirth, pre-term labor and low birth weight are among the possibilities. Smoking cigarettes is arguably the lifestyle choice that is most harmful.

Many women also choose to stop drinking alcohol and coffee or other caffeine-containing products like certain teas and cola. There is no lack of evidence that drinking large amounts of alcohol can harm a fetus, and some studies say that women who drink over eight cups of coffee daily have an increased risk of miscarriage. However, if you drink a glass of wine with your meal every once in a while, or drink a cappuccino occasionally, it is safe to assume no harm will come to you or the baby you are trying to get pregnant. The rationale of giving up these things while trying to conceive is that you could potentially be pregnant at any time.

A healthy diet is very important for those trying to get pregnant. Healthcare providers universally recommend that women start taking a good quality prenatal supplement before they start trying. Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals can decrease fertility, and the early stages of pregnancy are crucial to fetal development. Folic acid is particularly important, since it can prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly (where the developing baby has no brain). Starting on folic acid (at least 400 mcg daily) in the months before you actively try to get pregnant will ensure this B vitamin is in your system when you conceive.

Cutting out fast foods (if you use them) and doing your best to eat foods from every major food group improves your fertility, and once again, promotes the proper development of your future baby. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products is optimal.

Exercising regularly and assessing whether you have a healthy weight and appropriate Body Mass Index (BMI) boosts your chances of getting pregnant, and will benefit mother and baby during the whole pregnancy and beyond. Women who are obese are at a higher risk of pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes, hypertension, and preeclampsia. Being in good physical shape makes for an easier pregnancy, and quicker postpartum recovery.

The biology of getting pregnant

At the risk of giving you flashbacks of your High School biology class, we’ll discuss the technical aspects of human fertilization in this chapter. In order for a woman to become pregnant, a female egg and male sperm have to merge. Usually, this happens after sexual intercourse and male ejaculation. In rarer cases, pregnancy can occur without intercourse (following mutual masturbation, for example), and after invitro fertilization. We will discuss fertility treatments later.

Sperm Count

Ovulation takes place when a mature egg (and in some cases, multiple eggs) are released from an ovary. It then travels down to the fallopian tube, where it becomes available for fertilization. Ovulation takes place once during every menstrual cycle, and a female egg remains viable for a short window of time – 12 to 24 hours after being expelled from the ovary. For fertilization to be successful, sperm has to reach the egg within this period. The two fuse, and an embryo is created. For couples who are hoping to conceive, it is useful to remember that sperm has the capability of surviving inside the female body for up to five days. Reaching the viable egg takes some time, so having intercourse several days before ovulation as well as at the time of ovulation boosts the chances that you will get pregnant.

After an egg was successfully fertilized, it is a one-celled organism called a zygote. The future baby’s mother and father each contribute 23 chromosomes to the zygote, making a total of 46. The newly fertilized egg quickly starts dividing into additional cells, and will soon become an embryo. The brain, spine, and internal organs will begin to form. But before the embryonic stage is reached, the zygote needs to make its journey from the fallopian tubes to the uterus, where it will nestle into the optimal uterine lining that awaits it.

Understanding ovulation – when are you most fertile?

As discussed in the previous section, the time period during which it is biologically possible for sperm to fuse with an egg is extremely limited. If you want to know how to get pregnant, understanding your menstrual cycle, and your most fertile days, is key. While couples who are not aware of the woman’s fertile periods are not at all unlikely to eventually get pregnant as long as they have regular unprotected intercourse, understanding ovulation increases the chances greatly. Thankfully, there are many ways in which women can gain insights into their cycle, and their ovulation. Note that many of the methods that you can use to find out when you are ovulating can easily be combined, thereby giving you an even bigger chance to determine your ovulation date. The methods to pinpoint ovulation include:

  • Using an ovulation calendar

While every woman is unique, menstrual cycles do tend to follow the same pattern. Ovulation calendars are simple but fairly accurate tools that use cyclical patterns to make a calculation to predict when ovulation is expected. The average woman’s menstrual cycle lasts 28 to 32 days, something that is measured from the day one menstruation began to the day the next starts. Ovulation occurs somewhere in between, and most usually between days 11 and 21 of their menstrual cycles. The luteal phase of your cycle refers to the time between ovulation and the next menstruation.  The more information you have about your cycle – it’s length, when you previously ovulated, and how long your luteal phase lasts – the more probable that an ovulation calendar will correctly calculate the date of your ovulation.

  • Ovulation predictor kits

Ovulation predictor kits are the single most precise tool available to determine exactly when a woman is ovulating. Like pregnancy tests, ovulation predictor kits work by determining if the relevant hormones are present in a urine sample. That means that the result is obtained by “peeing on a stick”, as it’s known in online fertility jargon. Ovulation predictor kits, also simply called ovulation tests, look for luteinizing hormone (LH). Ovulation is the only time during which LH is produced by the body, so a positive ovulation test is a very accurate indication that you are in fact ovulating. It is, however, possible to get a positive ovulation test and still be ovulating. Ovulation predictor kits are best used during the afternoon, when the levels of LH in urine reach a peak.

  • Cervical mucus

It is also possible to use cervical mucus, the discharge produced by your cervix, to determine the time of ovulation. Cervical mucus varies throughout the menstrual cycle, and some women rely on monitoring it as their only method of knowing when they ovulate. Because cervical mucus is unique to an individual, it might be most helpful to monitor it in combination with ovulation predictor kits, an ovulation calendar, or measuring your temperature – at least until you “get to know” your own cervical mucus. As a rule, ovulatory cervical mucus is ample, looks similar to raw egg white, and is smooth. Ovulatory cervical mucus has a consistency that contributes to the ability of sperm to reach the egg. Later on in the cycle, during the luteal phase, mucus is more likely to be white, thick, and less “runny”.

  • Body temperature

Body temperature can be used to find out when you are at your most fertile. This method is commonly known as fertility charting, charting to conceive, or natural family planning. Those who are interested in this method to help them get pregnant sooner need to take their temperature at the same time every day, preferably when no physical activity has taken place in a while. Most women who use fertility charting set their alarm at a time early in the morning, record their temperature, and go back to sleep. This gives the most accurate results. A sudden spike in temperature indicates ovulation. It is possible to make your own records of measuring body temperature, but lots of women find it easier to use online fertility charting services that do all the hard work automatically. Such charting services can also record changes in cervical mucus, when you had intercourse, and more.

  • Physical ovulation symptoms

Finally, some women experience physical ovulation symptoms that enable them to know when they are fertile. These symptoms can include mild cramping or ovulation pain, ovulation bleeding, and more tender breasts. Because these symptoms are highly individual, and many women do not notice any ovulation symptoms at all, using these as a way of confirming you are ovulating is only possible if you regularly experience the same physical signs of ovulation.

Additional tips to boost your chances of conceiving

Having intercourse in the days before you expect to ovulate, and during ovulation, is the key to getting pregnant. The health steps we discussed at the beginning of this article can increase your fertility. Is there anything else that you can do to actively prove your chances  of becoming pregnant?

Having intercourse regularly – not too often, and not too little – contributes to maintaining a man’s optimum sperm count during the time it matters most. A man’s sperm count decreases when he ejaculates multiple times a day, and not ejaculating for over a week also reduces the amount of sperm found in an ejaculate. Most couples will achieve the best sperm count if they have sex when the feel like it. Fertility specialists often say that two or three times a week is ideal for people who hope to conceive.

The missionary position gives sperm a head start – the closer to the cervix semen starts out, the less time will be needed for it to reach its final destination. That does not mean sex has to be boring. It is possible to get pregnant in almost any position, and to use the advantages of “man on top”, all you need to do is end up in that position when the man ejaculates. Some women additionally like to spend some time on their back, with a pillow under their buttocks, to give sperm the best chance to reach the waiting egg, and prevent it from “escaping”. While there is no scientific evidence that this method is effective, it will certainly not do any harm.

Mistakes that decrease the chances of getting pregnant

Just as your actions can increase your chances of conceiving, they can also harm your odds of conceiving. Knowing when you ovulate is the most relevant information that anyone can have. While the days prior to ovulation are included in a woman’s fertile women, and having intercourse before ovulation can result in a baby, this does not mean that having sex as often as possible during these days is the best approach to getting pregnant. Ejaculating multiple times a day reduces a man’s sperm count, and if you have a lot of sex in the days before ovulation, you might be missing out on the chance to conceive during the most important time; ovulation itself.

Using a lubricant is fine while you are trying to conceive, but check very carefully that it does not contain any spermicide. Many commercial lubricants do kill sperm, and that will obviously go a long way in preventing pregnancy.

Finally, stress can interfere with ovulation. The very process of trying to get pregnant (having timed intercourse, and big hopes for a positive pregnancy test every month) makes many women stressed. The daily stresses of life – work, financial worries, family issues – also contribute. Don’t ignore stress, and try to find time each day to relax. For some women, yoga and meditation are great stress relievers. Others prefer work outs, or discussing their feelings with their partner and friends.

One other common mistake that deserves mentioning is the thought that women should be the ones to make all the lifestyle changes when a couple is trying to conceive. Men are just as relevant to conceiving as women, and men should also quit smoking, and cut down on drinking alcohol and coffee, if relevant. Men who eat healthy diets are more fertile, just like women. Which brings us to

Health tips for men who want to become fathers

Men whose diets are rich in antioxidants, zinc, and folate (folic acid) actively increase both the concentration of sperm in their semen, and their sperm’s ability to reach the female egg. The same advice that we directed at women in the earlier portions of this article are also extremely helpful for men. Some men still think that it is the woman’s responsibility to know how to get pregnant. Examining their diets and lifestyle in much the same way as the typical woman does before trying to conceive can make the differences between conceiving and not conceiving, and multivitamin supplements are recommended for men too.

Heavy drinkers often have a low sperm count (oligozoosopermia), while men who smoke are likely to suffer from asthenozoospermia, or sperm that lacks the ability to effectively propel itself forward and reach its destination. Cutting out both smoking and drinking is recommended. Additionally, men who ejaculate several times a day might have a low sperm count, while those who do not ejaculate for longer than five days have the same problem. In short – men who want to have a baby are advised to stop indulging in unhealthy lifestyle habits, eat well, and have regular sex.

When to see a doctor

There are many reasons to see a doctor for couples who are trying to conceive, or want to start soon. Encountering problems getting pregnant is far from the only pretext to make an appointment with your doctor. We advise every couple who has decided to try for a baby – both men and women – to get a general medical checkup. Women can see their OB/GYN before trying to conceive.

We also recommend every couple to strongly consider testing for sexually transmittable diseases. STD testing is a simple procedure. Couples who get the all-clear can rest assured that they are free from these diseases and can start trying to conceive. Those who do turn out to have a sexually transmitted disease can get treatment (often a simple course of antibiotics for many diseases, such as chlamydia) before trying for a baby. There is a wide range of STDs, but many of them have the potential to have extremely negative effects during pregnancy. Miscarriage, low birth weight, preterm labor, and perinatal mortality are among the many risks of various STDs. The embarrassment of getting yourself tested when you know you and your partner are monogamous is a small price to pay. Unless you get tested, you don’t know for sure if you have a sexually transmitted disease.

Couples who are under 35 and have been trying to conceive (having regular intercourse without contraceptives, preferably timed around ovulation) for a year are advised to make a fertility appointment. The same holds true for couples over 35 who have been attempting to get pregnant for six months.

Men and women who are aware of pre-existing fertility problems and who want to get pregnant, or need advice on how to get pregnant with their particular conditions, also need to see a doctor – usually a reproductive endocrinologist or fertility specialist. Examples of female conditions that require medical attention or monitoring are polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, or a bicornuate (heart-shaped) uterus. Men who have sperm delivery problems, due to a blocked vas deferens for instance, those with a varicocele (enlarged veins in the scrotum), or any other known obstacle to getting their partner pregnant, should also seek medical attention.

Ways to get pregnant (fertility treatments)

The vast majority of couples start out expecting to conceive naturally, and most will succeed. But thankfully, modern technology and medicine does offer many opportunities and the hope to get pregnant to people who are unable to get pregnant naturally for whatever reason. Whether you have been trying to get pregnant for a long time without success, and have been diagnosed with idiopathic (unexplained) infertility, or are infertile and are aware of the underlying cause, one of the many fertility treatments now available might assist you in having the baby you are dreaming about. Assisted fertility techniques are also a viable way to have a baby for gay and lesbian couples, or single mothers by choice. This is an overview of fertility treatments, and who can benefit from them.

Fertility medication

Fertility drugs are the first step for many people who have trouble conceiving naturally. Women who are anovulatory (do not ovulate) frequently get prescribed Clomid, generically called Clomiphene, to induce ovulation. This drug is highly effective. Gonadotropins are another class of fertility medications that is widely used. Brand names include Pergonal, Gonal F, and Pregnyl. These drugs can be useful for women who did not respond to Clomid, those with PCOS, a luteal phase defect, or idiopathic infertility. Additionally, gonadotropins are also prescribed to men whose infertility is caused by a hormonal imbalance. Fertility medication is also used in combination with many of the fertility treatments discussed below, in order to increase the success rates and sometimes as a prerequisite for success.

Intravaginal insemination (IVI)

Intravaginal insemination or IVI is the simplest and most low-tech form of fertility intervention. It is often referred to just as insemination or artificial insemination. With IVI, semen is placed directly into the vagina with a syringe. This procedure is suitable for men who are unable to ejaculate during intercourse but have no fertility problems, women who have vaginisumus and cannot have sexual intercourse, and for women who are hoping to conceive with donor sperm. This form of insemination is likely to be successful in combination with a healthy sperm count and no other sperm abnormalities, and the woman being inseminated is ovulating. It can be carried out in a fertility clinic or at home through self-insemination.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

During intrauterine insemination or IUI, perviously analyzed sperm prepared through a procedure called sperm washing is inserted directly into the uterus. IUI is often suitable for couples who have unexplained infertility. It can also be successful in cases of male factor infertility, in combination with a low sperm count or where sperm has motility or morphology abnormalities. During sperm washing, sperm of substandard quality is separated from healthy sperm and eliminated. Women who are not ovulating can benefit from IUI in combination with ovulation-inducing medications like Clomid, as can those who have mild endometriosis. Although intrauterine insemination can be effective during natural cycles if the woman is ovulating normally, it is most frequently used together with fertility drugs.

Invitro fertilization (IVF)

IVF is without a doubt the most well-known  and most talked about fertility treatment. It has been used successfully for over 30 years now, but for many people there is still something magical about the fact that embryos can be created in a petri-dish! Fertility medications to stimulate the release of as many eggs as possible in women are routinely used for IVF patients. After eggs are retrieved from the female body, they are fertilized outside of the body, and subsequently transferred to the uterus. “In vitro” is Latin for “in glass”.

How do you know if you are a suitable candidate for IVF? A long process of fertility testing and and trying other fertility treatments like IUI often precedes before someone arrives at IVF, but not always. IVF can be used for women with ovulatory problems, blocked or scarred fallopian tubes or no tubes, pelvic inflammatory disease, PCOS, endometriosis, and others. Male factor infertility can also be a reason for IVF.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

ICSI is a variation of invitro fertilization that involves the direct injection of a single sperm into the center of an egg. It is most suitable for couples where the man has a very low sperm count, poor sperm quality, or sperm that moves slowly or cannot penetrate an egg. In some cases, men who have sperm delivery problems can have sperm directly extracted from the scrotum in small quantities. ICSI is a viable option in such situations. For the female partner, the procedure of an intracytoplasmic sperm injection does not differ from regular IVF.

Pregnancy Signs

Pregnancy Signs

Women who have been trying to conceive have plenty of reasons to regularly watch out for pregnancy signs and symptoms. While there is no doubt that a missed period followed by a positive pregnancy test are the most definite symptoms you are expecting, many signs can be felt even before a late menstruation.


Credit: Hans and Carolyn via Flickr Creative Commons.

Morning sickness, more accurately described as pregnancy nausea because it can strike at any time during the day, is one of the first symptoms many women experience. Some have an even earlier indication they are expecting – the so-called implantation bleeding where the uterine lining expels some blood when their embryo settles in. Almost every woman feels extremely fatigued during the first trimester. And many notice a definite abdominal bloating caused by hormones, more frequent urination, and mood swings. If you’re suddenly crying at the slightest thing, you might just have a baby!

And those who are already aware that they are pregnant may still have a lot of questions about their pregnancy and the pregnancy signs they are feeling. You may be worrying, and want to know whether what is going on with your body is normal. You might want to know if every expectant mother gets acne and looks like they are in High School again – and if there is anything you can do about this. Of course, you want to know when to expect fetal movement and how much weight you should be gaining.

It is important to understand that every woman is different, and every pregnancy is unique. Not every woman will have all possible symptoms of pregnancy, and only a small percentage will deal with complications such as gestational hypertension (high blood pressure) or diabetes. Pregnancy can be seen as a journey. Your destination is known (you are having a baby!), but you will not find out what the stops on your journey will be until you set out on it.

First trimester pregnancy signs

The first trimester represents a period of big changes for pregnant women. It is the trimester during which the most unpleasant pregnancy symptoms show up – but before people are aware that you are expecting a baby, they might not understand what you are going through. Fatigue and pregnancy nausea are perhaps the most difficult to deal with. Many women have such low energy that they would take afternoon naps if their schedule would allow it. Vomiting every day, or even several times a day, is annoying but totally normal. If you are vomiting so often that you are unable to keep down any fluids and foods at all, you should seek help, however.

While your body is working over hours at growing a human being from scratch and hormones are racing through your body, you might develop aversions to certain foods, drinks, and smells. It is also possible that you will lose your appetite and will not feel like eating much at all for a while. Trying to eat small meals that appeal to you more frequently can help with this, and also reduce pregnancy nausea.

Your breasts will likely be sore and tender, and you will notice an increase in the frequency of urination. These changes are largely caused by the hormone progesterone. Later on in pregnancy, you will need to take trips to the bathroom more often because your baby is pressing onto your bladder. In the first trimester, progesterone is the only culprit.

Some women lose some weight during the first trimester, while others will already start gaining weight in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. Mood swings that are very similar to those many women (or should we say their friends and partner?) notice every month around the time of menstruation, are also typical during early pregnancy. Some become slightly aggressive, while others cry at the sight of puppies. Once again, you can blame your hormones for this pregnancy symptom! And don’t worry, because it will not last forever.

All of these symptoms may begin soon after you conceived, or some weeks after you became aware that you are expecting. The most obvious sign of pregnancy still remains a missed period. Some pregnancy tests are so sensitive that you can test up to a week before your menstruation is due, but all tests should be accurate on the day your menstrual period would normally be due.

Second trimester pregnancy signs

By the second trimester, your odds of having a miscarriage go down dramatically. Morning sickness and fatigue have probably gone or are at least less frequent, and you will develop a real baby bump. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the second trimester of pregnancy is that you can expect to start feeling your baby kick! Most expectant moms will start to feel fetal movement around 16 weeks.

Women who are pregnant with their second baby or have already had multiple children before might feel fetal movement even earlier. If your placenta is anterior, and therefore attached to the front wall of your uterus near your abdomen, you might have to wait a while longer before you can feel your baby move.

Braxton Hicks contractions, an occasional painless tightening of the uterus, will also be more noticeable now. You will have had them since around eight weeks, but will start becoming aware of them about half-way through your pregnancy. During Braxton Hicks contractions, your tummy will suddenly feel very hard. They can last from a few seconds to several minutes, and often show up when you engage in strenuous physical exercise or after intercourse.

Other common second trimester symptoms include food cravings, skin changes (you might have that beautiful “pregnancy glow), and swollen ankles. Giving in to food cravings is fine, but you should also be careful to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Staying properly hydrated will help you fight water retention, and putting your feet up while you can will also offer you some relief.

Was morning sickness your least favorite pregnancy symptom during the first trimester? It will probably have been replaced by frequent episodes of heartburn by now. Heartburn can be controlled by cutting out spicy and greasy foods, and many women find that dissolving a teaspoon or two of baking soda into a cup of water and drinking the mixture cures acute “attacks” of heartburn.

Your breasts have probably grown some by now, and are still tender. Some women already start leaking colostrum, your baby’s first milk, in the second trimester. It is possible you will have itchy nipples, and some will have raised bumps around their areola, the area immediately surrounding the nipple. These are called Montgomery’s Tubercules and while they may look odd, they are totally normal.

In addition, some women deal with blood pressure changes – either hypertension or hypotension – and lower back pain. These conditions all benefit from careful monitoring, which is why your healthcare provider will stay on the look-out for any signs of complications at each prenatal appointment.

Third trimester pregnancy signs

Towards the very end of your pregnancy, you will be looking for answers about which of your many pregnancy signs could be indications that your baby will be born soon. Is shortness of breath normal during pregnancy? Do your Braxton Hicks contractions indicate that your labor will be starting for real very soon? How do you know if your bag of waters has broken?

Expectant mothers in their third trimester might start feeling physically uncomfortable, and have sleepless nights because their big belly will not allow them to find any position that is comfortable. You might also have trouble tying shoe laces or putting on your socks! A whole-body maternity pillow could help you find the position that is most comfortable for you, or you can simply try using regular pillows.

Shortness of breath is not unusual and is caused by a combination of hormonal changes and the fact that your uterus is pressing down on your internal organs. Frequent bathroom runs were caused by hormones at the beginning of your pregnancy, but now there is no doubt that your baby is “guilty” of causing you to head for the toilet every five minutes!

If you have been experiencing the urge to iron everything in sight, or suddenly redecorate the nursery at two o’clock in the morning, you are not alone! The so-called nesting instinct is extremely common during the final weeks of pregnancy, and may in fact be one of the earliest signs that it won’t be long before you will deliver. Have fun scrubbing your floors five times in a row, or reorganizing your closets; just be careful that you don’t stand on a wobbly ladder with your third-trimester belly!

Late during the third trimester, your baby is likely to drop down lower into the pelvis. You will feel much better after that and will be able to breath more easily, and be more mobile. Signs of impending labor that you should watch out for during this time are losing your mucus plug, your bag of waters breaking, and contractions. The mucus plug looks like heavy, slimy vaginal discharge with blood in it. If you are wondering whether your water broke or you peed yourself (sorry, but that can happen in pregnancy!), do the smell test. Amniotic fluid is clear and does not smell of anything. Contractions speak for themselves. If your contractions are five minutes or less apart and last for longer than a minute, call your midwife or head for the hospital – it’s D-Day!

Trying for a baby after birth control

Most women have spent their whole adult life avoiding pregnancy by the time they are ready for a baby — and then, they would like to get pregnant as soon as possible. What do you need to know about trying for a baby if you still need to come off your birth control method, whether it’s hormonal or non-hormonal,
Thanks to xopherlance via Flickr Creative Commons.
The birth control pill is still the most popular hormonal contraceptive method, though there is a huge variety on the market now. Women who quit using the pill may get their fertility back within two weeks of stopping, but some women also need several months before their menstrual cycle returns to normal and they start ovulating again. Many doctors recommend that you wait for a whole cycle, which means menstruating at least once after stopping, before trying to get pregnant. In that case, you would probably be using condoms in the intermediary period.
The same rules that apply to the pill also apply to NuvaRing, the hormonal ring that prevents pregnancy. The situation is quite similar for women who have their Mirena IUD removed, as well. The hormonal IUD works in a way that can be compared to the pill, while also interfering with implantation through its presence in the womb. Many women report a few irregular menstrual cycles before everything settles into its normal rhythm again. Your ovulation is likely to be back within a few months after having your Mirena coil taken out.
Depo provera, the injectable form of hormonal birth control, is another popular method. While depo provera is very effective and can prevent pregnancy for years at a time, it’s a little trickier for women who do want to get pregnant. Not only do you have to wait out the period of time the injection was supposed to work, many women who are trying to get pregnant after depo provera say that their ovulation doesn’t return for a long time after stopping the injections. Others get their fertility back soon, so don’t despair, but do think about discussing your pregnancy chances with your OBGYN.
Non-hormonal contraceptives like condoms and the copper coil (and… is there anything else, really,) are much easier to deal with. You can stop condoms and try for a baby right away, though you should of course make the same health and lifestyle chances anyone trying to get pregnant makes. The copper IUD needs removing, but your fertility will be back right away after it’s gone.

Natural Fertility Supplements

If you have trouble conceiving naturally, you should know that even small change in your diet and lifestyle could improve your chances of getting pregnant. There is a lot of natural fertility supplements that may increase your fertility, saving you from expensive treatments and additional stress they cause.
One of the first prerequisites for successful conception is having a regular sex. Increasing libido is thus the primary goal. Few supplements such as Maca root powder could be of great help. Maca Root (Lepidium Meyenii) contains significant amounts of amino acids, complex carbohydrates, Vitamins B1, B2, C, E and minerals including calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc and iron. Maca is used traditionally to increase libido in both men and women, also increasing sperm count and mobility in men, and improving menstrual irregularities and hormonal imbalance in women. Maca differs from other supplements because it stimulates the glands in the body to produce the hormones according to the individuals’ unique requirements, rather than introducing hormones from outside.
There are other herbal based supplements that could help increasing your libido, such as Dong Quai or wild jam, but you should consult qualified herbal specialist before taking any of them.
Vitamins and minerals play very important role in conception process, so they should be included in regular diet as a food or in a form of additional supplements.
Vitamin B is one of the most essential supplements for fertility. Vitamin B6 and B12 are particularly important for fertility and hormonal function. This vitamin needs to be replenished all the time, as it’s water soluble, leaving the body with urination. Foods rich in Vitamin B are turkey, liver, tuna, chili peppers, lentils, bananas, potatoes, oats, barley, wheat bran, avocado, salmon, Brazil nuts. In addition, brewer’s yeast is good source of B vitamins. Other meats, dairy products and eggs are high in vitamin B12, which is essential for the production of genetic material in conjunction with Folic Acid.
Folic Acid or Folate is also a member of the Vitamin B family, very important for the fertility. Human body cannot store Folic Acid, so it must be replenished regularly. It can be deficient in people with Celiac disease and Crohn’s disease. Also, alcohol use, the contraceptive pills and other drugs can cause Folic Acid to be excreted out of the body. Folic acid is found naturally in dark green leafy vegetables, apricots, avocados, carrots, egg yolks, liver, melons, whole grains, and yeast’s.
Vitamin A is an antioxidant essential at conception for the developing embryo. There has been some controversy that high doses of this Vitamin may be harmful to baby development, so smaller amounts of this Vitamin are recommended. Food rich in Vitamin A include carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, spinach and broccoli.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, helpful to sperm production and healthy ovulation. Food sources include blackcurrants, red peppers, guavas and citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, strawberries, kiwi, broccoli and Brussel sprouts.
Vitamin E is important as an antioxidant. Low levels of Vitamin E could cause subfertility in men and women. This vitamin is found in wheat germ cereal, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, sunflower seeds, brown rice, milk, eggs, meat, soya beans and sweet potatoes.
Zinc is an essential component of genetic material and plays an important role in the fertility of women, and especially men, affecting sperm count. Zinc is also vital to healthy cell division, which makes it essential at conception. Zinc occurs naturally in oats, rye, pumpkin seeds, almonds and peas.
Selenium is important antioxidant protecting the body from free radicals. It is especially important for healthy sperm production. However, it should be consumed in small amounts, otherwise it could cause toxicity. It could be found in corn, wheat, rice, Brazil nuts and walnuts, soybeans, animal products such as beef, egg and dairy. Tuna is also important source of selenium.
Iron is important for the production of red blood cells and oxygen transport. Low iron levels can be a factor in subfertility. Great sources of iron are liver, spinach, beans, kale, and broccoli.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are, as their name says, essential for healthy hormone production. These acids are crucial for the development of the baby brain, eyes and central nervous system. Great source of EFA’s are fish oils.
L-arginine and L-carnitine are two amino acids essential to healthy sperm production. They are found in dairy products, meat, poultry, walnuts, peanuts, chocolate, seafood and fish, wheat germ and flour.