Are these the 5 reasons why you’re not getting pregnant?
Things to avoid if you're trying to get pregnant
Words Jessica Salter
You spend most of your twenties trying not to get pregnant, then when you actually want a baby, you realise it is harder than you thought. For every story you hear about someone giving birth without knowing they were pregnant, there are five more women desperately trying to conceive.
‘Producing another human being is complicated,’ explains reproductive biologist Grace Dugdale. ‘Sometimes it seems like a miracle that anyone actually gets pregnant.’ The odds are stacked against us. There are only six days a month when a woman is fertile enought o get pregnant: ovulation day (when the egg is released from the ovary) and the five days before that. It is down to the lifespan of the sperm (five days) and the egg (24 hours). The window is surprisingly small and one in seven couples in the UK suffer from fertility problems, but the reassuring news is that most couples – 84 per cent – do get pregnant within a year. ‘There’s so much that women (and their partners) can do to increase their chances of conceiving naturally,’ says Dugdale. ‘It’s just a case of playing the detective to see what works.’
5 lifestyle changes to help you get pregnant
1. Avoid binge sex
A male friend recently recalled waking up one morning with a huge hangover while his partner came out of the bathroom waving her ovulation stick, saying, ‘Honey, I’m ovulating, let’s do it.’ Literally, nothing sexier. But while waiting until ovulation (around 14 days before your next period) seems logical, it could be scuppering your chances of getting pregnant – you need to be at it consistently. ‘Many couples who are trying for a baby only have sex around the time of ovulation, but this is bad for sperm, as it’s stored in the testes and “goes off” over time,’ says Professor Adam Balen, chair of theBritish Fertility Society. ‘So it’s best for a man to ejaculate every two to three days and not have long gaps.’
Dugdale recommends having ‘good-quality’ sex, as she calls it, every two days. ‘The more aroused the woman is, the better. It’s important to have cervical mucus present to provide channels for sperm to swim in and protect from an otherwise hostile vaginal environment.’ Want to boost your chances even further? Encourage your man to watch porn. No, really. A new study has found that men produce stronger swimmers after watching heterosexual porn.
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