When you’ve been trying to conceive for a long time, it can seem like an impossible mission. You may have seen people around you getting pregnant, without even realizing they were trying, and wonder why it’s not happening for you.
Trying to conceive should be one of the most fun times of your life, but the feeling of not knowing when, or even if, it will happen for you can put a lot of pressure on you and your partner. Unfortunately, sometimes, that pressure can be the thing that’s holding you back.
Every couple is different and has different challenges to contend with, but here are some things that I learnt along the way, which hopefully will help anyone hoping to get pregnant.
DO…See your doctor, or a fertility specialist, if you’re worried.
Doctors usually advise that if you are under the age of 35 and healthy; try for a year before making an appointment, or if you’re over 35; try for six months before seeing a specialist. But if you’re anxious or know about any conditions that might be linked to infertility then there’s no harm in getting yourselves checked out to put your mind at rest.
DO…Understand your monthly cycle.
Getting pregnant is largely down to timing. If you have a regular 28-day cycle you probably ovulate around day 14 – but this can vary. My eggs were usually mature by day 12 but didn’t release until later in my cycle. Start tracking your cycle with a monthly cycle app. Look for one that allows you to enter in any symptoms as well; your cervical mucus becomes more watery and slippery when you’re most fertile so it’s useful to monitor when that happens. But…
DON’T…Track your temperature.
You can buy highly accurate thermometers to track your BBT (Basal Body Temperature). Your BBT is your body’s lowest daily temperature, and can tell you when you’ve ovulated. Two to three days after you’ve ovulated, a hormonal change causes your body temperature to spike, and will decrease by your next period. If you’re pregnant your BBT will stay high.
Whilst some people may find this useful, I personally found it made me more anxious. You have to monitor your BBT as soon as you wake up, every day throughout your cycle to get a meaningful chart so it’s the first thing you think about in the morning, which doesn’t help you relax. Plus, it tells you that you’ve already ovulated, which can make you feel like you’ve missed your chance that month.
DON’T…Google every symptom you have.
The two-week wait is tedious and it’s easy to think that every tiny twinge could mean you’re pregnant. You can drive yourself crazy by looking it up. For every person who says that they had a headache and then found out they were pregnant, there will be someone who says the opposite. It means nothing until you are late.
DON’T…Test too early.
It can be really heartbreaking seeing negative tests, especially if you convince yourself you are pregnant. If you can, be patient – try to forget it and wait until you are a week overdue before testing, when it will be 99% accurate.
Easier said than done, but stress can impede your chances of getting pregnant. Let your partner know your most fertile days before they come round and share the responsibility of doing the business at the right time. There’s nothing more unsexy than bringing up ovulation as you’re trying to get in the mood.
If you have seen your doctor and know that there are no obstacles to overcome then just stay positive and know that you are doing everything you can do. Eventually it will happen.