Boosting your chance of getting pregnant
Starting your journey to parenthood can be exciting, but also challenging if you find it is not happening as quickly as you expect. The average fertile couple has just a 20% chance of conceiving a healthy baby in any given month of unprotected sexual intercourse. There are two important ways you can improve your chances of falling pregnant naturally:
- Calculate your pregnancy window and have intercourse one or two days before ovulation. Regular intercourse, two to three times a week, will boost your chances further.
- Improve your health, diet and lifestyle – for both partners.
Health & lifestyle advice if you're trying to fall pregnant
You both need to think about your lifestyle and health before you start trying for a baby. Here are some important tips:
- Make sure you eat a healthy diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Stop smoking and recreational drug use
- Only drink alcohol in moderation
- Exercise regularly
Women should also:
- Take 0.5mg folic acid daily
- Take multi-vitamins for overall health
- Visit the GP for antenatal blood tests, including checks for rubella and chicken pox status, blood group and antibodies, Rh factor, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, HIV, syphillis, full blood count
- Review current medications and any implications for pregnancy with your GP
- Understand your menstrual cycle
Why is a woman's age also important?
The number one factor affecting a couple’s chances of conceiving is the woman’s age, as the number of healthy eggs your ovary contains will dramatically decline as you age – especially once you are over 35.
Most people start to consider seeking professional advice after six months of trying, and it’s more important that you do so if you are over 35 years.
Predict your chance of falling pregnant
Understand your chance of natural conception compared with IVF in any given month based on your age and lifestyle.
Conception is the moment of fertilisation, when the sperm meets and penetrates the egg.
During natural conception, sperm moves through the male genital tract and is ejaculated into the female genital tract, usually near the cervix of the uterus during sexual intercourse. The sperm and eggs need to then meet somewhere in the fallopian tube. Once the sperm has penetrated the egg, fertilisation occurs and an embryo is created.
Over the next four to six days the embryo moves down the fallopian tube to the uterus, and implants in the lining of the uterus where it will hopefully continue to grow.
This is a complicated sequence of events, because all the following to be in place for the process to occur:
- Regular egg production by the ovaries (ovulation)
- Healthy sperm, with the ability to swim (motility) and the correct shape (morphology)
- Unblocked and healthy fallopian tubes and uterus
What if it doesn’t work? If you still haven’t fallen pregnant after six months, you should seek medical advice from your GP or an IVFAustralia fertility specialist.