– Contributed by – Lisa Olsen, author of the book “Pregnancy Miracle”. Lisa is a researcher, nutritionist and health consultant.
Infertility may be broadly defined as the inability to get pregnant after trying for at least one year without using any birth control. In Western countries, infertility affects an estimated 15% of the population. While a part of them are trying to conceive using alternative methods like IVF, others prefer to optimize the chances of getting pregnant naturally.
Trying to get pregnant naturally may be very important, since many couples and individuals who are diagnosed with infertility may be able to get pregnant without treatment (and hence should be defined as “subfertile” rather than “infertile”).
When trying to get pregnant naturally, the most important factor is to understand the menstrual cycle and the timing of ovulation, which leads to the optimum chances of getting impregnated. Usually, ovulation occurs around the 14th day, and hence, to get pregnant naturally, a couple should have as much sexual intercourse as possible between the 12th and the 15th day.
Different women have slightly varying menstrual cycles and so, to improve the chances of becoming pregnant, it is imperative to study one’s periods, and calculate exactly when one ovulates.
Determining the signs of ovulation
To check for the right timings of ovulation, a woman can do one, or many, of the following things:
Keep a calendar. Keeping a calendar to chart the days is an easy and effective method to determine the right time to have sexual intercourse.
Keep a check on vaginal fluids. Mucus discharge from the vagina usually becomes heavier, thinner, clearer and stretchy during ovulation when compared to the usual times.
Feel the inside of the vagina. During ovulation, the cervix is softer and slightly more open than usual.
Keep tabs on any sharp pain in the abdomen. Sharp pains in the abdomen, or some slight spotting, may be indicative of ovulation.
Other physical conditions. Headaches, bloating, breast tenderness and pain may be signs of ovulation.
There are some other things that an individual can do to increase the chances of getting pregnant naturally. These include lying still for a while after having sexual intercourse, avoiding the bathroom for about thirty minutes after having sexual intercourse, and most importantly, figuring out how many times one should have sexual intercourse.
Men often neglect their own part to play in this whole scenario. The sperm needs to be of the correct constitution, correct shape and correct motility too, or else, however fertile the woman may be, impregnation does not occur naturally. A way of ensuring that the sperm is undamaged is by wearing boxers instead of briefs. Boxers help in keeping the testicles from overheating and damaging sperm.
For both women and men, the anatomical and hormonal factors are not the only ones to be monitored and corrected. In most cases, failure to conceive may result from an improper diet, undue stress, the use of drugs like alcohol and nicotine, and even environmental factors such as proximity to harmful doses of pesticides.
Abstinence from such factors goes a long way in ensuring a pregnancy
One should always keep in mind that the holistic approach to solving a problem is the optimal way to tackle infertility.
Getting regular health checkups, taking supplements to combat existing problems, exercising and stress reduction techniques are only part of the holistic solution to infertility, which considers the problem as part of a whole, unlike the conventional approach which tackles a specific body organ in its attempt to heal.
The holistic approach is not only a surefire way to increase your chances of conception it also guarantees a safe and healthy pregnancy.