A handsome couple built a life together. The mortgage loan was approved for the beautiful four-bedroom home sitting across from a small park abutted by a pond. Together, the couple spend time decorating the house and yard. Initially, after moving into the place, the plan was to have children within the year, as the baby’s room has been decorated. That was almost three years ago, and still the marriage has not borne children. Not quite at the point of panicking or pointing fingers, both husband and wife are anxious about not being prolific. However, they are anxious to the point of actually considering artificial methods of conception. This scenario is a common one that many who want children face. However, before trying artificial insemination, couples can try to get pregnant naturally.
Getting pregnant naturally is a better option for a few reasons. For one, natural conception is not as costly and can be done by simply tracking the woman’s biological cycle during the month. Other interventions like artificial insemination or surrogate parenthood can be extremely expensive for young couples who crave being parents. Some couples prefer to get pregnant through natural methods because of religious or moral beliefs that run contrary to artificial methods of conceiving. Additionally, artificial methods of conceiving might conflict with health issues of the mother. People choose natural methods of conception for a myriad of reasons.
Couples desiring to conceive naturally can take a three-pronged approach to conceiving, which involves monitoring the woman’s monthly cycle, monitoring her nutrition, and getting moderate exercise.
Monitoring the woman’s monthly cycle is to guarantee sexual intercourse takes place during ovulation. The most common methods of doing this is through the fertility awareness method or the natural family planning (NPF) methods. These methods require the mother monitor her cycle for a month from the beginning of the cycle until the end. Most monthly cycles are anywhere between 28 and 32 days. The most opportune time for conception is between days 11-21 of the entire cycle.
A second way to determine the best time for conception is to pay close attention to cervical mucus discharge. As it becomes closer to the time of ovulation, this mucus becomes slippery, wetter, and more stretchy. Women can also check their basal body temperature with a thermometer to determine the best time to have sex, as it is higher after ovulation.
Age is another factor to consider, as fertility declines rapidly from the age of 36. If you have any concerns about your fertility then then the first step in pregnancy planning for you should be to get a fertility test.
Women who are trying to conceive should eat foods high in folate. Research has shown pregnant women who eat foods rich in folate reduce the incidence of neural tube birth defects in their children, and it is especially important during the period directly following conception, when women often are not even aware that they have become pregnant.
Women want to take in anywhere between 400 mcg and 800 mcg of folate a day. Foods rich in folate include dark green, leafy vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, beans, peas and lentils, avocado, okra, seeds and nuts, cauliflower, beets, corn, celery, carrots, and squash. Women should also eat complex carbohydrates such as grains and fruits; protein; fatty acids like mackerel, salmon, seeds and nuts; and whole milk. Vitamins B6, C, and E benefit both men and women, and the element zinc enhances fertility.
Foods to avoid include: caffeine which has a negative effect on fertility, processed foods that contain preservatives and hormones, red meat, and soy which has been connected to low sperm count.
Moderate exercise like yoga can help strengthen the body, in addition to helping to regulate the woman’s monthly cycle.
Women can prepare by beginning to monitor their own monthly cycle in addition to watching their diet and moderately exercising. Other factors that can help a woman conceive naturally include getting adequate, quality sleep and using progesterone creams during the latter part of ovulation (days 16-28) to help balance hormonal levels which are key to conception.
Conceiving can be frustrating, especially when waiting for months to conceive. Before considering alternative methods of conception, couples can monitor the woman’s cycle to determine the best time to have intercourse, and then ultimately conceive. Of course, this requires patience and planning, but in the end, the pregnancy and the impending birth of the child will help to complete a life built together.