Contrary to what most of us might think, there is actually a lot more to conceiving than just having an unprotected intercourse. Many couples have made such mistakes and when they fail to get pregnant, they are quick to presume that one of them could be infertile. Jumping to such conclusions could only add tension to your already stressful life. Although babies are ‘suppose’ to be Mother Nature’s gift, there are certain facts about lovemaking and your lifestyle that you should be aware of to increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Here Dr.Ivan R. Sini, Head of Morula IVF Jakarta and Vice President of Bundamedik Healthcare System Jakarta, Indonesia shares some tips to a more successful pregnancy.

First of all, you need a partner. As ludicrous as it might sound, to some people getting a partner is one of the most challenging thing. It is not like you can just pick a guy or create a partner you want to have a family with. This is especially so for women who spend a lot of time focusing on their careers because they tend to have very high expectations of their partner. For some women the frequent traveling and tremendous pressure from work leaves them with no time for relationships.

If you have a partner and you are currently on the pill as a form of birth control, you should discontinue taking it. Most doctors would recommend that women wait three cycles while their bodies adjust to being off the pill before trying to conceive.

  1. Start consuming prenatal vitamins before getting pregnant. Medical professionals recommend that women get a daily dose of 400 micrograms of folic acid at least a month before trying to get pregnant and a minimum of 600 micrograms daily once you are pregnant. Research has indicated that by doing so you can reduce the risk of neural tube defects in babies by up to 70 percent.

2. Balance your hormones with good nutrition and herbal supplements. Zinc, calcium, magnesium and B6 are great for sustaining hormonal balance. Various herbs associated with balanced hormones include chamomile, raspberry leaf, ginkgo biloba, saw palmetto, ginseng, licorice root and black cohosh. Consult your doctor if you are unsure of the effects of any herbal supplements.

3. The best time to develop a healthy lifestyle is before pregnancy. Maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, reduce stress, do not smoke, consume alcohol or take any other recreational drugs. These good habits may help you get pregnant more easily and will certainly serve you and your baby well during pregnancy.

4. Listen to your body and try to understand how it works – what your body is doing at every step of your monthly cycle. Learn to recognize tell tale signs of ovulation. Other than familiarizing yourself with your biological cycle, you also need to learn about male ejaculation and sperm counts. It is all about timing and knowing when to make love. With some practice, you should be able to plan for pregnancy by making love during the luteal phase and when the sperm count is highest. The Luteal Phase, also referred to as ‘days past ovulation’, is that period when ovulation starts and ends a day before your next period. It is also the time when the chance for pregnancy is highest. Typically, the luteal phase usually lasts around 14 days and it does not vary by more than a day in each person.

The length of the luteal phase determines the time of ovulation within your menstrual cycle. Ovulation can be delayed by a number of factors, such as stress, increased activity or medication, but the length of the luteal phase is usually constant. Taking this into account, you can calculate the time of ovulation within your cycle by subtracting the length of your luteal phase from the length of your cycle. For example, if your cycle is 28 days long and your luteal phase is 12 days long, the ovulation will occur on day 16 of your cycle (28-12=16). There are numerous ways to determine when you are ovulating, from tracking your basal body temperature and watching for changes in cervical mucus to simply purchasing an ovulation calculator at the drug store.

5. Have regular, unprotected sex around the time you ovulate. Since sperm cells can survive in the reproductive tract for two to three days, it’s best to have sex every day for at least a few days leading up to ovulation. So for example, if the average woman ovulates on day 14, it’s best to have sex on days 12, 13 and 14 of her menstrual cycle. In addition, if timed right, female orgasms can also help in conception. Also bear in mind that it is normal to wait up to twelve months or more before finally becoming pregnant.

6. Your mental state plays a very important role in preparing your body for pregnancy. If you are not mentally and emotionally stable due to depression or tension from work or at home, chances are that it will be more difficult for you to get pregnant. Stressors can affect your menstrual cycle and ovulation period. Therefore, it is crucial for you to have the right environment and people who will support you through this journey.

On the first day of a missed period, take an early pregnancy test and find out if all of your hard work has paid off. Repeat these steps each month until you are pregnant.

Not being able to have a child is one of woman’s greatest fears and anguish. However, there are times when a woman mistook her failure in getting pregnant as an irreversible condition when in actual fact, a little knowledge and change in lifestyle can be the answer.