Planning a family in the New Year? 5 ways to optimize your natural fertility
Is trying to have a baby part of your plans for 2017? This year, and every year, our Kansas City fertility center doctor, Dr. Dan Gehlbach, resolves to provide his patients with the most useful fertility advice, including ways to optimize your natural fertility.
Dr. Gehlbach’s 5 tips to help optimize your natural fertility
- Determine when you are ovulating so you will know when you are in your “fertile window.”
Find out when you are ovulating by monitoring cervical and vaginal mucus or using a urinary ovulation predictor kit. Your “fertile window” actually ends on the day of ovulation and begins six days prior to that.
- Timing of intercourse is important, not a position or lying prone on your back after intercourse.
You and your partner should be having sex every other day during your fertile window to optimize your natural fertility and every day over two days if you know when you are ovulating. Frequency and timing produce the highest number of pregnancies.
- Be careful about the personal lubricants you are using during intercourse.
Many commercially available personal lubricants, as well as saliva and olive oil, have been found to decrease the chances of sperm survival and sperm motility. It is best to avoid using these when you are trying to conceive. You can try mineral or canola oil or Pre-Seed®, which have no known effect on sperm.
- Make important lifestyle changes.
One of the best ways to optimize your natural fertility is for you and your partner to make important lifestyle changes.
- Quit smoking.
- Do not consume more than two alcoholic drinks per day or use recreational drugs.
- Do not consume a large amount of caffeine.
- If you are age 35 or older, consult with a fertility specialist after six months of unprotected intercourse that do not result in pregnancy.
It can take longer and be more difficult to get pregnant from age 35 onward. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends checking with a fertility doctor after six months instead of waiting one year.