5 Things To Do After Sex That Could Help You Get Pregnant
You've been following all the rules of good baby making. Taking your prenatal vitamin, check. Monitoring your Basal Body Temperature, check. Tracking ovulation, check. Regular sex at time of ovulation, double check! A lot of the process is out of your control, but there are still some things to do to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Granted, none of these added measures are a guarantee, but all of them are worth trying (and they're easy to do, too).
"Most patients have a 20% chance of conception with each ovulatory cycle,” certified midwife Jana Flesher tells Romper, and most of the things you'll be doing to help the process along will actually happen long before you have sex. For example, Flesher says women should have a "preconception consult with their midwife or physician" at least 4 months before even starting to try to have a baby; fertility specialist Kimberley Thornton M.D., FACOG, agrees, telling Romper in an email that this appointment is an important opportunity for your doctor to “review any medical problems or medications [you] might be taking that could affect [your] pregnancy.” You will likely walk out with an understanding of how long things could potentially take, which will make it a little easier to remain positive and enjoy the (ahem) process of trying to conceive a little more.
Speaking of that process, as with most things in life, you have very little control in this situation... but there are a few things you can do after a potential baby-making session to help tip the scale in your favor.
1. Lounge A Little
Give yourself permission to do nothing for a little bit and lounge in your bed after sex. Not getting up after sex could increase the odds that sperm has time to get to the egg and fertilize it, according to Today's Parent. Giving those little swimmers about five minutes or so might help them do their job. But don't worry about what position you're lounging in, as “holding your legs up in the air post-intercourse” isn’t really going to make a difference, says Dr. Thornton.
Flesher says the most important thing for a woman to remember is that “sperm know where to go! The female anatomy goes through changes in ovulation that specifically facilitate the semen and sperm to enter the uterus.”
2. Take Deep Breaths
If you've been planning to get pregnant, one of the most important things to avoid is getting overly stressed out. Stress can be a factor in infertility, Alice Domar, Ph.D., told Parents, so after you do the deed, don't start worrying if this is the time it will "take." Instead, keep a relaxed vibe and try to stay focused on the positive.
3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Keep that water bottle by the bed, and keep the refills coming. “Hydration is super important for all physiologic processes,” says Flesher, “so a reduction in dehydrating substances is helpful.” This means limiting alcohol and caffeine (see above), which will dehydrate you on their own, and increasing your water intake if you’re not already drinking enough.
4. Hold Your Pee
Waiting to pee after sex can help more sperm stay in a woman's body longer. As the Mayo Clinic pointed out, sperm can stay for days in a woman's reproductive tract, so not only will laying around for a few minutes give it time to travel to the egg, avoiding the bathroom for awhile will help as well.
5. Reconsider That Post-Coital Cockail
To maximize your fertility potential, both experts say you should avoid using cigarettes and alcohol when trying to conceive, a recommendation also supported by the Mayo Clinic.
"It's best to minimize alcohol and avoid any toxic substances,” says Dr. Thornton, and to treat the two-week wait “like you could potentially be pregnant.”
Jana Flesher, CNM at Southdale OB-GYN in Minnesota
Kimberley Thornton, M.D., FACOG, Assistant Professor of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
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