9 important facts to know about getting pregnant

Thinking of starting a family? Then wise up to these facts about making babies…

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You could say that you’ll need to plan a fair bit before having a baby. First up, you need to have that chat with your spouse about the intricacies of caring for bubba before you get busy in the bedroom.

Topics to touch on include finances, the role of your in-laws, and even what faith to raise your child on. Such issues aside, you’ll also need to consider your body’s biological changes. Here’s what you must know about the state of your sexual health…

1. How often and when you have sex affects your conception chances Your babymaking efforts will be more accurate if you’re familiar with your ovulation cycles. Says Mount Elizabeth Hospital urologist Dr Simon Chong, “Being fertile is just one part of the pregnancy equation. Just as important is having frequent successful intercourse, especially during the fertile window of a woman’s menstrual cycle.” Common ovulation signs to look out for include a stretchy and “egg-white” like vaginal discharge and an increased libido. Use ovulation trackers, kits and charts to keep tabs on what’s going on down there.

2. Prolonged intercourse doesn’t mean quality sex Dr Chong notes that some couples believe that good sex equates to having long intercourse. “In general, surveys of couples who have happy sex lives reported a duration that ranges from five to 15 minutes of penetrative sex.”

Your babymaking efforts will be more accurate if you’re familiar with your ovulation cycles.

3. You can “choose” your baby’s gender You’re more likely to have a boy if you have sex on the day your ovulate and a girl if you have intercourse two or three days before ovulation. Other methods include making changes to your diet — you’re more likely to conceive a boy on a high calorie diet. Using an alkaline lubricant can also boost your chances of having a boy! However, Dr Chong cautions that lubricant use can actually harm delicate sperm, which may affect your chances of getting pregnant.

4. Guys, you play a part, too! A couple’s inability to conceive isn’t always (or automatically) the female’s fault. Male infertility issues can be attributed to various causes including genetics, medical treatments and drugs, sperm count and quality, to name a few. Dr Chong points out that it is a common misconception among guys to think that young men do not have sexual problems. “Problems with erection can happen anytime in adulthood, they can be due to a myriad of factors such as stress, tiredness, constant worry and relationship issues.”