8 things women don't know about getting pregnant

Reckon you know what it takes to make a baby? There’s much more to your fertility than having sex regularly!

Having a baby is nothing short of a miracle. While some lucky women have no trouble conceiving, while others try for many years without any luck.

If you are trying to conceive, you would have heard advice left and right from well-meaning people. How various sex positions can affect your chances of getting pregnant, how you should have sex many times a day to increase the chances of conception, and even ways to guarantee a boy or a girl! However, how much are facts, and what represents myths?

Whether you are ready to welcome a baby, or still on the fence about having kids, here are facts you should know about getting pregnant!

1. Stress can affect your chances of getting pregnant
Daily matters such as work, money, and marital harmony can all cause you stress, and when you are feeling pressured, having sex and trying to get pregnant will most probably be the last thing on your mind. Dr Lee Keen Whye, a gynaecologist from Gleneagles Hospital, adds that your brain also eleases a stress hormone that can inhibit ovulation and penile erection, too.
Tip! Relaxing with your partner over the weekend will not only strengthen your bond, it may even create baby-making opportunities. Take part in couple activities, or even have a short getaway at a local hotel!

2. Take folic acid BEFORE you conceive
Most women assume that they should only start taking vitamins after they get pregnant. However, vitamins such as folic acid should actually be taken before you even start trying for a baby. “It is advised for women to start taking folic acid two months before trying for a baby, as studies have shown that it helps to decrease the chances of neural tube defects in the foetus,” states SmartParents expert Dr Christopher Chong, an ob-gyn from Gleneagles Hospital.
Tip! Folic acid helps your body to produce and maintain new cells.

“Conception per se does not depend on sex positions. It is the enjoyment and fulfilment of preferred sex positions that enhances conception.”

3. Your sex position won’t affect your conception chances
There is a myth that certain sex positions allow for “deeper” penetration, and thus raises your chances of getting pregnant as it deposits the sperm closer to the egg. However, this isn’t necessarily true! As long as your man ejaculates into the neck of the womb, his sperm will be able to make their way to the egg. “Conception per se does not depend on sex positions. It is the enjoyment and fulfilment of preferred sex positions that enhances conception,” states Dr Lee.
Tip! Switching up sex positions might not increase your chances of pregnancy, but they can definitely spice up your bedroom life!

 

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4. Standing up after sex will not affect the sperm’s ability to fertilise the egg
While it is likely that a bit of semen will flow out after intercourse. But as long as enough sperm is deposited into the neck of the womb, standing up will not affect your chances of conceiving. However, Dr Lee does state that in an artificial insemination process, patients are advised to lie down for about half to one hour after the procedure.
Tip! You should actually get up to pee after having sex, as this decreases your chances of getting the dreaded Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)!

5. Having sex multiple times in a day won’t increase your chances of getting pregnant
In a bid to get pregnant with their second child, Kim Kardashian revealed that she and Kanye West had sex multiple times throughout the day. Instead of doing it multiple times daily, your main focus should be to have sex during your fertile window. “Having sex daily during the fertile period does help raise your pregnancy chances. The egg can survive for 48 hours after ovulation, while sperm can last for about 42 to 72 hours after ejaculation. Hence, having intercourse daily two days before ovulation will increase the chances of conception,” Dr Chong clarifies.
Tip! Trying too hard might strain your relationship with your husband, and place stress on both of you as well. Talk to each other and make sure that both of you have enough rest during this baby-making journey!

6. Birth control pills can assist your pregnancy quest
Birth control pills are supposed to help prevent you from getting pregnant, but do you know that these will also help regulate your period? Since menstruating regularly makes it easier for you to monitor your ovulation cycle, you’ll be able to estimate when your fertile period is! Of course, this means that you’ll have to stop taking the pills in order to try for a baby.
Tip! Dr Chong explains that in the present generation of low dosage birth control pills, women can get pregnant in the immediate cycle after going off the birth control pills!

Having intercourse daily two days before ovulation will increase the chances of conception.”

7. Obesity can affect your chances of getting pregnant, but so can being too fit or thin
Exercising and keeping fit is a good habit to have. However, being too fit can cause problems when you are trying to conceive as well. Strenuous exercises such as training for a marathon can mess your ovulation cycle up, and many professional athletes actually had problems conceiving due to their active lifestyle. Dr Lee also warns that severe weight loss and malnutrition can depress ovulation and cause infertility.
Tip! Over-exercising can affect your man too as it causes hormonal imbalance, which leads to a lowered sperm count and quality!

8. Having regular periods doesn’t mean that you’ll get pregnant
Women with irregular periods are likely to have difficulties getting pregnant because of their unpredictable ovulation cycle. However, did you know that even with regular menstruation cycles, some women find it hard to get pregnant? This can be due to various factors such as age or other underlying medical conditions. So, do visit your gynaecologist if you don’t see results even after trying for some time. Women above the age of 35 should try for six months before visiting a doctor, while those under 35 should try for a year before consulting.
Tip! Cut out bad habits such as smoking and binge drinking as these can also affect your chances of conceiving!

Photos: iStock

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