7 ways to boost your chance of conceiving

Looking to start or add to your family? Try these expert tips...

When it comes to making a baby, it take two to tango. Which is why it makes sense for you and your partner to be on the page when it comes to your health and wellbeing. 

“When speaking about becoming pregnant, far too often we focus solely on the woman and her health and wellness,” says leading fertility specialist and gynaecologist, Dr. Raewyn Teirney. “But the male in the couple needs to be fertility fit too, to truly optimise chances of conception. This means both partners should follow healthy lifestyle practices and do all they can to improve their reproductive health.”

Here are some simple lifestyle hacks that can improve the reproductive health of both the man and woman in the relationship and increase your chances of making a baby.

1. Go for a check-up
Before you begin trying for a baby, visit your GP to rule out any existing or hereditary medical conditions and to ensure you’re both in great health.

“Women should request all the antenatal screening tests, as well as ensure their immunity is up to date, while both men and women need to discuss any medication they might be taking that could interfere with conception and pregnancy,” advises Dr. Teirney.

2. Watch your weight
Studies indicate that people carrying extra weight will have a harder time falling pregnant. “If either a woman or woman has a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25, it becomes much harder to conceive,” reveals Dr. Teirney. “It becomes harder still if either BMI is over 30.”

3. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
“A diet that is high in sugar and processed foods will be very inflammatory, introducing free radicals that might be detrimental to sperm and ovum health,” says naturopath and nutritionist Karina Francois from Infinite Health in Berwick, Victoria.

“Conversely, a diet brimming with nutrient and antioxidant-rich foods, like lean protein and various colours of vegetables, will ensure both partners are getting their RDI of the essential vitamins and minerals required for reproductive health, conception and pregnancy.”

4. Consider supplements
For men, a supplement rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, E, selenium, zinc and garlic can support healthy sperm. Women should look towards a vitamin supplement that delivers the required dose of folic acid, iodine and vitamin D and the other 16 vitamins required for conception and a healthy pregnancy.

“The recommended daily dose for women is 500 mcg of folic acid and at least 150mcg of iodine to support baby’s healthy development,” advises Dr. Teirney.

5. Get physical
“Regular exercise benefits both partners in the relationship,” says Sydney personal trainer Kath Newby. “It will keep weight within a healthy range, improve general health and wellbeing and make you feel more energised. It might also improve your sex drive, as you notice your body becoming stronger and shapelier.”

6. Keep track of your ovulation
“Couples who track the ovulation cycle will know when they are at their most fertile and as such may have better chances of conceiving,” says Dr. Teirney. “To do this, it’s important to monitor the woman’s basal body temperature using a high-speed digital thermometer. Women’s temperature will drop slightly when they are ovulating, which indicates it could be a good time to try for a baby.”

Another thing to test is the level of the female’s Luteinising Hormone (LH), which can be done with a urine test. “When these levels spike, it suggests that she’s ovulating and is in a fertile stage of her cycle,” explains Dr. Teirney. “Other signs of ovulation include an increase in cervical secretions, lower pelvic pain, an increased sex drive, enlarged breasts, fluid retention, acne and bloating.”

7. Seek support
A fertility kit like Conceive Please The Fertility Kit, $130, can support couples in their quest to become parents. This simple-to-follow, four-step holistic program contains women’s vitamins to support pre-conception and pregnancy and men’s vitamins to help maintain healthy sperm, as well as comprehensive lifestyle tips to assist couples in their bid to fall pregnant naturally.

It also comes with a high-speed digital thermometer and five ovulation predictor tests to help you track your cycle, an instructional DVD and fertility health and wellness book and fertility chart to help plan the days when you’re most likely to conceive and of course, two pregnancy-testing kits.