How To Get Pregnant Fast: 7 Tips for Conception
Do you want to conceive as soon as possible? Learn the best ways to get pregnant with these seven expert-approved tips.
Step 1: Stop Taking Birth Control
If you're popping birth control pills, pass on your prescription a few months before you start trying to conceive, suggests Christopher Williams, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist in private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia, and author of The Fastest Way to Get Pregnant Naturally. The same advice goes for other forms of hormonal birth control too. (You should stop getting Depo-Provera about nine months before.)
"After you've been using birth control for a while, it may take your body a few cycles to start ovulating regularly and be primed for pregnancy," Dr. Williams says. This gives you time to track your cycle and figure out when you ovulate, which is key for timing your baby-making.
But remember: Once you stop using birth control, it's possible to get pregnant at any time!
Step 2: Figure Out the Best Time to Conceive
Are you wondering, "When is the best time to get pregnant?" No matter how often you have sex, if you skip the most fertile days of the month, you won't conceive. "The biggest mistake my patients make is not knowing exactly when they ovulate," says Dr. Williams.
Most doctors recommend using ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) to measure ovulation. These work by detecting a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine, which occurs about 36 to 48 hours before you ovulate. OPKs let you plan baby-making sex when you're the most fertile.
Other ways to track ovulation include charting your basal body temperature, monitoring your cervical mucus, and tracking your menstrual cycle. (For the most approximate way to determine when you ovulate, subtract 14 days from the length of your cycle.) Learn more about ovulation tracking methods here; they can help you get pregnant fast and easy.
Step 3: Have Sex Before You Ovulate
Sperm can survive in your reproductive tract for up to five days, but an egg only lasts for 12 to 24 hours after it's released. Having sex before you ovulate boosts the chances that there'll be sperm around to greet the egg once it debuts.
For a typical 28-day cycle (where you ovulate on day 14), here's what you'll do:
- Start having sex a few times per week as soon as your period ends. Getting busy often ensures you won't miss your most fertile time, especially if your cycle length varies from month to month.
- Make a point to have sex every other day starting around day 10.
- When you have a positive result on your OPK (around day 12), have sex that day and the next two days—these are your best days of the month to conceive.
Step 4: Know the Best Position to Get Pregnant
When it comes to the best position to get pregnant, it can be hard to separate real advice from old wives' tales. Dr. Williams gives some tips to get pregnant fast.
Lie on your back after sex. "Because the vagina naturally slopes downward, resting on your back after sex allows sperm to pool there, which gives them an edge in swimming toward your egg," says Dr. Williams. Should you keep your legs elevated, too? It can't hurt, he says, but it probably doesn't help any more than lying down does.
Have sex before bed. Though some sources report that sperm count is highest in the morning, the truth is that there's no optimal time of day to have sex. However, doing so before you hit the hay is an easy way to ensure you stay on your back afterward.
Keep it vanilla(ish). While there's no single sex position that's best for baby-making (or for choosing your baby's sex), stick to one where you'll be on your back when it's over.
Step 5: Avoid Baby-Making Mistakes
When it comes to baby-making sex, avoid using lube. Some couples may think lubricant helps sperm move more quickly, but the truth is that lube can actually hinder your pregnancy efforts. Many formulas alter the pH balance in the vagina and decrease sperm mobility. As an alternative, learn about sperm-friendly lube options here.
What's more, don't fret if you aren't having orgasms when trying to conceive. While orgasms are a great perk of satisfying sex, they don't help you get pregnant faster or easier.
Step 6: Take a Pregnancy Test
The earlier you confirm the pregnancy, the sooner you can see your doctor and start prenatal care. Home pregnancy tests work by detecting levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. Levels of this hormone, produced by the placenta, continue to rise in early pregnancy.
Tests marketed as "early results" or "early response" may be more sensitive at detecting lower levels of hCG, but you'll still get the best results if you wait until the day you expect your period. Testing too early is more likely to yield a "false negative" result—when the test says you're not pregnant, but you really are. What's happening is that your body isn't producing enough hCG yet to be detected by the test. Waiting and testing again a few days after your missed period will give more accurate results.
Step 7: Try to Conceive Again
How long does it take to get pregnant? Data shows that more than half of couples conceive by 6 months, and about 85 percent conceive within one year. If you don't have a positive pregnancy test this time around, reconsider your efforts. It's possible that you miscalculated your most fertile days, so your partner's sperm never had the chance to fertilize your egg. Consider switching to a daily OPK if you haven't already tried it, and get psyched to try again next month!