Belinda Kirkpatrick, naturopath, nutritionist, creator of app The Seed Concept and author of Healthy Hormones is an expert in fertility. Here, she gives her top tips and advice for women trying to conceive.
Quality over quantity
It’s important to have regular conception attempts in your fertile window. This is usually around four days before ovulation until one day after. During the days leading up to ovulation and the few days directly after, try to have intercourse every second day. Having intercourse every second day ensures that sperm is fresh.
Keep it up!
It is important to avoid abstinence throughout the rest of the month as regular ejaculation is necessary to keep the sperm fresh and ready for conception. Men should be ejaculating at least every four to five days outside the fertile window.
Slightly elevate your pelvis directly after intercourse for 15 minutes to help ensure that the ejaculate remains in the cervix for longer. You don’t need to have legs up the wall or do crazy-looking bicycle peddling in the air, just don’t jump straight out of bed and clean up. In all honesty, the sperm that is going to get there is probably already at its destination, but you can maximise its chances.
Keep your pelvic floor toned
An orgasm, as well as pelvic floor exercises straight after intercourse, can increase chances of conception. Don’t worry if you don’t orgasm, just squeeze! Pelvic floor exercises will also help during labour and post-delivery, so now is even more of an incentive to squeeze those muscles!
Do it your way
Intercourse from behind can also increase chances of conception due to deeper penetration, especially if you have a retroverted uterus. I recommend that couples explore different positions to find what is most comfortable for them.
In cases of cervical damage or dryness, try a sperm-friendly lubricant that adds moisture without harming sperm. A product without added parabens or glycerine is also vagina-friendly.
Increase your intake of vitamin C: it is important to avoid cold and flu tablets and antihistamines while trying to conceive as they can compromise production of vaginal mucus and seminal fluid.
Try to relax
This is possibly the most frustrating thing to say to someone who is trying to conceive but relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can be beneficial to conception. Relaxed muscles and increased circulation can help increase the chances of conception and ensure healthy ovulation. If you feel stress building up, that means it’s a good time to fo for a massage or book a holiday!