Trying to conceive and concentrating daily on having a baby is emotionally exhausting. Couples who are trying to conceive try not to become consumed by these thoughts, but it’s impossible to dismiss.
For couples trying to conceive, here are some helpful tips for getting pregnant in the new year.
Know your fertility status
For males: have a spermiogram. This is a test to assess the sperm count and sperm parameters. It involves abstaining for three days and handing the sperm within an hour of it being produced to an accredited laboratory for analysis. The results generally take two to three days. Before testing, ensure that you have all the instructions needed.
For females: Ensure that you have had a gynaecologist or fertility specialist consult with you, especially if you have been trying to conceive for a while. An ultrasound will be done to assess the health of the uterus and ovaries. A blood test known as an AMH may follow to determine the ovarian (or egg) reserve.
Remember that you are not alone. There are many fertility clinics that specialise in assisting pregnancy. You may just need a little boost or a ‘thumbs up’ to know that all is okay.
It is important that both males and females keep healthy. Gym, eat a balanced diet, decrease alcohol and quit smoking. Avoid keeping cell phones and laptops close to the reproductive organs. Try to eat less microwavable food and more cooked food. Pineapples and avocados have been said to be good for females and pomegranate for males. My personal recommendation is to eat healthy, increase water intake and keep fit to improve your blood circulation. Taking supplements, especially folic acid and antioxidants, may be advantageous.
Men should wear loose under pants, and if driving for prolonged periods ensure that heated car seats are turned off. Yes! Increased heat can affect the sperm count. Taking steroids can decrease sperm too.
Timing ovulation may be a helpful tip for females. This can be done by purchasing urine ovulation sticks, which are easily accessible from the pharmacy. You will need to monitor your menstrual cycle and, when signs of ovulation are noted, have intercourse during the next three days and lie down for at least an hour after.
Stress …your biggest hindrance when trying to conceive
Sadly, stress can decrease your chances drastically, so spend time with your partner, enjoy the time together, plan a holiday together. Exercise is always recommended and serves as a good stress releaser. Other ways of destressing are enjoying a massage, acupuncture and reflexology.
A word of advice for everyone out there:
Stop asking others when they are going to have a baby, as this adds unnecessary pressure.
About Ruwaida Moola
Ruwaida Moola has been practising midwifery since 1999, working in various hospitals and clinics. She currently practices midwifery with Genesis as her main birthing clinic. She has practising rights at Garden City Clinic, Oxford Rd Day Clinic, Brenthurst Clinic and Parklane Hospital and utilises these hospitals as emergency back-up hospitals.
She works closely with obstetricians, doulas, chiropractors, homeopaths, herbalists, reflexologists, acupuncturists, psychologists, and paediatricians and believes in a multi-disciplinary approach. She also practices as a senior fertility sister at the BioART Fertility Clinic. She is a registered nurse and fertility nursing sister, nurse educator and advanced midwife.