- To increase fertility make sure you’re eating a healthy diet of essential vitamins and minerals.
- Avoid beverages that contain caffeine and alcohol that can stress the body making it more difficult to conceive.
- Make sure you’re tracking your menstrual cycles and having sex during your fertility window when you are most fertile.
- This article was reviewed by Jamie Lipeles, DO, OB-GYN and founder of Marina OB-GYN in Marina Del Rey, CA.
- This story is part of Insider’s guide on How to Get Pregnant.
1. Eat right
Researchers have found that following a “fertility diet” may increase an, otherwise healthy, person’s chance of conceiving. For example, in a study published in 2007 in Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers studied over 17,000 healthy participants without a history of infertility.
The researchers reported that people who cut back on sugar, got their iron from leafy greens or supplements, and ate more vegetable-based proteins like beans and nuts compared to meat were less likely to have issues with infertility. Also, trans fat can cause issues with ovulation, making it much harder to get pregnant.
Other research indicates that a diet rich in vitamin C,, and , is linked to a higher concentration of sperm in a person’s ejaculation as well as greater sperm motility, which refers to a sperm’s ability to swim through the reproductive tract toward an egg.
Moreover, eating foods that are naturally rich in antioxidants, like fruits, vegetables, and walnuts also help improve the quality of sperm and may improve your chances of getting pregnant.
2. Avoid certain beverages
What you drink can also have an effect. Alcohol is only going to hurt your chances of conceiving, which is why experts recommend cutting down or avoiding drinking altogether.
Caffeine is another culprit. Lisa Pastore, OB-GYN and professor at Stony Brook University, says that limiting caffeine to no more than 1 or 2 cups per day is important.
3. Track your menstrual cycle
One of the most straightforward ways to get pregnant is to track your menstrual cycle and have sex within your fertility window, which is when you’re most likely to conceive.
The fertility window generally starts from 5 days before ovulation and ends one day after. You are most likely to get pregnant if you have sex on the day you ovulate or in the two days beforehand.
Most people ovulate about halfway through their menstrual cycle, but this can vary from person to person. You can track your own cycle using at-home ovulation tests, which measure body temperature or use a fertility app to track her cycle.
When to get fertility testing
If your attempts to get pregnant aren’t going as planned, it may be time to see a doctor.
“If a woman attempts to become pregnant — and is having unprotected intercourse — without success for 12 months, then she should go to a fertility center,” says Pastore. If you are over the age of 38, you should get tested after six months without success.
The usual tests will include blood hormone tests to see if the ovaries are working correctly. Based on your health history, doctors may also do a special abdominal scan to see if your fallopian tubes are blocked or to assess for endometriosis.
They will also want to test a partner’s sperm to measure both the quality and quantity of sperm cells.
If you or your partner have a medical condition like, ask your doctor about specific lifestyle changes you can use to boost your fertility and get pregnant faster.