Getting Pregnant

Getting Pregnant
It's not always as easy as you may think to get pregnant!

Many women spend years worrying that they might get pregnant when they don't want to but when they actually start trying for a baby, things don't always go to plan.

The chances are that the healthier you and your partner are, the easier it will be to get pregnant. It could be useful to change some elements of your lifestyle, to improve your chances of getting pregnant and giving birth to a healthy baby.

Smoking and Pregnancy

You may not realise that not only is smoking bad for a developing baby but it can also reduce fertility in women. Even passive smoking has been shown to reduce a woman's and man's fertility!

Diet & Exercise

If you are carrying too much weight or if you are underweight, it can make it more difficult to conceive. If you don't have enough body fat then your periods may stop completely. Similarly if you are overweight, your periods can become irregular or even stop completely, which will obviously affect your ability to get pregnant.

To be in a healthy weight range you need to have a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 20 and 25. If you are a woman with a BMI more than 29 or under 19 then there is a high chance that you will find it difficult to conceive. Men with a BMI above 29 will usually be less fertile than those men with a healthy weight.

Alcohol & Trying to
Pregnant Drinker

You should avoid drinking alcohol when you are trying for a baby in order to lower the risk of harming your unborn baby. If you do decide to drink alcohol, then you should not get drunk or drink more than once or twice a week and it's better not to drink more than 1-2 units of alcohol. NICE - The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence - advise women to avoid alcohol completely in the first 3 months of pregnancy, because of the associated risk of miscarriage in the first trimester.

Your partner too should not drink any more than 3-4 units of alcohol in a day. Drinking alcohol to excess will affect the quality of his sperm. If he smokes then ideally he should stop in order to improve his general health.

When is The Best Time to Get Pregnant

You are the most likely to get pregnant if you have sex around ovulation. (Ovulation is the time when your ovaries release an egg.). If you have a 28 day cycle then you will ovulate around 14 days after the first day of your last period. Check out when you are ovulating in our Ovulation Calendar.

After the egg is released, it will live for between 12 and 24 hours. In order that you get pregnant, a sperm must fertilise the egg within this time span. Fortunately, sperm can live for anything up to seven days inside your body. NICE say that it's a good idea to have sex every two to three days throughout the month.

Problems Conceiving?

You should go to see your GP if you've been trying for a baby for over a year without any success. Read How Long Does It Take To Get Pregnant

July 2011

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