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So, you want to get pregnant? You are probably taking folic acid, and you may well have signed up for an ovulation calendar to predict your most fertile days.

Perhaps, you're even planning to put a pillow under your bottom for 30 minutes to "increase your chances conceiving". But what are the real things you need to do to get pregnant successfully and safely? 

Get tested for sexually transmitted diseases

Have you been in a committed monogamous relationship for many years? If you and your partner have decided that you are ready for a baby, the chances are that this perfectly describes you as a couple. Yet, if you think back, many of you will have had previous relationships, flings, or one-night-stands before you got together with your partner. If you have ever had unprotected sex (even once!), or even if you haven't, getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases before trying for a baby is really a wise idea. Don't assume you would have had symptoms ages ago if you were infected with some STD many sexually transmitted diseases never become apparent through symptoms in many people. If you're at the doctor for a general preconception checkup, probably to discuss vitamins, don't skip the STD testing.

Your ovulation date is unique

Women, don't be tempted to believe that your ovulation date is automatically on day 14 of your menstrual cycle. Women's menstrual cycles don't work like a clock your ovulation may not even take place on the same cycle day each month, and it's definitely not synchronized with the ovulation of millions of other women. Just as your menstrual cycle may last longer or shorter, so your ovulation date may be radically different from that of other women, or the date ovulation calendars suggest. Ovulation calendars can be very handy, but are even better if you use ovulation tests too and you should never forego having sex "outside of ovulation" just because you think you aren't fertile.

Enjoy your sex, of your relationship may suffer

When you want to have a baby, it's easy for "making love" to turn into "sexual intercourse". Don't give up enjoying your partner and your intimacy because of the mechanics of having a baby. If you put yourselves on a rigid baby-making schedule, your enjoyment will suffer as well as your emotional connection. What's more, some sources hold that you are more likely to get pregnant when both partners have an orgasm. Don't skip foreplay and afterplay, in other words! And have sex whenever you feel like it, especially if you are not sure when you are ovulating.

Men stay away from tight boxers!

A British study of 2,000 men showed that wearing tight underwear does even more damage to sperm than smoking cigarettes of drinking fairly large amounts of alcohol! If you thought that overheated testicles causing infertility was an urban myth, you are unfortunately mistaken. Men, stay away from those tight synthetic boxer shorts. Wave goodbye to hot baths, and even more importantly laptops near your sensitive parts as well!

  • Photo courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/pipiten/2503747029/
  • Photo courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/pipiten/2503747029/

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