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Conceiving is a pretty exact science, but ultimately something you have only a small amount of control over. Are you hoping to get pregnant soon? Avoid making common mistakes, and take charge of your own fertility as much as you can.

Thinking that ditching birth control is all you need to do

Birth control is what prevented you from getting pregnant when you were not ready to start a family yet. That does not make your chosen birth control method the only obstacle that stands between you and a positive pregnancy test, however. Come off birth control, and it is possible that you will get pregnant very soon. That is exactly why you need to ask yourselves important questions about your health before you try for a baby. A preconception checkup is one of the best steps couples who would like to have a baby can take. Women can have theirs with an OBGYN if you don't already have an OBGYN, the preconception checkup is a fantastic excuse to start interviewing ones that you feel comfortable with, so you have someone to rely on for your prenatal care later on.

Men can have their preconception checkup with their family doctor. What does this checkup look for? An examination of your general health is a must. You should be checked for medical conditions that may affect a pregnancy or your fertility, and talk about managing any chronic conditions you may have. STD testing is another thing couples who would like to conceive should get out of the way, just in case. And of course, you should talk about folic acid, nutritional habits, and so on. Before you start trying for a baby, you and your partner should both stop smoking, doing drugs, and drinking. Small amounts of alcohol are OK for men, and for women during the follicular stage of their menstrual cycle that is, when you are definitely not pregnant. Healthy nutrition should be a priority during the preconception stage and during pregnancy.

Not having sex at the right time

Couples who have sex every day apparently have up to 37 percent chance of getting pregnant during any one menstrual cycle. Since they do the deed daily, they will definitely end up doing it in the most fertile days the days leading up to ovulation and ovulation day itself. Are you not going to be a once-every-day couple? That's good news if you really don't feel like turning sex into a chore, which will be stressful for both of you. Couples who do the deed only when they both feel like it are inevitably going to have a healthier relationship. It would be great for your odds of getting pregnant if you can get into the mood during the woman's fertile window. Of course, you'd have to find out when that opportunity is going to knock first.

Ovulation calendars, ovulation tests, charting to conceive, cervical mucus, and paying attention to natural signs like ovulation pain are all among the many methods women successfully use to find out when they are fertile. Each of these methods has its own pros and cons, which we have covered in a lot of detail on this blog. If you are going to simply pick one and stick with it, ovulation tests are extremely user-friendly and very reliable. Keep one thing in mind: concluding that you ovulate at a time when you are actually not ovulating can do your chances of getting pregnant more harm than good. You are likely to focus on the given date, and ignore the day on which you could have hit the jackpot. While we are talking about sex, keep an eye on lubricants. Some contain spermicide, but even those that don't have been shown to have a negative impact on sperm motility. Stay away from them, or use natural products like olive oil.

When should you seek outside help?

Many couples who are trying to conceive feel stressed, and are worried about the possibility that they are infertile. The good news is that 90 percent of couples will conceive naturally within 18 months of trying. Unless you are already aware that you have a fertility problem before you start attempting to get pregnant, there is every reason to be optimistic. Reading about IVF and fertility specialists will only make you feel more tense, and it probably won't do your relationship any good. What's more, you are probably stressing for no reason at all. So don't even think about talking to your doctor about infertility unless you have concrete reasons to suspect you have a problem. Enjoy each other and the process of trying to conceive!

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