When you're trying to conceive (TTC), a month feels like a year and a year feels like a decade. Online forums are full of women asking for help from other women in the same position and almost every request for help is the same: “We’ve been trying to conceive for SO LONG but still no baby!”
Trying to conceive - how long should you wait before seeking help?
NHS guidance suggests it's best to visit your GP if you haven't conceived within a year of trying (having unprotected sex every 2-3 days throughout your cycle). For women aged 36 and over or any women who is already aware they may have fertility issues, it's recommended you see your GP sooner.
There are many factors that can impact fertility. Your GP is the best person to discuss this with initially and there is no harm booking an appointment early on to have yours and your partners overall health checked. In the meantime, here are some simple changes can make to help move things along...
Are you living a healthy lifestyle?
If you’re not already living a healthy lifestyle, try making some small changes; cut alcohol and cigarettes and introduce exercise and a healthy diet. To achieve this, it can be a good idea to make changes to your daily lifestyle as if you were already pregnant! We're not saying you have no chance of getting pregnant after a glass of wine, but what you put into your body can impact your fertility and could make all the difference when you're trying to conceive.
Are you using a sperm-friendly lubricant?
Did you know some personal lubricants contain spermicides which kill sperm, dramatically reducing their numbers and your chance of conception? Fortunately, there are some personal lubricants on the market that can increase your chance of conceiving. Sperm-friendly lubricants help to achieve the ideal reproductive environment, helping the sperm to track its way to the egg easier and in turn, increasing your chance of conception.
Are you having enough sex?
The third but most important way you can help your chances of conceiving is having regular, unprotected sex. Every month a woman has a small but very precise fertility window in which she is ovulating and the egg is ready to be fertilised. Now, you can track this window yourself using fertility apps and basil temperature readings, which require very precise measurements and weeks/months of tracking or….you can simply have sex, regularly. Having unprotected sex throughout the month, every couple of days, will help increase your chances of hitting your fertility window and it's much more fun than staring at an app.
Seek guidance from your GP or health professional if you feel you may have difficulties conceiving. Every couple is different, and your health professional will be able to offer advice tailored specifically to you.