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Conception Tips From a Pregnant Mom

Since meeting my husband six years ago, I’ve probably spent more time trying to conceive than not. Although some of my pregnancies ended in early miscarriages, we ultimately had a lot of success at getting sperm to meet egg. And despite my advanced maternal age, we now have a four-year-old daughter and baby no. 2 on the way. For my sisters in TTC, here are the strategies that worked for us:

1. Invest in a digital fertility monitor — If you already know when you ovulate, you can skip this tip, but many of us need help identifying our most fertile days. The basal thermometer method is cheaper, but a rise in your temperature only confirms that you’ve just ovulated, when it’s too late to do any good. Basic ovulation kits work too, except they only pinpoint 1-2 fertile days, instead of the 5-day window leading up to dropping an egg. I found that the monitor gave me the best shot.

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2. Use fertility-friendly lube — Lube can be really helpful when you’re trying to conceive. When you’re in the middle of a scheduled sex spree, you might occasionally feel like skipping the preliminaries and getting right down to business. (Wham, bam, thank you, lube!) But did you know that most lubricants actually inhibit conception? Skip your usual product and try something like Pre-Seed, which is sperm-friendly and mimics fertile cervical mucus. Sounds hot, right? But it works.

When you’re struggling to conceive, there is nothing more annoying than being told to “just relax” or “stop trying and then it will happen.” But I have to admit, getting the hell out of Dodge was always lucky for us.

3. Get a full physical — When I was having trouble getting pregnant with my first child, I asked my regular doctor to do a complete workup. I was surprised to learn that I had a severe vitamin D deficiency, which has been shown to contribute to infertility. Soon after I supplemented and improved my levels, I got pregnant with my first child. You never know what minor, easily solved health problem might be getting in the way of baby.

4. Schedule your deprivation — We all know it’s totally possible to get pregnant when you’ve been drinking. But when I was having trouble, my doctor suggested cutting way back on both caffeine and alcohol. Instead of going cold turkey (trying to conceive is hard enough without ANY crutches), I aimed to abstain during the two weeks after ovulation, to give myself the best chance at conception. If I wanted to plan a boozy girls' night, I simply scheduled it for a date before my ovulation time.

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5. Go on Vacation – When you’re struggling to conceive, there is nothing more annoying than being told to “just relax” or “stop trying and then it will happen.” But I have to admit, getting the hell out of Dodge was always lucky for us. There is something to be said for doing the deed in an environment that’s soothing, peaceful and free of chores. At the very least, you’ll get a vacation out of it!

So good luck, ladies. I know it’s hard. And if there are any moms out there with conception tips that worked for you, please leave them in the comments.

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