Starting Your Family – Fun or Frustrating? Six Tips for Making It Happen Sooner
By Susan Hawkins
When it comes to sex, no one wants to hear, “Maybe you’re doing it wrong.” But when you’ve tossed the birth control in hopes of starting a family and nothing happens after six months of sincere effort, maybe – just maybe – you are doing it wrong. But you’ll be happy to know it’s not your technique, but your timing that may need some tweaking.
Of course, something physiological may be wrong, but if you are between the ages of 18 and 34 and you and your partner are in good health, doctors say it’s usually a simple problem holding up little Eggbert or Eggberta. Let’s look at the common problems and how to fix them.
Tip #1: Calculate correctly. More often than not, you’re miscalculating your most fertile time of the month. Don’t wait until you’re ovulating to have sex, says Dr. Steven Goldstein, professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU School of Medicine in New York City. By then you’ve missed your window of opportunity. Since sperm can live in your reproductive tract for up to 72 hours, you can significantly improve your chances of conception if you start having sex at least three days before ovulation. Some doctors recommend starting five days before to cover miscalculating by a day or two. Keeping an accurate menstrual calendar will help – ovulation takes place 14 days before you get your period. If you have irregular periods, say between 26 and 29 days, you’re probably ovulating somewhere between day 12 and day 15, so start having intercourse from day nine through day sixteen. And please, enjoy every moment! In fact, that’s an important Tip we’ll talk about later.
Tip #2: Use an ovulation predictor kit. These kits work well, but only if you follow the directions carefully. Every kit works a little differently in predicting ovulation.
Tip #3: Use the “body temperature method” correctly. You probably know that a rise in body temperature correlates with ovulation, but if you have sex when your temperature rises (a mistaken myth,)you’ve already missed your chance. To use body temp for predicting ovulation, keep a daily temperature chart for at least one to two months. Then use that information to determine when your temperature will probably rise the next month, and begin having intercourse several days before that date.
Tip #4: There’s no such thing as “too much sex.” That’s right! Sharon Winer, MD, an obstetrician at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, believes that, “the more times you have intercourse during your ‘window of opportunity,’ the more likely you are to get pregnant. Again, just enjoy!
Tip #5: Spontaneous sex is better than scheduled sex. Research has shown that scheduling sex may actually decrease your chances of conception. When you put sex on a schedule, it creates a certain amount of stress, and according to Dr. Goldstein, data shows that “hormones may be affected, and that in turn could influence conception.” Take some relaxation training. Stay calm and optimistic. If you think more about making love than making a baby, you eliminate the pressure. In other words, enjoy it!
Tip #6: Try pillow therapy! If you’re doing everything right, and you’re still not pregnant, doctors recommend pillow therapy. Prop your pelvis up on pillows after sex and lie in bed for at least 20 to 30 minutes. This facilitates the movement of sperm through your reproductive tract. Good luck!
Bonus Tip! Actually this is more of a bogus Tip, but just for fun, here are some old wives’ tales that supposedly help you influence the sex of your baby (with thanks to Laurie Ramsey:)
For a boy –
Allow your husband to seduce you into sex first.
Be a worrywart.
Dad – drink lots of sodas
Eat red meat and salty snacks (such as pretzels.)
Have intercourse at night.
Have intercourse on the odd days of the month.
Have “standing” intercourse.
Have intercourse when there is a quarter moon.
Have intercourse with you on your belly and your husband on your back.
Sleep to the left of your husband.
Make sure your husband climaxes first.
Point your head to the north while having intercourse.
Stay on your back after intercourse to give the “boy” sperm a chance to get to the egg.
Warm up his testicles.
For a girl –
Both of you should eat fish and vegetables.
Have intercourse during a full moon.
Have intercourse in the afternoon.
Have intercourse with the man on top. (Another wives’ tale says for the woman to be on top)
Seduce your husband.
Stay calm and cool to conceive a girl.
You climax first and think pink.
Well, these pointers must have worked for a few old wives. Some of them, like eating salty snacks or chocolate, are definitely worth a try!