Planning a pregnancy? What you need to know

Planning a pregnancy? What you need to know

Are you ready to settle down and have a family? Boost your chances of conceiving with these tips.

Pregnant woman
Pregnant woman touching belly/ iStock

An increasing number of women are finding it difficult to conceive. According to the Infertility Awareness Association of South Africa (IFAASA), one in six couples are diagnosed with infertility.

However, there are simple things that you can do that may help you conceive:

Know your Cycle
One of the most important things to note when you are trying to conceive is to know when your body ovulates; thus the period when a mature egg is released from the ovary and is available to be fertilised. The ovulation period usually takes place from day 12 of your cycle if you have a 28 day menstrual cycle. However, if you are not sure about your cycle, there are also ovulation test kits that can be bought at the chemist. It is important to know when you are ovulating, because according to research, a woman falls pregnant between five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation.

Get contraceptives out of your system
Sometimes contraceptives take time to get out of your system and they can delay you if you are trying to conceive. The injection contraceptive can even stay in the system for 12 months after you have stopped using it. So if you feel you want to fall pregnant and have been on contraceptives for a while, it may be that the contraceptive you were using is not out of your system yet. The good news is that there are ways in which you can get them out of your system. Some doctors and clinics help with the cleansing, so speak to your health practitioner or go to your local clinic to enquire about this.

Get supplements
There are certain pills that are designed to help women fall pregnant. Speak to your gynecologist about them. Another supplement that has been proven to help women who are trying to conceive is folic acid. The supplement also helps in the development of the baby by ensuring that you cut your chances of having a baby with neural-tube defects such as spina bifida by 50 to 70 percent.

Do not stress
Stressing about falling pregnant will do you more harm than good. According to, stress can affect the hormones that tell your ovaries to release eggs, making it harder for you to ovulate.

Get your weight in order
Being overweight can lower your chances of conceiving and if you do conceive, being overweight can cause problems for you during your pregnancy. According to 'women who are overweight or obese may experience hormonal imbalances that can affect their menstrual cycles and prevent ovulation, making it harder to conceive.' However, being underweight can also cause problems for women trying to get pregnant. says women who are underweight can take up to a year before falling pregnant. This is because being underweight can cause hormone imbalances that affect ovulation and therefore a woman’s chance of getting pregnant.

Have fun during sex
Don’t just have sex because you want to fall pregnant. Allow yourself to have fun during sex and let nature take its course. Sometimes not falling pregnant has nothing to do with you or anything you are doing; it may just be a matter of it not being part of nature’s plan at the moment.

Also read: SA celebrity moms who support public breastfeeding

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