It might seem like a simple question – how can you get pregnant?† But apparently, 24 million people search “how can I get pregnant” on Google every month. So as an OB/GYN and mother, I want to help.
Iím going to assume youíve learned about the birds and the bees. You know that babies donít come from storks and they donít magically pop out of a womanís belly. You know that a guyís penis goes inside the vagina, the guy bounces up and down until his penis sort of sneezes (ejaculation), sperm are released, and they unite with a womanís egg during that time of the month when she ovulates. Then boom – a baby is made!
Many of us spend the majority of our youth trying to avoid getting pregnant. Then, all of the sudden, when weíre ready to become parents, weíre baffled about what to do.† So how DO you get pregnant?
Tips For How To Get Pregnant
1.†††††Stop using birth control. 90% of couples get pregnant within a year simply by stopping birth control and having lots of sex. You donít need a washout period. Just stop your birth control pill, quit using condoms, take out your IUD, stop withdrawing before ejaculation, or get rid of whatever has been preventing pregnancy in the first place.
2.†††††Have sex. Youíd be surprised how many infertile couples Iíve counseled who have only had sex twice in a year. If you donít have sex, it can be very hard to get pregnant!
3.†††††Mark your calendar. Chart your periods on a calendar and track the number of days each period lasts. For most women with a 28 day cycle, ovulation occurs approximately 14 days after the midpoint of your cycle. If you have a consistent 28-day cycle, for example, ovulation is likely to begin about 14 days after the day your last period began. If you have a longer cycle, such as 35 days, the predictable part is the last 14 days. Just subtract 14 days from the length of your cycle, and youíll have a good guess as to when you probably ovulate (day 21 from the first day of your last cycle, in this case).
4.†††††Recognize the discharge of ovulation. Watch for changes in your cervical mucus. Just before you ovulate, you may notice that your vaginal discharge starts to look and feel like egg whites. This clear, slippery discharge will help you predict when itís your time. After ovulation, when the odds of becoming pregnant decrease, your discharge may become cloudy, thick, sticky, gummy, or disappear altogether.
5.†††††Follow your basal body temperature. When you ovulate, your bodyís temperature bumps up a bit when youíre quiet and at rest. To test your basal body temperature, get a digital thermometer and check your temperature every morning before you get out of bed and exert yourself at all. Plot your temperature on graph paper or in a spreadsheet and look at the pattern. (Try a graph like this). If youíre ovulating normally, your temperature should plot out as a mostly flat line that then bumps up and establishes a new baseline at a higher temperature (usually from about 97.5 į F to about 98.5 į F.) You’ll be most fertile during the 2-3 days before your temperature rises and establishes a new baseline. If your basal body temperature is all over the map, thereís a good chance you didnít ovulate that month. (Keep in mind that physical activity, alcohol, and drugs can alter your temperature and skew your basal body temperature chart.)
6.†††††Use an ovulation predictor kit to determine when you ovulate. Itís simple. Wake up in the morning. Pee on a stick. And look for the spike in LH that precedes ovulation. Ovulation kits can get expensive, especially if you have no clue when you ovulate, but they can also help you pinpoint your fertile time without the hassle of basal body temperatures. When your LH surges, get to it!
7.†††††Have sex every other day around ovulation. As much fun as sex can be, it can be a drag if youíre trying to get pregnant and feeling pressured to have sex when youíre not in the mood. If you learn how to predict ovulation, you can optimize when you have sex – and then rest in between optimal times. When itís your time, donít do it three times a day. It can actually decrease the concentration of sperm delivery. Sperm live for 48 hours. Eggs live for 48 hours. So have sex every other day for the week around ovulation, and if the perfect egg and the right sperm are meant to make a baby, theyíll find each other. Then, if youíre not in the mood, rest in between.
8.†††††Heal your pelvis. If you were molested, raped, or traumatized in the part of your body where you wish to invite a new baby to arrive, heal it. As long as you hold trauma in your pelvis, youíll have trouble inviting a new spirit to inhabit your body. And if you do, youíll have issues (and so will your baby.) Let go. Heal. Invite new life to enter you.
9.†††††Release what might prevent pregnancy. If you have limiting beliefs around being a parent, let them go. Heal your childhood wounds. Make room to be the parent you wish you had. Change your thinking. Open up your body. Make room for the spirit of the baby you long to raise.
10.††Believe in miracles. Have faith. Trust that you will get pregnant if itís meant to be. If youíve decided you might be infertile, shift your thinking.† Science proves that what we believe manifests in the body, so change how you think. Invite your babyís spirit in.† Trust the process, even if some doctor has told you youíre infertile. Ask for miracles. Let them in.
When youíre a kid who learns that all it takes is a sperm and an egg to make a baby, it seems so easy. But itís not that simple. Plan ahead. Do the work. Make the baby. Be the parent you always dreamed youíd have. Let the miracle begin with you.
You can do it. I believe in you.
Do you? Share your fears right here or on OwningPink.com. Tell us your triumphs and your fears. Let us all learn from what youíve learned.
Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of†OwningPink.com,†Pink Medicine Revolutionary,†motivational speaker, and author of†Whatís Up Down There? Questions Youíd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.
Learn more about†Lissa Rankin here.