Mistake 1: Having sex at the wrong time
The average woman has a menstrual cycle that lasts around 28 days. However, many women have cycles that are longer or shorter than 28 days. The general rule of thumb is that ovulation happens on day 14 of a 28-day cycle. But what about for periods of different lengths?
Solution: The 14-day rule still applies
Even women whose cycle isn’t 28 days long can always remember the 14-day rule. However, a woman will have to count backward 14 days from the start of a period to figure out the time of ovulation. This can be a bit tricky, as some women’s cycles aren’t the same from month to month. For best results, women can use a period tracker and ovulation predictor tool online or on a smartphone. Because predicting the day of ovulation isn’t always exact, couples should consider having 4-6 days before and after the predicted day of ovulation for the most fruitful results.
Mistake 2: Having sex every day
Many couples assume that to have a baby, more sex equals higher odds. This isn’t necessarily true. Having sex can decrease a man’s sperm count, which then takes a few days to rebound. So having sex daily doesn’t actually increase chances of conception.
Solution: Get the timing down
Once a couple understands the window of ovulation, experts recommend having sex every other day. Even if a couple has sex the day before ovulation, sperm can live inside the body for 24-48 hours, and, in some cases, even up to a week. To up the chances of pregnancy success, have sex every other day for 4-6 days before and after the predicted day of ovulation.
Mistake 3: Waiting too long
Infertility is often diagnosed after a couple has tried for a year or longer to get pregnant without success. There are some cases, however, when a year of trying might not be necessary before seeking a fertility specialist’s help.
Solution: Know your own risk factors
Many healthy women under the age of 35 will take up to a year to get pregnant. Women who have irregular periods, have a history of pelvic infections, or who have a sexually transmitted disease may want to make an appointment with a specialist sooner rather than later. And for women over 35, experts recommend trying for only 6 months instead of a year before making an appointment with a specialist.
Increase chances of success
The decision to start a family is an exciting one. Couples can increase the chances of pregnancy success by understanding some common mistakes. If a couple has tried to get pregnant for 6 months to a year without success, scheduling an appointment with a fertility specialist is recommended.
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