When you’re trying to get pregnant, you’re sure to know roughly, if not exactly, when you are due to ovulate. You’re probably also already aware that the best time to conceive is the few days before, the day that you ovulate and the day after. This is because, odd as it may seem, sperm live longer in the body than your eggs, which only remain viable for around 48 hours. Given this short window of opportunity, you naturally don’t want to spoil your chances by doing the wrong things. What are your most sensible precautions after ovulation when you’re trying to conceive? It is not necessary that you stop doing your normal life. There are although a few positive actions you can take that certainly can help. These revolve around sex, hygiene, nutrition, and the avoidance of potentially harmful habits.
Sex after ovulation
First precautions after ovulation when trying to conceive: you need to have regular sex around the time of ovulation. However there is also a theory that the presence of sperm is beneficial to the process of implantation if you have conceived. Remember as well that the day after ovulation is one of the best days for the chance of conception. That is why there’s no need to stop having sex, and in fact every reason to carry on. Research has also found that regular sex is beneficial for the health of sperm. So even outside your ovulation ‘prime time’ it’s a good idea to have regular sex rather than strictly timing intercourse around your reproductive cycle.
Nutrition before and during early pregnancy
The best precaution that you can take following ovulation is to care for yourself to support your hoped-for pregnancy. Good nutrition is a very important part of this. If you’re not already following the healthiest diet that you possibly can, now is absolutely the time to start. When you’re trying to conceive, it’s worth paying particular attention to a few significant food groups:
- Leafy green vegetables, including cabbage, kale, spring greens, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. These are all reasonably good natural sources of folic acid but it can be difficult to ensure you’re getting enough of this essential vitamin during the early days of pregnancy. For this reason, it is always advisable to take a supplement of at least 400 to 600 mcg. Don’t wait until you know if you are pregnant, this is an essential preparation before you even start to try.
- Milk, yoghurt and cheese are valuable sources of protein and calcium. This mineral is one of the nutrients that maintains the smooth functioning of your reproductive system. If levels are low when you become pregnant, the necessary calcium is drawn from your bones to meet the baby’s needs and this could raise your risk of osteoporosis in the future.
- Seafood, grass-fed beef and nuts are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential for maintaining the balance of ovulation-controlling hormones and keeping a good blood supply to the reproductive organs.
- Wholemeal grains, fruit and vegetables supply you with plenty of fibre. This is good for your overall health and weight control because you feel full for longer with these whole, rather than processed, foods. A 2016 study also suggested that a diet high in fibre can reduce your risk of gestational diabetes.
Avoiding harmful habits to stay healthy
To give yourself the best chance of conceiving and maintaining a healthy pregnancy, it’s just as important to avoid harmful habits as it is to have a good diet. When talking about precautions after ovulation when trying to conceive, you are almost certainly aware of the main culprits. It’s worth anyway reiterating the importance of avoiding alcohol and smoking when you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
- If there’s any chance at all that you have conceived, you should avoid alcohol completely, because of the damage it can do in the very early stages of foetal development.
- Smoking not only damages your fertility, making it less likely you will become pregnant, it can also increase the risk of miscarriage. In addition, it raises the risks of your baby being underweight at birth, birth defects and other longer term health problems.
- Caffeine in moderation is unlikely to be a problem during pregnancy. However, it’s a wise precaution to cut back if you’re a big coffee drinker, and to avoid sugary caffeinated ‘energy’ drinks as well. Too much caffeine can slightly raise the risk of miscarriage. It’s best to stick to a maximum of 200 milligrams of caffeine a day. This is roughly the amount you would get from one medium-sized mug of coffee.
If you’re trying to get pregnant, each monthly cycle can seem like an eternity until your fertile time comes around again. Try not to focus on it too much and try not to worry until you’ve been trying for a year, or six months if you’re over 35. If you decide you need some help and advice, contact us at IVI. You can browse our website to see the range of treatments and services available, and take a look at our success rates. They will give you confidence that, if you have a fertility problem, there’s an excellent chance we can help.