As a father of five, this is definitely one of my areas of expertise. Oh yeah, I also happen to be an OB/GYN, so I definitely know what I’m talking about. So, if you have decided that the time is right to start or expand your family, here are some tips to get the party started right.
SEE YOUR DOCTOR OR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER: Yeah, this is always the first step but seeing your healthcare provider before pregnancy is one of the important steps that you can take to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy. Here are some things that you can expect at this visit:
-1). Cultures: Testing to make sure that there are no genital tract infections that could negatively effect your pregnancy or your baby.
-2). Blood tests: To evaluate your general health status and to make sure that you are immune to certain infections like varicella (chickenpox) and rubella (german measles) that could negatively effect your baby if you contracted them during pregnancy.
-3). Vaccinations: If you are not immune to the infections mentioned above, your healthcare provider will likely recommend vaccinations. If it’s flu season, they will also likely recommend the flu shot.
-4). Review all of your medications: Your healthcare provider will review all of your prescription and over-the-counter medications to make sure that they are safe for use during pregnancy. If there are any medications that are unsafe, they will recommend or prescribe safer alternatives.
-5). Prenatal Multivitamins and Folic Acid: If you haven’t started taking prenatal vitamins, your provider will likely prescribe them for you. Make sure that your vitamins have at least 800 micrograms of folic acid.
TAKE PRENATAL VITAMINS AND FOLIC ACID: Prenatal vitamins are not just for pregnancy. As a matter of fact, the most important time to take prenatal vitamins are in the months leading up to pregnancy. Folic acid supplementation greatly reduces the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida and anencephaly.
DON’T FORGET YOUR SUPPLEMENTS: Zinc, Co-Q 10 and L-carnitine have been found to improve both female and male fertility. -1). Zinc: Improves ovulation in women and boosts testosterone levels, improving sperm quality in men.
-2). Co-Q 10 (coenzyme Q-10): Has been found to improve female egg quality and potentially increase male sperm counts.
-3). L-Carnitine: Serves as an energy source for sperm, improving their motility.
LOSE THE TIGHTY WHITIES AND GET OUT OF THE TUB! God created testicles to hang away from the body for a reason. The fellas aren’t built for beauty but they are built for function and that function is the production sperm. Sperm just don’t thrive at normal body temperature which is why the testicles hang away from the body. Those dog on tighty whities just scoop the fellas up and bring them right back to the heat of the body, reducing sperm counts. As for sitting in hot water, well you may as well just boil the fellas! Okay, it’s not that drastic but sitting in warm or hot water also increases temperature, reducing sperm count.
CHART YOUR MENSTRUAL CYCLES: You only have about 48 fertile hours every month and for most women that time is in the middle of their menstrual cycle. You can determine how long your menstrual cycles are by counting the number of days from the first day of one period to the first day of the next period. You divide that number by two and that is how many days from the start of your period that you will be most fertile.
TRACK YOUR OVULATION: -1). Monitoring your basal body temperature: Your body temperature will usually increase by 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of ovulation. It’s best to check your temperature first thing in the morning.
-2). Monitor your cervical mucus: At the time of ovulation, you will produce more cervical mucus and it will be thinner and more clear.
-3). Home ovulation tests: Much like home pregnancy tests, there are urine tests that can be done at home that let you know when you have ovulated.
TIMED INTERCOURSE: Remember, there are only about 48 fertile hours every month. That means you have to time your afternoon delight for the right afternoons. Once you know what day of your cycle you ovulate, you will want to have sex 3 days before ovulation, 1 day before ovulation and 1 day after ovulation.
ENJOY THE AFTER GLOW: Once the deed is done, don’t be so quick to jump up and get back to your daily activities. Laying flat for 10-15 minutes after intercourse gives the little swimmers a bit of a boost at the start of their journey since they don’t have to fight gravity.
TAKE A NIGHT OFF: More sex does not equal better sex! You actually want to have sex every other day during your fertile time. More sex means more ejaculation, more ejaculation means a lower quantity and quality of sperm. By the way fellas, it’s not just sex that you need to refrain from if you get my drift. You need to refrain from ALL ejaculation and this includes your “me time” in the bathroom.
Don’t forget to checkout these informative blogs as well:
Chocolate and Fertility HERE.
Sex and Your Health HERE.