So you’ve found the man of your dreams and you’re ready to start a family.
Falling pregnant should be all about romance, candles and amazing love making right?
It may start out that way but as the months fly by and there’s still no sign of a little life stirring inside, the process can become quite a frustrating ordeal.
You start to wonder what’s wrong, why is it just not happening?
Many questions may pop up at this time about conception, some of which you may be too embarrassed to ask!
Do handstands after sex help?
Many women (including myself!) have stuck their legs in the air, stood on their head or generally found any way to help gravity speed those sperm along that all important path to your egg.
However although this ‘acrobatic’ post-sex routine may burn a few extra calories and give your partner a laugh, sperm can swim pretty well on their own and there’s no evidence to suggest turning yourself upside down makes any difference to your chances of conception. But hey, it doesn’t do any harm either!
How often should we have sex?
Once released at ovulation your egg has a lifespan of 24 hours, during which time sperm must be present for conception to occur.
Sperm can survive for around 3 – 5 days within your reproductive system therefore the ideal time to have sex is from 5 days before ovulation and up to 24 hours after. So realistically you only need to have sex during these fertile days in order to conceive.
There are many tools available to help you pin point these fertile days, however it can still be difficult to know exactly when ovulation is occurring therefore regular or daily sex can increase your chances of conception.
There’s a common misconception that it’s beneficial to ‘stock up on’ sperm until the precise moment that your egg is released to make sure there’s plenty of baby making swimmers available.
However, in reality, men produce millions of sperm every day, so there’s no need to ‘store up’. In fact, too much ‘older’ stored sperm may actually get in the way of the fresh new sperm as they race towards the egg. So basically enjoy as much sex as you can without making it a chore.
Do I need to orgasm?
Although the rhythmic spasms of your muscles that occurs during orgasm may help propel sperm towards your egg, you don’t need to orgasm in order to conceive.
What’s the best position?
The answer to this one is whatever is most enjoyable for you! There is no evidence to suggest that any particular position is better than another.
Do I need to take folate before I’m pregnant?
Folate is vital for the development of the neural tube, which connects the brain and the spinal cord.
Without sufficient folate in your system you are at increased risk of neural tube defects. The neural tube develops and closes during the first 4 – 5 weeks of pregnancy, which is before you may even realize you are pregnant.
For this reason you should boost your folate intake as soon as you begin trying for a baby. Folate is also vital for the creation of DNA, which is needed to support the growth of a new life. Therefore lack of folate can reduce your chances of commencing and sustaining a healthy pregnancy.
It’s also important to know the distinction between folate and folic acid.
Folate is the natural nutrient used by the body and folic acid is the synthetic supplemental source of folate.
Around half the population have difficulty converting synthetic folic acid into natural folate, leaving them at increased risk.
Your specialist may recommend, or you may request, a test of the MTHFR gene to see if you have this difficulty. Alternatively you can look for a supplement providing the ‘active’ form of folic acid, listed as either calcium folinate or folinic acid, which bypasses the MRHFR gene.
Do you have any questions about conception that you would like the answer to? ASK US in the comments section below.
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