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Best Ways to Get Pregnant - Our Top Tips

For some couples, getting pregnant happens very quickly and sometimes even unexpectedly. For most couples, though, several months of trying is required before they get lucky with a positive pregnancy test.
Research shows that over 80% of couples in the general population will conceive within 1 year if:

  • the woman is aged under 40 years and
  • they do not use contraception and have regular sexual intercourse (assuming intercourse twice per week).

Of those who do not conceive in the first year, about half will do so in the second year (cumulative pregnancy rate over 90%).
BUT… what are some good facts to know when considering trying for a baby? Here’s our tips on how to get pregnant.

Timing and frequency of sex; the most important factor in conceiving

Vaginal sexual intercourse every 2 to 3 days optimizes the chances of pregnancy. The key is to have sex on the days before and during ovulation. That way, the sperm cells are in the fallopian tubes when the egg is released.
The article “The sperm journey to the egg” explains fertilization in an easy way.
Male fertility is not very complicated. The better semen quality you have, the higher chance you have to fertilize your female partner’s egg during ovulation. So it’s all about semen quality, which is defined by the value of several semen parameters such as volume, concentration, motility, morphology, and others. If semen quality is low, an assessment in a clinic is needed to investigate the underlying cause.
Evaluation of female fertility means finding out if ovulation is occurring. You can determine ovulation by home ovulation test kits, blood hormone measurement, and ultrasound of the female reproductive structures. Furthermore, checking the fallopian tubes is also a part of a female fertility assessment.
The following tips are our best recommendations for couples to conceive faster:

Advice from Dr. Fatin Willendrup, ExSeed Head of Medical Affairs

“The better semen quality you have, the higher chance you have to fertilize your female partner’s egg during ovulation. So it’s all about semen quality, which is defined by the value of several semen parameters such as volume, concentration, motility, morphology, and others.”

Best way to get pregnant: tips for him

  • Know your score

The best way to assess a man’s fertility potential is through his Total Motile Sperm Count (TMSC), scientific research shows that this correlates directly with the time to conceive for a couple. You therefore need to have your sperm tested to see how many moving sperm cells you have in your ejaculate. If you are trying currently to get pregnant, it is very important that you know your TMSC. Have a talk with your doctor about a sperm test in a clinic or order the ExSeed sperm test for quick, accurate and private at home testing.

  • Lifestyle matters

You might have heard it from your doctor before or even read it in one of our blog articles; a healthy lifestyle is important for healthy sperm cells. The lasting lifestyle changes you make today will often start to show their (sometimes significant) impact on sperm quality around three months later.

  • Supplementation for pregnancy

Clinical studies show that vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants have a positive impact on sperm quality. Studies have shown that particularly antioxidant supplementation can be effective as treatment of idiopathic male infertility [2]. ExSeed Multi contains a special antioxidant formula designed with the purpose of boosting sperm health.

  • Keep your semen fresh

There is general agreement that prolonged sexual abstinence is associated with increased semen volume and sperm concentration. However, this can have a negative impact on sperm motility and viability (1).
To produce an optimal quality, you will need to ejaculate 2-3 times a week. This way you make sure to refresh your semen stock.

Best way to get pregnant: tips for her

  • Find your fertile window

The best way to increase your odds of pregnancy as a female is to ensure that you have sex during the ovulation phase of your menstrual cycle. Ovulation normally occurs two weeks before menstruation, but this is not always the case and it can therefore be tricky. There are a number of techniques you can use to more precisely pinpoint your ovulation and fertile window. Using ovulation predictor kits, for example like the ones from Mira or Ovusense, and measuring basal body temperature are the most used and can be highly effective.

  • Healthy body, faster pregnancy

Before attempting to get pregnant, you should try to be as healthy as possible. This means filling your body with all the fertility friendly superfoods to maximize antioxidant load.
Furthermore, research show that normalizing BMI (i.e. not being underweight or overweight) help to a higher pregnancy rate.

  • Don’t wait

The ability to get pregnant decreases with age. Especially after the age of 30, fertility starts to decline, with a significant and rapid decline once you reach your mid-30s.
It is therefore worth considering children when you are still more likely to be fertile, statistically speaking If you’re in the mid-30s and haven’t yet conceived with your partner, you should seek help.

When to seek help

If you and your partner haven’t gotten pregnant within a year of actively trying, and the female part is under the age 35, you should see your doctor for a fertility evaluation.
If you’re over 35, you should only wait six months before seeing a doctor.
You can read more about this in the UK Fertility Guidelines by the NHS.

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Wearing tight pants and underwear

Studies show that men who wear looser underwear have higher sperm concentration and total sperm count compared to men who wear tighter underwear. So, lose the tight clothes and wear something loose to give your testicles some air.

CONCLUSION: learn more about how heat can affect sperm quality here.

Stress

Besides higher mortality rate and various diseases, stress is associated with low sperm quality. Stress is known to be associated with lower testosterone levels and oxidative stress with both playing an essential role in producing and maintaining healthy sperm cells.

CONCLUSION: If you feel stressed, we recommend you get some help so you can have a balanced mental health. For a stress management guide, download the ExSeed app for free and start your personalized action plan today.

Physical activity

Scientific studies show that men who are physically active have better semen parameters than men who are inactive. Fertility specialists also state that regular physical activity has beneficial impact on sperm fertility parameters and such a lifestyle can enhance the fertility status of men.

Prioritizing exercise can help improve your overall health and result in healthy, fast swimming sperm cells that have good chances of fertilizing an egg.

CONCLUSION: Try incorporating exercise in your weekly schedule to you ensure exercising at least twice weekly. We recommend a combination of cardio training and strength exercise. Read more about exercise and male fertility on our blog.

Nutrition

Fast Food
Processed foods damage the health of sperm-producing cells and cause oxidative stress, which lead to poorer sperm quality. Heavy consumption of junk food (every week) can increase the likelihood of infertility since men who consume vast amounts of unhealthy food are at risk of having poor sperm quality. Besides harming your fertility, junk food enlarges your waistline, harms your cardiovascular system, kidneys, and more.

Vegetables
Eating more fruit and vegetables can increase your sperm concentration and motility. It’s important that you consume a healthy diet filled with antioxidants and that you eat vegetables every day. Foods such as apricots and red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which improves male fertility by nurturing healthier sperm. Men who are deficient in this vitamin tend to have slow and sluggish sperm.

Sugary snacks/beverages: several times a week Excessive consumption of high sugar items can lead to oxidative stress, which negatively impacts testosterone levels and sperm motility. Sugary snacks and beverages are also highly associated with obesity and low fertility.
CONCLUSION: To boost sperm quality, stay away from fast food, processed food, and sugary snacks or beverages. You need to implement a healthy prudent diet filled with necessary superfoods needed for good sperm production. Check out our guide to Male Fertility Superfoods. For personalized guidance and support on how you can start improving your sperm health, check out the Bootcamp.

Heat

Direct heat can inhibit optimal sperm production and cause Sperm DNA damage. Sperm cells like environments that are a couple of degrees lower than body temperature. Avoid overheating from warm blankets, seat warmers, heat from your laptop, hot showers, and saunas.

Cigarette smoking

The exposure to tobacco smoke has significant negative effects on semen quality. The damage of cigarettes and nicotine of course depends on how many cigarettes you smoke per day and for how long, but even low usage (up to 10 cigarettes / day) can inhibit healthy sperm production.  

CONCLUSION: Stay as far away from cigarette smoking as possible if you care about your general health and your fertility. Read more here.

Cell phone

When you have your cell phone in your front pocket, your testicles are exposed to electromagnetic radiation, which studies have shown to damage the sperm cells. Put your phone in the back pocket of your pants or in your jacket pocket.

BMI

There is a clear association between obesity and reduced sperm quality. At least part of the reason for this is that obese men may have abnormal reproductive hormonal profiles, which can impair sperm production and lead to infertility. 

A BMI higher than 30 can lead to several processes in the body (overheating, increase in oxidative stress in the testes, sperm DNA damage, erectile dysfunction) that can have a negative impact on male fertility. This can result in problems when trying to conceive.  

CONCLUSION: BMI is one of the risk factors that influence semen quality and, for example, sperm motility.  

Alcohol

A beer or glass of wine now and then do not really harm sperm quality. But excess alcohol drinking (more than 20 units per week) can reduce the production of normally formed sperm needed for a successful pregnancy.

CONCLUSION: If you want to stay safe, stay under 14 units of alcohol per week. For more information on how alcohol can affect male fertility, take a look at our blog: “Alcohol and Sperm Quality”.

Age

Studies show that women younger than 35 and men younger than 40 have a better chance of getting pregnant. Men can produce sperm cells almost through their entire life, but the sperm cell DNA is more fragile and prone to damage after the age of 40.

As men age, their testes tend to get smaller and softer resulting in a decline in sperm quality and production. These changes are partly because of an age-related decrease in testosterone level, which plays a very important role in sperm

production. Higher male age (>40 years) is not only associated with a decline in sperm production but also with increased sperm DNA fragmentation and worsened morphology (shape) and motility (movement). These negative effects make the sperm cells less qualified for egg fertilization.

CONCLUSION: with an age under 40, you shouldn’t have to worry much about age as a factor in itself. However, studies have shown a slow decline after the age of 30-35 years

and if you are above 40 years of age, your sperm quality can be affected due to increased sperm DNA damage resulting in a decrease of sperm motility and concentration. Remember that you cannot evaluate the quality of a sperm sample by just looking at it – this requires a sperm analysis.