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Jessica Wang
July 03, 2018 11:23 am

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to bring another human into this world. So, what now? While conceiving a baby may seem fairly straightforward, we all know it can actually be challenging for many couples. To help guide you parents-to-be, we reached out to an OB/GYN to answer some of your most-searched questions about how to get pregnant. From how to increase your chances of getting pregnant to conceiving after a miscarriage, Greenville, Mississippi-based Dr. Lakeisha Richardson shared her insights on all things pregnancy.

Let’s start with the basics. What is the easiest thing women can do to increase their chances of getting pregnant?

For starters, Dr. Richardson suggests using a fertility tracker app to help track your cycle; Glow, Kindara, and Ovia are among the most popular choices. Additionally, taking a multivitamin that’s high in folic acid and DHA (such as OB Complete) is vital for a healthy pregnancy. Folic acid promotes normal development and prevents birth defects, while DHA supports a baby’s nervous system, eyes, and brain, according to Everyday Health.

Dr. Richardson also recommends checking your vaginal lubricant to ensure you’ve chosen one that won’t affect the quality of your partner’s sperm (or even kill it). She told us Pre-Seed is a great option.

Another surprising way to increase your chances of conceiving?

While it may sound like a paradox, Dr. Richardson says you should just stop trying. Hear us out on this one.

“One of the most surprising things women can do to increase their chances of getting pregnant is [to] stop trying,” said Dr. Richardson. “Stress plays a very important role in preventing pregnancy. Sometimes women get so stressed out with counting days and timing intercourse that they actually are preventing pregnancy [due to] stress hormones.”

She added, “I still recommend having sex, but just relax and have fun.” Or, you know, at least try to relax.

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Of course, when you have sex can also factor into your odds of getting pregnant.

“Women are aware of the well-known ‘day 14’ as ovulation day; however, that day is just an estimate and ovulation can occur before or after day 14,” said Dr. Richardson. “Women can improve their chances of getting pregnant by having intercourse on vital days and using an ovulation kit, such as First Response.”

Sadly, not every pregnancy will result in a live birth. According to the Mayo Clinic, about 10 to 20% of pregnancies result in miscarriages, and the true percentage may be much higher since miscarriages often occur before women even know they’re pregnant. And while it’s generally a “one-time occurrence,” 1% of women experience more than one miscarriage.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “The predicted risk of miscarriage in a future pregnancy remains about 14% after one miscarriage. After two miscarriages, the risk of another miscarriage increases to about 26%, and after three miscarriages the risk of another miscarriage is about 28%.”

For women who have had multiple miscarriages and no live births, Dr. Richardson recommends seeing a specialist prior to trying to conceive again — more specifically, a reproductive endocrinologist. Most importantly, she encourages women to take time to heal.

"The biggest coping mechanism for any family suffering from multiple pregnancy loss is [to] take the necessary time to heal. A lot of women return to work too soon," said Dr. Richardson. "The second coping mechanism is to find a way to let family and friends know that you are having [pregnancy] difficulties without giving too many details. It prevents [them] from asking all of those questions that are not only a constant reminder of your loss, but also reminds you of people's expectations."

She also says that practicing healthy habits is always a good idea. “Women have to remember that doctors recommend three months of healthy living and prenatal vitamins prior to conception,” Dr. Richardson told HG. So what exactly does healthy living entail? For starters, no smoking. Also, cutting back on too much caffeine. 

Good luck, parents-to-be. We’re rooting for you.

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