Trying to conceive should be an enjoyable experience for both partners, but here are some good tips to increase your chances.

Dos: Things to do when trying to get pregnant

1. Timing is everything
You will have little chance of getting pregnant if you had sex on the wrong days and missed the most fertile ones. Figure out your ovulation days with our ovulation calendar to increase your chances of conception.

Check for signs of ovulation. Look for changes in your cervical fluid to help you predict when you’ll be ovulating. When cervical mucus is produced in greater quantities and when it is stretchy in texture, it means you are ovulating and therefore are most fertile. But if cervical mucus is thick and there isn’t much of it, you are in a less fertile time of your cycle. Some women also experience mittelschmertz, a mild pain in the abdominal area that is indicative of ovulation.

2. Increase the odds
Make your vaginal environment as sperm-friendly as possible. Avoid vaginal sprays and scented tampons, and artificial lubricants. Not only can they cause infections, they may wash away cervical mucus or create a hostile environment for the sperm.

If you find that your cervical mucus is not as conducive to getting pregnant as it should be, you may want to try a specific type of lubricant. Pre-Seed lubricant is the sperm friendly choice of many people trying to get pregnant.

3. Buy something sexy
Some experts say that if a woman is highly aroused while she’s having sex, the sperm has a better chance of fertilizing her egg. Others say it makes absolutely no difference. Point is: It definitely won’t hurt to wear something that makes you feel sexy and kill that awkward feeling of having sex for just for pregnancy’s sake.

4. Mind control
Women who suffer from depression are twice as likely to have problems with fertility as women who don’t. Talk to a medical health professional if you notice signs of depression. Also, try stress management techniques, such as yoga and meditation. Feeling relaxed will help optimize your chances of getting pregnant.

5. Go for the O
While it is well known that male orgasm is linked to getting pregnant, female orgasm is also relevant. When a woman experiences an orgasm during sex, it helps to draw the semen into the cervix, thereby resulting in a higher chance of pregnancy.

6. Go for a check-up
Testing your overall health can also improve your fertility because it can help to identify fertility problems and conditions that may secretly be affecting your ability to get pregnant. Both you and your partner should get checked for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), both of which can negatively affect both male and female fertility.

7. Fuel up on folic acid
Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin that can help reduce the risk of serious birth defects that affect the brain and spinal cord. For this reason, the FDA recommends that all women attempting pregnancy take folic acid supplements for decreasing chances of birth defects.

8. Get your weight checked
Healthy weight women have an easier time getting pregnant than overweight or underweight women. Studies show that women whose body mass index (BMI) is below 20 or above 30 have a harder time getting pregnant, so it’s a good idea to try to get yourself into the 20 to 30 range before you start trying.

Don’ts: Things to avoid when trying to get pregnant

1. Stop taking birth control pills
Don’t worry. We now know it doesn’t take long to start ovulating again after you stop taking birth control pills. It will most likely happen again within two to six weeks.

2. Quit smoking, drinking and drugs
Smoking or taking recreational drugs greatly diminishes your chances of getting pregnant and can lead to miscarriages, premature birth, and low-birth weight babies. Plus, research suggests that smoking can affect your fertility and lower your partner’s sperm count. In fact, studies have shown that even second-hand smoke may affect your chances of getting pregnant. The effects of alcohol use are still up for debate. While heavy alcohol use certainly affects fertility, some studies have found that women who drink lightly (1-2 drinks per week) have less time getting pregnant while others have found that more than 5 drinks per week negatively affects fertility. Be careful, however, alcohol can severely affect your unborn child with birth defects such as fetal alcohol syndrome, and you probably won’t know whether you are pregnant during the first couple of weeks, many doctors recommend that you severely curtail your alcohol use (1-2 drinks per week) or quit completely.

3. Cut down on caffeine
Research shows that too much caffeine can reduce your ability to absorb iron and increase your risk for stillbirth. Although a little caffeine is probably fine, doctors recommend that you severely cut your usage. The March of Dimes recommends that women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant consume no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day. This is the amount of caffeine in about one 12-ounce cup of coffee.

4. Ne douche pas
While a common practice, douching (washing or cleaning out the vagina with water or other mixtures of fluids) can actually reduce your chances of getting pregnant. Douching affects female fertility because it disturbs the natural state of the vagina and can aggravate vaginal infections.

5. Boxers not briefs
Ask your partner to chuck all briefs and opt for boxers instead for a healthy sperm count. Wearing boxers reduces the risk of the testicles overheating, which can result in sperm damage.Also, having sex in the morning is optimal as that’s when semen has the highest number of sperm.

6. Get over over-exercising
While exercise helps fertility by maintaining a healthy weight, too much exercise can lead to amenorrhea (or absent periods). If you notice any irregularity in your periods, you should reduce the amount of exercise you participate in so as to improve your chances of getting pregnant.Getting pregnant isn’t always easy. Very few couples conceive on the first try. In fact, even if everything is absolutely in perfect working order, you only have a 20-25% chance of conception each month. If you are under 30, and haven’t conceived in 12 months, you should make an appointment to see your doctor as there could be some issues at play with are preventing you from getting pregnant. If you are over 35, and haven’t succeeded in getting pregnant in six months, make an appointment to see your doctor, as infertility issues become more prevalent with age. If you are over 40, then approach a fertility expert as soon as possible, as you may be in line for fertility treatments.