Planning your pregnancy is all about timing, and by that we don’t just mean the act. Follow these tips to help better your conception chances.

1. Get Off The Pill, NOW!
You may have been popping those pills for long, but now is the time to stop. Once you try to conceive, stop taking any contraceptives, oral or otherwise. Remember that only once you stop using birth control can you prepare your body for pregnancy.

2. Track Your Ovulation
You can easily track your ovulation dates using a DIY ovulation predictor kit (OPK). This will tell you in advance when your eggs are about to release, so that you can plan accordingly.

3. Time Your Sex Before You Ovulate
Your egg will only last for about 12 to 24 hours after it is released. Having sex before you ovulate will boost the chances that your egg will meet with the sperm once released.

4. Time Your Sex According To Your Period
Have sex a few times a week as soon as your period ends. This will ensure you don’t miss your most fertile days. Starting from the tenth day from the end of your period, have sex at least every alternate day. Around the twelfth day, you may see a positive result on your OPK. Have sex the same day and the next two days as well.

5. Have Sex Before Bedtime
Have sex before you are about to go to bed. This will help you lie on your back afterwards (we explain next why this will help below).

6. Lie On Your Back After Sex
This will make the sperm gather in your vagina and help them swim towards the egg. Another good option is to try positions that involve you lying on your back.

7. Avoid Lubrication If You Can
Using a lubricant can actually delay your pregnancy efforts. The formula of the lubricant can alter the pH balance in your vagina, decreasing sperm mobility.

8. Take The Test
This will help you know the moment you are pregnant and you can see your doctor for initial tests. The most accurate results will be on the day your period is expected to start. However, most home pregnancy test kits allow you to start testing very early, sometimes as early as 10 days after ovulation.

9. Cut Down Alcohol & Smoking
You may already, unknowingly, be a few weeks pregnant. Cut down on your alcohol consumption and smoking as soon as you start trying to conceive. Alcohol is passed on to your unborn baby and can affect its development. Smoking can result in various health problems such as premature birth or low birth weight, miscarriage, and even breathing difficulties in the newborn.

10. Get Vaccinated
Speak to your doctor when you start planning your conception. He may suggest a few vaccinations and tests you should take to prevent yourself and the baby from infections.

Eating nutritious food, exercising and getting a good amount of rest will ensure you are healthy. If you are not conceiving despite trying hard, do not stress. Give yourself some time and try again. Schedule an appointment with your doctor to know more.