Old Tricks To Getting Pregnant

Old Tricks To Getting Pregnant
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Old-fashioned tricks to getting pregnant—like consuming yams to conceive twins or avoiding exercise after baby-making sex—aren’t necessarily effective. Instead, try science-backed tips like these:

25 Tips To Get Pregnant, According to Experts

Are you ready to try for a baby? Check out these 25 tips for getting pregnant, which came directly from reproductive endocrinologists and fertility specialists.

Updated on July 22, 2021

The journey to conception is exciting, but it’s also a time of uncertainty for many couples. Everyone is different and if you have any medical concerns, or questions, or are having difficulty getting pregnant, you should always consult with your doctor. But if you’re looking for some tips as you start the journey, experts share 25 tips for getting pregnant, along with their most effective fertility advice—no office visit required.

Science-Backed Tips for Getting Pregnant

Old-fashioned tricks to getting pregnant—like consuming yams to conceive twins or avoiding exercise after baby-making sex—aren’t necessarily effective. Instead, try science-backed tips like these:

  • Schedule a preconception appointment
  • Stay current on dental and medical preventative care
  • Know your family health history
  • Get up-to-date on vaccines
  • Check your thyroid levels
  • Consider a semen analysis
  • Start having baby-making sex
  • Track ovulation and time sex accordingly
  • Use “sperm-friendly” lubricants
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine, and avoid secondhand smoke
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise
  • Reduce stress

Read on to learn more about these expert-backed tips for getting pregnant.

1. Get Preconception Counseling

About 60 to 90 days before you’re ready to start trying, make an appointment with your OB-GYN. “They will discuss your reproductive goals, screen you for conditions such as anemia that might need treatment, and consider alternatives to any prescription or over-the-counter medications you take,” says Kelly Pagidas, M.D., a fertility specialist with Women & Infants Center for Reproduction and Infertility in Providence, and an associate professor at Brown University Medical School. Clearing any issues upfront can prevent delays down the road, when your fertility might be declining due to diminished quality and quantity of eggs that happens naturally with age.

2. Schedule Your Annual Exams

In addition to your Pap smear, mammogram (if it applies), and regular physical, make sure to visit the dentist regularly for cleanings. Certain infections may not be treatable while you’re pregnant and could result in reproductive delays. “Some people believe that gum disease may cause more complications later in pregnancy,” Dr. Pagidas says.

3. Learn Your Family History

Find out how easily your female relatives got pregnant and if there’s a family history of hereditary medical conditions. “If you or your partner have Jewish, French Canadian, or Hispanic ancestry, for example, or a family history of Down syndrome, you may want to seek genetic counseling before trying,” says Steven R. Bayer, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist at Boston IVF fertility clinic in Boston. “It’s much better to find out if you’re both carriers of complications like cystic fibrosis before you conceive.”

Getty Images. Art: Jillian Sellers.

4. Get Vaccinated

Make sure all your shots are updated—particularly those for COVID-19, German measles, chicken pox, and influenza—before trying to get pregnant. “You’re at higher risk of complications if you get sick during pregnancy, and some vaccines are not safe during pregnancy,” Dr. Bayer says. If you have any questions, be sure to talk to your doctor about the COVID-19 vaccine.

5. Check Your Thyroid Levels

“We’re seeing increasing numbers of women whose thyroid is very subtly under-functioning,” says Jani Jensen, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist and assistant professor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “A slight dysfunction could lead to difficulty becoming pregnant or miscarriage.”

6. Have Your Partner Tested

If you’re having a baby with a male partner, you’ll want to ensure your partner is healthy too. “It makes sense to do a basic semen analysis on men when you start trying,” says Alan Copperman, M.D., director of Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York and co-director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “Many guys have low sperm counts, or they take some supplement at the gym that interferes with the motility of their sperm.” Early testing can also give you a heads-up if he’s experiencing andropause, a permanent reduction in sex hormones.

7. Don’t Wait to Have Sex After Stopping Birth Control

“There’s a myth that after you stop using hormonal birth control, it takes a long time to get fertility back,” Dr. Jensen explains. “Most people will have regular periods and the ability to be pregnant within three months of stopping use.”

8. Time Your Baby-Making Sex Just Right

“Once an egg is released, it can only be fertilized for somewhere between 12 and 24 hours,” says Angela Chaudhari, M.D., a gynecologic surgeon and assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

On the other hand, sperm can survive in the reproductive tract for up to five days. That’s why it’s best to start having sex well before you ovulate. A study published in Fertility and Sterility showed that the day with the highest chance of baby-making success was the one right before ovulation.

9. Don’t Feel You Have to Abstain From Sex

You may have been advised to wait a few days between sex because males need time to build up sperm. “That’s not true,” says David Ryley, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist at Boston IVF fertility clinic and clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. “Ejaculation affects seminal volume, not the concentration of sperm. The concentration is more important and not influenced by the frequency of sex.” That said, having sex too often can lead to burnout, so use your judgment wisely.

10. Switch Up Your Sex Positions

Some research suggests that missionary is best for conceiving, but the data isn’t conclusive. “There’s no doubt that some [positions] are more comfortable,” Dr. Pagidas notes. “Just do what feels right so you’re more likely to keep up a consistent routine.” Also, you don’t need to elevate your legs afterward. Says Dr. Jensen: “It does not make one bit of difference in conception.”

11. Take Care With Vaginal Lubricants

Many commonly used water-based lubricants can inhibit sperm movement. If you want to use lube, choose one marketed as “sperm-friendly” or “fertility-friendly.”

12. Consider Using an Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK)

Doctors previously relied on basal body temperature to predict ovulation. “It only tells you once you’ve already ovulated, which is too late. Plus taking your temperature daily often adds stress,” Dr. Bayer explains. An ovulation predictor kit (OPK) is now the recommended method. OPKs monitor luteinizing hormone (LH), which surges shortly before ovulation. “Once it turns positive, you want to have sex in the next 24 to 36 hours” for the best chance of baby-making success, Dr. Bayer says.

13. Consider Your Caffeine Intake

While a daily cup of java is just fine, you may want to consider the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommendation to limit caffeine intake to 200 milligrams per day, which is equivalent to about two cups of coffee. Soda, tea, and energy drinks count, too. “Half the time I see patients totally forgetting about the monster power energy drinks they’re consuming,” Dr. Pagidas says.

14. Reduce Exposure to Cigarette and Marijuana Smoke

“We already know that smoking clearly impacts blood supply to ovaries and results in a more exponential loss of eggs,” Dr. Ryley says. But passive smoke has been linked to increased pregnancy complications as well. There’s really no safe level of exposure, so limit your time around family members, friends, or coworkers who won’t kick butt. Along those lines, studies—like the one published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal—have shown that marijuana might negatively impact female fertility.

15. Stop Binge Drinking

Cutting back alcohol is recommended; eliminating booze fests is essential. “Nobody knows exactly what happens with prolonged heavy drinking before you conceive, but there are likely structural changes in the eggs that affect the quality,” Dr. Pagidas says. “It’s hard to know how long it takes for them to recover, if at all, so stop as soon as possible when you are ready to start trying.”

16. Keep an Eye on Your Weight

Being too far on either side of a healthy body mass index can affect the health of your eggs and result in pregnancy complications. “Women with excess weight are particularly challenged because they don’t ovulate as regularly, which can render them more infertile,” Dr. Ryley says. Aim to be within 15% of your target body weight when you start trying to conceive.

17. Keep Bad Habits Under Control

“A lot of men continue to smoke cigarettes or marijuana, and that can seriously affect the motility of sperm,” Dr. Ryley notes. This means that if you have a male partner, they should stop smoking as well as drinking in excess. It’s also helpful for male partners contributing sperm to reach a healthy weight too. Says Dr. Ryley: “The more overweight a man is, the lower [his] testosterone and sperm function.” Obesity can also do a number on sperm production and ejaculatory function.

18. Get Your Blood Pumping With Regular Exercise

“The rule is 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five to six days per week, both before and during pregnancy,” Dr. Chaudhari says. Some doctors suspect that super high-impact workouts might hinder conception, as very athletic people tend to have irregular periods. But if you’re at a healthy weight and have regular cycles, don’t feel you need to give up that intense Spin class you love.

19. Limit Your Exposure to Radiation

There’s not a lot of data about what happens when people go through newer security scanners at the airport. TSA says they’re safe for pregnant people, but “because we don’t know the cumulative effects of repeated exposure, I recommend frequent flyers do a security pat-down instead to minimize any radiation that could affect reproduction,” Dr. Chaudhari says.

20. Combine Eastern and Western Medicine With Caution

“There may be benefits to doing acupuncture while trying to get pregnant, particularly in stress reduction,” Dr. Jensen says. “What makes me a little wary is when Chinese herbs are added to the mix. We’re not certain exactly what they are and how they’re formulated.” Some studies show that herbs may interact negatively with conventional medicines, so use them only under a doctor’s care.

21. Don’t Douche

“We discourage it—not because you’re flushing out the sperm, but because it makes the environment in your vagina less hospitable to them,” Dr. Pagidas says. Douching has also been linked to an increased risk of vaginal infection (bacterial vaginosis), pelvic inflammatory disease, and pregnancy complications like preterm birth and ectopic pregnancy. It’s also smart to limit the use of scented tampons and vaginal sprays.

22. Do Certain Beauty Treatments Sparingly

Some research suggests that people who work in nail and hair salons—with frequent exposure to chemical fumes such as acetone—had a lower chance of achieving pregnancy and a higher chance of miscarriage and even birth defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An occasional mani-pedi or highlights shouldn’t be harmful to the average person. “Just make sure the salon is well-ventilated and wear a respirator mask if you’re really concerned,” Dr. Chaudhari says.

23. Find Your Own Pace After a Miscarriage

After miscarriage, “I’ve had patients hear they need to wait three months or a specified amount of time, but that isn’t true,” Dr. Jensen says. As long as you’re emotionally ready and feeling up to it physically, there’s absolutely no reason to delay trying again. (Note, however, that most doctors recommend waiting until you heal, which usually takes a couple of weeks. Ask your health care provider for guidance).

24. Be Realistic About Your Chances of Conceiving After 40

As maternal age increases, the chance of pregnancy decreases. “We all see celebrities getting pregnant with twins when they’re in their 40s and think it can happen to anyone that age,” Dr. Ryley says. “But the vast majority of those are donor eggs, because women that age don’t have enough healthy eggs of their own.” Even if you look like a movie star on the outside, it’s important to manage your expectations and be open to various options for motherhood.

25. Stop Worrying About Being Stressed

“The theory that you should just relax and go on vacation to magically get pregnant is an old wives’ tale,” Dr. Copperman says. Worse yet, it makes people feel guilty if they can’t Zen themselves to motherhood and parenthood. Anxiety over fertility is totally normal and it’s not likely to be harmful in the long run. Says Dr. Copperman, “The stress that comes along with fertility challenges has not been shown to affect whether a woman makes a good egg or not.”

7 Tricks to Get Pregnant Fast

Rachel Gurevich is a fertility advocate, author, and recipient of The Hope Award for Achievement, from Resolve: The National Infertility Association.

Updated on November 29, 2022

Leyla Bilali, RN is a registered nurse, fertility nurse, and fertility consultant in the New York City area. She works in house at a reputable private clinic in New York City while also seeing her own clients through her concierge fertility consulting and nursing services business.

Tips for getting pregnant faster

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Are there things you can do to get pregnant fast? Definitely! The number one method is to have sex at least every other day during your fertile window. However, know that even if you’re doing everything right, getting pregnant quickly won’t happen for every couple. But you can boost your odds.

People have a variety of different reasons for wanting to conceive quickly. Maybe you want to space your children a certain number of years apart. You might want to get pregnant because your partner is in the military, and you’d like to conceive before deployment. Or, you may just be eager to become a parent.

Some couples will get pregnant after trying for a month or two. But, for most, it takes longer. Keep in mind that it may take many months to get pregnant—and one in 10 couples will experience infertility. The good news is that there is help out there.

It’s important to remember that these tips may not work for everyone, particularly if you have underlying fertility issues. Unfortunately, pregnancy isn’t something that can be planned exactly. If you can’t get pregnant as quickly as you’d like, don’t blame yourself. Instead, keep trying—the vast majority of couples will conceive within a year.

Tricks to Get Pregnant

Sometimes the old fashioned way of doing things just works. Maximize your chances of getting pregnant by trying the following:

  • Have sex frequently.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Stop your birth control.
  • Track your ovulation.
  • See your doctor if you haven’t conceived after a year (or six months if you are over 35).

Stop Using Birth Control

Obviously, if you want to get pregnant, you need to stop using birth control. What you may not know is that you may need time for your fertility to return. It depends on what kind of birth control you were using.

With most forms of birth control, your fertility will return the next cycle after you stop using it. There may be a few bumpy months while your cycle regulates itself, but it’s also possible to get pregnant in your first official fertile month.

Set Realistic Expectations

Getting pregnant is not always a simple and quick process. If you have an implant or an IUD, you’ll need to schedule a doctor’s appointment for removal. That takes time. It may also take a few months for your cycles to regulate after hormonal IUD removal. (With a copper-only IUD, your fertility should return quickly.) If you’ve been on the birth control shot, it also may take several months for your fertility to return.

Talk to your doctor so you have realistic expectations of when you can start trying to get pregnant.

Have Lots of Sex

Having sex often for the entire month is good for baby-making. Every other day or every two days is a good amount, according to research and the opinion of the Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

You could aim to have sex every day of your cycle, but for most people, this will lead to burnout, and it’s really not necessary. Having sex three to four times a week boosts your chances for success because it increases the odds of having sex on your most fertile days. If you’re only aiming for ovulation and you make a mistake on timing, you may lose that month.

If you have sex every other day or every two days, you’re likely to have sex at least once, if not twice, during your most fertile time.

Frequent sex improves sperm health, too. Healthier swimmers mean you’ll be more likely to conceive.

Maximize Your Odds

You may be able to get pregnant faster if you optimize your conception sex, which includes things like timing, frequency, and understanding of when in your cycle you are most likely to conceive.

One important thing to be aware of is that regular personal lubricants, like Astroglide and KY Jelly, are harmful to sperm. The best lubricant for conception is your own cervical fluid. But if this is an issue for you, there are sperm-friendly options available, such as mineral oil, canola oil, or hydroxyethylcellulose-based lubricants such as Pre-Seed and ConceivEase.

There is no evidence that certain sexual positions or lying down after sex will help you conceive.

However, research on Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) found that lying down after insemination boosts pregnancy rates. If you’re trying to conceive faster, you may want to at least try lying on your back after sex for a few minutes. On the other hand, if the missionary position is a big turn-off for you, maybe more creative positions would help.

Research has found that sexual arousal plays a role in how much sperm is ejaculated. Female orgasms may also help with conception. So, having passionate sex may help you get pregnant faster as well. That said, don’t stress about having an orgasm. You can get pregnant whether you orgasm or not!

Track Your Ovulation

Your most fertile days are the two days prior to ovulation. You can figure out which days these are through several methods, including charting your body basal temperature (BBT), checking for fertile cervical mucus, tracking cervical changes, and using a saliva ferning microscope.

The problem with all these methods is they have a steep learning curve. For BBT charting, figuring out how to get your temps right in the morning and interpreting your chart can be a challenge for many people. You may have an easier time using ovulation predictor kits or ovulation monitors.

Ovulation tests work like pregnancy tests. You pee on a stick or strip of paper to get a result. They are a little more difficult to interpret than pregnancy tests, so read the instructions carefully.

Fertility monitors take much of the learning curve out of ovulation tests. The digital device tells you when you’re most fertile. They are more expensive, though, so you may want to combine charting with ovulation predictor kits.

Boost Your Fertility

In the short term, there are quite a few things (many of which are probably obvious) that a people can do—and not do—to increase their chances of getting pregnant.

  • Get enough sleep. Odd sleep and wake cycles can throw off the menstrual cycle, which could make getting pregnant quickly more difficult.
  • Eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water.
  • Cut back on caffeinated beverages.
  • Get too stressed out. It’s still unclear whether or not stress leads to infertility. However, acute stress can throw off a person’s cycle.
  • Douche. When you do, you disrupt the vagina’s natural pH balance, wash away cervical mucus (which keeps sperm moving), and partially eliminate good bacteria.
  • Exercise intensely. Extreme exercise regimes can reduce fertility.

To keep sperm healthy, keep the testicles away from heat. Hot tubs, laptops placed directly on the lap, seat warmers, and sitting too long with the legs close together can all increase the scrotal temperatures. This can negatively impact sperm counts.

And finally, the most oft-repeated health tip—quit smoking and cut down on alcoholic drinks. This is important for both male and female reproductive health. This will not only improve your health now but also help you have a healthier pregnancy and child.

There are other things you can do to improve your fertility and overall health that take more effort and time. Being at a healthy weight before trying to conceive can help, as being just slightly overweight has been shown to decrease fertility. Obesity may also negatively impact male fertility.

One thing everyone should do before they get pregnant is to make sure they’re getting enough folic acid, which is essential for a healthy pregnancy.

Wait to Take a Pregnancy Test

Taking pregnancy tests won’t change how quickly you get pregnant, but it can affect your perception of time. Especially if you take multiple early tests, “peeing on a stick” frequently can make the days and weeks feel much longer.

Instead, commit to only taking a pregnancy test when your period is at least one day late. In other words, if you expected your period on Tuesday or Wednesday of a particular week, don’t take the test until Thursday. Better yet, wait until Friday.

It’s not easy to wait to see if you’re pregnant, but remind yourself that when you take an early test, you are more likely to get a false negative anyway. (In other words, even if you did conceive, the test may not reveal that you’re pregnant.)

Get Help

If you don’t conceive within six months (if you’re over 35) or within a year (if you’re younger than 35), see your doctor.

Getting help doesn’t mean you’re giving up; it just means you’re brave enough to find out if there’s a reason why you’re not conceiving, and what steps you can take to address it. Some causes of infertility get worse with time. Getting help when you need it may help you get pregnant faster with the help of treatment.

A Word From Verywell

There are many factors that influence how long it will take you to get pregnant. However, using the above methods will help boost the odds in your favor of conceiving sooner than later. Be sure to get help from a fertility specialist if you have any concerns or you haven’t gotten pregnant after trying for six months to a year.

Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Pfeifer S, Butts S, Fossum G, et al. Optimizing natural fertility: A committee opinion. Fertil Steril. 2017;107(1):52-58. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.09.029.
  2. Custers IM, Flierman PA, Maas P, et al. Immobilisation versus immediate mobilisation after intrauterine insemination: randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2009;339:b4080. doi:10.1136/bmj.b4080
  3. Pound N, Javed MH, Ruberto C, Shaikh MA, Del valle AP. Duration of sexual arousal predicts semen parameters for masturbatory ejaculates. Physiol Behav. 2002;76(4-5):685-9. PMID:12127009
  4. Sheynkin Y, Welliver R, Winer A, Hajimirzaee F, Ahn H, Lee K. Protection from scrotal hyperthermia in laptop computer users. Fertil Steril. 2011;95(2):647-51. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.10.013
  5. Lainez NM, Coss D. Obesity, neuroinflammation, and reproductive function. Endocrinol. 2019;160(11):2719-2736. doi:10.1210/en.2019-00487

Additional Reading

  • Evaluating infertility. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

By Rachel Gurevich, RN
Rachel Gurevich is a fertility advocate, author, and recipient of The Hope Award for Achievement, from Resolve: The National Infertility Association. She is a professional member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and has been writing about women’s health since 2001. Rachel uses her own experiences with infertility to write compassionate, practical, and supportive articles.