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Pregnant Black Woman

Source: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Getty

Starting a family can be a serious undertaking for couples who are having trouble. Trying to concieve (TTC) couples who take every precaution to baby-making may lack some simple, yet very critical steps that can elevate pregnancy stress.

We caught up with Alyssa Dweck, MD, OB/GYN at the Mount Kisco Medical Group in Westchester County, New York, whose practice provides care to women of all ages and Alyssa has delivered thousands of babies; so her expertise runs deep.

With the strong number of TTC couples in the world, we want to know just how difficult it is to conceive (because honestly, some couples make it look easy). Alyssa offered us six tips to about getting pregnant that TTC couples might not know.

1. You can’t get pregnant on just any day of the month.

Teenagers might worry a lot less about pregnancy with a little out-of-the-classroom Sex Ed regarding the menstrual cycle and fertility. Education about ovulation, peak fertility and “safe times” during the menstrual cycle, whether it be from an phone app, a friend or a healthcare provider is key. This, of course, is not so easy if your cycles are irregular and doesn’t take the place of contraception and/or condoms, but sure is handy info nonetheless.

2. Women can learn a lot by charting their monthly cycles.

It’s amazing what your menstrual cycle can tell you whether you are trying to conceive or prevent pregnancy. Predicting ovulation doesn’t have to be complicated if you are in tune with your body. By simply tracking basal body temperature and cervical mucus changes (with simple, new apps like Kindara), women can have valuable information to plan or prevent pregnancy.

3. Ovulation doesn’t always happen on Day 14…

Newsflash! Conception usually happens before ovulation. It’s not uncommon to assume that conception occurs specifically at the moment of ovulation. In fact, sperm can live up to five days in a woman’s body. The best time for intercourse is actually a few days before ovulation and a day or so afterward.

4. Some lubricants can have a negative effect on sperm mobility.

Many common lubricants contain sperm-toxic ingredients, have the wrong pH or have high salt levels, all of which have may have a negative effect when trying to conceive. Even saliva and water can kill sperm and should be avoided when trying to conceive. Fertility friendly lubricants like Pre-Seed mimic cervical mucus to optimize fertility. Pre-Seed’s isotonic and pH balanced formula supports sperm on their journey through the cervix to meet the egg.

5. A surprising number of women will experience infertility, miscarriage or both.

At least 1 in every 10 women will have significant trouble getting pregnant, and 1 in 5 will experience miscarriage at least once. These are emotional roller-coasters, to say the least. The good news is that there are tests and treatments to help prevent and treat the many fertility problems that we face. Rest assured, if you are facing this challenge, you are not alone.

6. Life is full of uncertainty, but the relationships you form will be your source of strength when things don’t go as planned.

Coping with the anguish and emotion of infertility or miscarriage, no matter how early, is easier with support from your partner, friends, family, clergy and healthcare provider. Community is vital and all can serve as lifelines when we face adversity.

Happy seed-planting!

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