Pregnancy planning

Get Pregnant Faster: Your 7-Step Plan

Pregnancy planning


Ready to conceive now? You'll want to put some planning behind your baby-making. Follow these tips on ways to get pregnant fast.


Have you been popping those little white pills since high school? Take a pass on your prescription a few months before you plan to start trying, says Christopher Williams, M.D.

, a reproductive endocrinologist in private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia, and author of The Fastest Way to Get Pregnant Naturally. That goes for other forms of hormonal birth control too.

(You should stop getting Depo-Provera, injectable shots of progesterone about nine months before you want to try getting pregnant.)

“After you've been using birth control for awhile, it may take your body a few cycles to start ovulating regularly and be primed for pregnancy,” Dr. Williams says. Plus, this gives you time to track your cycle to figure out exactly when you ovulate (step #2), which is key for timing your baby-making.

Just remember: Once you stop using birth control, you can get pregnant at any time!



Maintaining a healthy weight and eating right can help you get pregnant faster. So can all eight tips in this video. 

No matter how often you and your partner get horizontal, if you skip the key days the month when your egg is raring to go, you won't get pregnant. “The biggest mistake my patients make is not knowing exactly when they ovulate,” says Dr. Williams.

Today, most doctors recommend using ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) for a more accurate measure of ovulation.

Though you can still use basal body temperature (BBT) charting, OPKs give you advance warning that your egg is about to be released, so you can plan accordingly.

OPKs work by detecting a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine, which occurs about 36 to 48 hours before you ovulate.

There are two basic types of OPKs available: Those you use only around the week before you ovulate (these are better for women with very regular cycles, since you need a rough idea of when you ovulate to know when to start using the kit) and those you use every day of the month (a better choice for women with less regular cycles; they're also a bit pricier).

FYI: For the most approximate way to determine when you ovulate, subtract 14 from the length of your cycle.


Those hardy sperm can stick around in your uterus and fallopian tubes for two to three days, but your egg only lasts for 12 to 24 hours after it's released. So having sex before you ovulate boosts the chances that there'll be sperm around to greet your egg as soon as it debuts.

For a typical 28-day cycle (where you ovulate on day 14), here's what you'll do:

* Start having sex a few times a week as soon as your period ends. Getting busy that often ensures you won't miss your most fertile time, especially if your cycle length varies from month to month.

* Make a point to have sex every other day starting around day 10.

* When you have a positive result on your OPK (around day 12), have sex that day and the next two days—these are your primo days the month to conceive.

What really works and what's purely the stuff of old wives' tales is somewhat debatable. Dr. Williams helps us separate myth from fact: 

Lie on your back after sex. “Because the vagina naturally slopes downward, resting on your back after sex allows sperm to pool there, which gives them an edge in swimming toward your egg,” says Dr. Williams.

Should you keep your legs elevated, too? It can't hurt, he says, but it probably doesn't help any more than lying down does.Have sex before bed.

Though some sources report that sperm count is highest in the morning, the truth is that there's no optimal time of day to have sex. However, doing so before you hit the hay is an easy way to ensure you stay on your back afterward.Keep it vanilla(ish).

While there's no single sex position that's best for babymaking (or for choosing your baby's sex), stick to one where you'll be on your back when it's over.



* Use lube to give sperm a leg up. Some people may think that a lubricant may help sperm move more quickly, but the truth is that this can actually hinder your pregnancy efforts. Many formulas may alter the pH balance in the vagina and decrease sperm mobility.

* Worry if you don't have an orgasm. A great perk of satisfying sex, sure, but don't count on your postcoital bliss to help you get pregnant more quickly. Though some speculate that orgasms boost conception by drawing more sperm into the vagina and uterus, this theory lacks scientific proof.

* Worry about boxers vs. briefs.

Because some fertility problems in men stem from a condition where the temperature in the testicles is excessively warm, which affects sperm production, it's natural to believe that favoring briefs over boxers could hinder conception.

However, there's no good evidence this is true, says Dr. Williams. There's certainly no downside to his sticking with boxers, but it's unly to significantly speed up your pregnancy timeline.



Thayer Allyson Gowdy

The earlier you know you're pregnant, the sooner you can see your doctor to start prenatal care and make sure your eating, drinking, and other habits are as healthy as possible.

Though some of today's home pregnancy tests allow you to start testing super-early (as soon as 10 days after you ovulate), you'll get the most accurate results if you wait until the day you expect to get your period.

Home pregnancy tests work by detecting levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. Levels of this hormone, produced by the placenta, continue to rise in early pregnancy. Tests marketed as “early results” or “early response” may be more sensitive at detecting lower levels of hCG earlier.

Testing too early is ly to yield what experts call a “false negative” result—where the test says you're not pregnant, but you really are. What's happening is that your body isn't producing enough hCG yet to be detected by the test. Waiting and testing again a few days after your missed period is ly to turn up the plus sign you're looking for.


Didn't get pregnant this month? Don't get upset. Most couples don't succeed the first time the gate (more than half get pregnant by 6 months, about 85 percent by one year).

Most ly, you miscalculated your most fertile days, so your partner's sperm never had the chance to fertilize your egg.

Consider switching to a daily OPK if you haven't already tried it, and get psyched to try again next month.


Plan a Pregnancy | App for Getting Pregnant

Pregnancy planning

When you’re ready to start a family, Natural Cycles’ Plan a Pregnancy Mode is on hand to make switching from preventing to planning easy.

Natural Cycles works by analyzing basal body temperature (BBT) – this is your body’s lowest resting temperature which can be measured first thing in the morning with a basal thermometer.

Due to a rise in BBT after ovulation, the app’s algorithm is able to detect the fertile window and can tell you when you’re at peak fertility.

Fertile days are shown on a color scale, the deeper the red, the more fertile you are. On pink days, your fertility can’t be confirmed and the app may need some more data or time to get to know your unique cycle. Green days indicate that you are very unly to be fertile.

The more data you add to Natural Cycles, the better the fertility app will get to know you. We recommend measuring your temperature and entering it into the app at least 5 times a week.

Natural Cycles will still work if you input data less regularly, but it may take longer to get to know you.

In this view, you can see predictions for when your ovulation, fertile days and period are coming up, so you will always be prepared for what’s coming. It’s easy to access your past data by tapping on any given day. Days when you have previously added data are clearly marked with a tick. Here you can also change the data or log additional info after the date has passed.

This view shows the curve of your temperature mapped to the days in your cycle – you can follow the graph as you add more data day-by-day.

You can also see the fertile window, your period days and where you have logged sex shown on the graph. By swiping you can compare graph views from previous cycles.

The graph view is a favorite feature of the fertility app for many of our Cyclers, as it offers an informative overview of their unique temperature curve.

The “My Cycle” view gives a breakdown of the statistics of your unique cycle.

Here you can see an overview of temperature, cycle length and regularity, as well as a more detailed analysis of the phases of your menstrual cycle.

Here you can also view the average statistics of all women using the fertility app, so you can see trends and have the option to compare your cycle alongside other Natural Cycles’ users.

Another favorite feature of Natural Cycles is the in-app messages and reminders we send.

Whether it’s the best time to take an ovulation test, or to carry out a self-breast exam, our messages are always relevant and tailored to you, so you can get the most the Natural Cycles experience while using the app to get pregnant.

You can also contribute to research in women’s health by answering questions. This just takes a couple of seconds and, with your support, we can help to further scientific understanding of birth control, reproduction and fertility worldwide.

your data, Natural Cycles will let you know if you might be pregnant. This happens if your temperature stays high, rather than dipping as it does before you get your period, meaning the fertility app can tell you the best time to take a pregnancy test.

When a positive test result is entered into the app, the interface switches colors and the features change, as you switch to “Follow a Pregnancy”. In this mode, you will be guided through the different stages of fetal development.

After you have given birth, you can continue using Natural Cycles as a birth control method in “Prevent Mode”.


Planning your pregnancy

Pregnancy planning

  • Planning your pregnancy means thinking about what it means to have a baby and making decisions with your partner about your family.
  • Women who plan their pregnancies are more ly to get healthy before pregnancy and get prenatal care during pregnancy than women who don’t plan.
  • Think about how many children you want and when you want to have them. Talk about these things with your partner.
  • Use birth control until you’re ready to get pregnant.

More than half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. This means that lots of women may get pregnant without really being ready for it. 

Planning your pregnancy can help you have a healthy baby. Babies who are planned are more ly to be born healthy than babies who aren’t planned. If you’re planning to have a baby, you’re more ly to get healthy before you get pregnant and to get early and regular prenatal care during pregnancy. Prenatal care is medical care you get during pregnancy.

How do you plan your pregnancy?

Make a reproductive life plan. This means thinking about if and when you want to have a baby. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How many children do I want?
  • How far apart do I want them to be?
  • How can I get healthy before pregnancy?
  • If I’m having sex and don’t want a baby now, how can I keep from getting pregnant?

Talk to your partner about your reproductive life plan before you get pregnant. There are no right or wrong answers, and your answers may change as you get older. You and your partner may not agree on every answer, so you may need some time to figure things out together. 

Birth control (also called contraception or family planning) is part of your reproductive life plan. Birth control helps keep you from getting pregnant. Examples of birth control include intrauterine devices (also called IUDs), implants, the pill and condoms. Ask your health care provider about the best kind of birth control for you and your partner. 

Are you ready to be a parent?

Your life changes when you become a parent. Talk to your partner to make sure you’re both ready for your lives to be different. Ask yourselves these questions:

  • Why do you want to have a baby? Do you feel pressure to have a baby? Does one of you want to have a baby more than the other? Do you both think you’ll being parents?
  • How will your relationship with your partner change when you have a baby? Are you and your partner ready for these changes? 
  • How does having a baby affect your work or school?
  • What will you do for child care? Will you or your partner stay home? Or do you need to find day care for your baby?
  • Do you have religious or cultural traditions that you want to share with your child? Do you and your partner agree on these traditions? 
  • Are you ready to take care of a baby who may be sick or have special needs?
  • Are you ready to have less money and free time for yourself?

If you don’t have a partner, ask yourself these questions to see if you’re ready to be a parent on your own. 

Are you physically ready to get pregnant?

Getting your body ready can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. A great way to get started is to get a preconception checkup. This is a medical checkup you get before you get pregnant.

At this checkup, your provider makes sure you’re as healthy as possible so your body’s ready when you do get pregnant.

If you’re not ready just yet, your provider helps you choose birth control to keep you from getting pregnant until you’re ready.

Are you financially ready for a baby?

Babies and baby things can cost a lot of money! Do you have money to pay for diapers and child care? Do you have health insurance that helps pay for medical care for your baby? Here’s what you can do to help you think about how a baby may affect your finances: 

  • Make a budget. Write down what you spend each month on your home, car, food, clothes, medical care and other bills. Compare the amount of money you spend with the amount of money you make. How much is left after you pay your bills? You may need to cut back on spending to have money to pay for things your baby needs.
  • Start saving. It’s not too early to start saving for your baby. Think about how much child care and baby things cost and try to save that amount of money each month. 
  • Shop smart. Some baby things may need to be new, but you can buy some used or borrow from friends and family. Make sure things car seats and cribs meet current safety standards.  Visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to learn about product safety standards and product recalls. 

What are maternity and paternity leave?

Maternity and paternity leave (also called parental leave) is time off from work after your baby’s birth (or if you adopt a child). Maternity leave is time off for mom, and paternity leave is time off for dad. If you or your partner works, find out about your maternity and paternity leave. Ask your supervisor or talk to someone in the human resources department at your workplace.

Because of the Family and Medical Leave Act, parents who have worked at least 1 year for a company with 50 or more employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off for parental leave. At the end of your leave, your employer has to give you your job back.  

What about health insurance?

Health insurance (also called insurance plan, health coverage or health plan) helps you pay for medical care. Health insurance is important if you’re planning to have a baby.

Find out what your health insurance covers before pregnancy and during pregnancy.

For example, health plans have to cover preventive care services, getting birth control to prevent pregnancy and vaccinations to protect you from certain diseases.

Preventive care services help keep you healthy by preventing problems before they happen. If you’re choosing an insurance plan, think about what medical services and care you need now and what you’ll need if you get pregnant or have a baby. 

What do you need to know about life insurance?

Life insurance pays money to certain people (for example, your partner or your children) when you die. You can buy life insurance on your own, or sometimes you can get it from your employer. There are different kinds of life insurance and lots of different companies that sell it. Talk with your partner about what kind of and how much life insurance you need.  

For life insurance, you need a list of beneficiaries. A beneficiary is someone who will get money from your life insurance when you die. Your partner and your children may be your beneficiaries. You also need to list beneficiaries in your will and for certain kinds of bank or savings accounts.

What is long-term disability insurance?

This kind of insurance gives money to you and your family if you get hurt or sick and can’t work. If you’re 35 to 55 years old, you’re more ly to get hurt or sick and not be able to work for 90 days or more than to die.

So it’s important to have long-term disability to help take care of you and your family if you have to stop working because of a health condition. You can buy long-term disability insurance on your own, or sometimes you can get it from your employer.

Talk with your partner about what kind of long-term disability insurance you need.

Do you need a will?

Yes. A will is a legal document that gives directions for what you want to happen when you die. In your will, you list your beneficiaries and what money or things you want each of them to get. You also say whom you want to take care of your children. You may want to hire a lawyer to help you write your will, or you can look online for information about how to do it yourself. 


Planning Your Pregnancy

Pregnancy planning

If you are trying to have a baby or are just thinking about it, it’s not too early to start preparing for pregnancy.

One of the first steps is to prioritize your health and wellness. The healthier you are before you conceive, the healthier your pregnancy typically will be. Start by leading a healthy lifestyle — eating well, getting plenty of exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.

Take a look at your daily habits and make changes where needed. In addition, be sure you are emotionally ready to commit to a lifetime of parenthood.

Talk to Your Primary Care Provider or OB/GYN

It’s a good idea to talk to your primary care provider or OB/GYN about your health and plans before getting pregnant. If you have any of the following medical conditions, it’s crucial to see your doctor before you get pregnant:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Herpes
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Lupus
  • Thyroid issues (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism)

Be sure you also share your family history of medical conditions with your doctor because some may be inherited, such as:

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Muscular dystrophy

If these or any other medical conditions run in your family, you may be referred to a genetic counselor.

Your doctor will ask about your current medications and health history, including any history of sexually transmitted diseases with you and your partner.

Stop Birth Control Pills

If you take birth control pills, stop taking them a month before trying to get pregnant. After stopping the pill, you may have irregular periods for a while. This can make it hard to tell when you are fertile or ovulating.

It might take longer to become pregnant, but the pill has no impact on fertility. The use of birth control pills before you get pregnant does not cause birth defects, no matter how close you use them to the time you get pregnant.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is bad for you and bad for an unborn baby. Studies show that women who smoke during pregnancy are more ly to have babies with lower birth weights.  Smoking also increases the risk of:

  • Asthma
  • Cleft lip or palate
  • Miscarriage
  • Premature birth
  • Preterm labor
  • Stillbirth
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Stop smoking before you get pregnant rather than waiting to quit once you’re expecting.

Stop Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol use may make it harder to get pregnant.

Once you’re pregnant, alcohol can have damaging effects on an unborn baby, even in small quantities. If you have a drink, the alcohol rapidly reaches your baby through your bloodstream and across the placenta.

Women who have two or more drinks a day are at greater risk for giving birth to a baby with severe long-term health issues, such as mental disabilities, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and facial and heart defects.

We don’t know what amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy, so it’s best to avoid drinking alcohol altogether.

Reach an Ideal Weight

If you are underweight or overweight, it is best to reach your ideal weight before you get pregnant. It is not a good idea to try to lose weight during pregnancy; however, being overweight during pregnancy may increase your chance of having complications, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Talk to your doctor about how to achieve a healthy weight before pregnancy.

Exercise Before You Get Pregnant

Before you get pregnant, get in the habit of exercising most days of the week. This may help your body cope with the changes you will go through during pregnancy and labor. It also may help you get back in shape after the baby is born.

Your exercise level during pregnancy will be determined by your overall health and how active you were before you got pregnant. Your doctor will advise you on how much exercise is best for you during pregnancy.

Eat Healthy Foods

A balanced diet is always important, but if you’re planning to get pregnant, make changes to eat healthier before you conceive. Cut down on consuming empty calories, artificial sweeteners and caffeine. Balance your diet with:

  • Dairy products
  • Foods high in protein
  • Fruits
  • Grains
  • Vegetables

Take Vitamins and Folic Acid

Most doctors recommend that women begin taking a daily multivitamin supplement and at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid before getting pregnant. Folic acid is thought to reduce a baby’s risk of developing birth defects of the spine, such as spina bifida. Ideally, you should start taking a multivitamin with 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid two months before you get pregnant.

Reduce Stress

While you are trying to get pregnant, it’s important to relax and be as stress-free as possible. Practicing stress management and stress-reduction techniques, combined with getting plenty of rest, may make it easier for you to become pregnant.


Planning and Preparing

Pregnancy planning

Welcome to Our Blog about Pregnancy, Nutrition and Life The Bumpy Truth blog is written by Kristina B., a fitness instructor with a desire to help others live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Her love for wine and chocolate as well as organic foods helps her understand that knowledge is power and moderation is key. […]


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Pre-Pregnancy Health Care & Tips | How to Prepare For Pregnancy

Pregnancy planning

Pre-pregnancy planning keeps you — and your future baby — as healthy as possible. If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, visit a doctor for pre-pregnancy care.

There’s lots you can do to get ready for your pregnancy and make sure you — and your future baby — are as healthy as possible. Visiting your doctor or local Planned Parenthood health center for pre-pregnancy care is a great first step.

Pre-pregnancy care (also called preconception care) helps find issues that could affect your pregnancy, so you and your doctor can take steps to avoid potential problems.

Your nurse or doctor will talk with you about your physical and mental health, and give you any exams or screenings you might need to help make sure you have a healthy pregnancy.

They can also give you tips on how to get pregnant.

Your doctor will talk with you about your:

  • medical history and family’s medical history
  • current health issues
  • diet, vitamins, and lifestyle
  • safety of any medications/supplements you’re taking
  • pregnancy history
  • safety at home and work
  • mental health concerns

Your doctor will probably also recommend that you go to your dentist for a checkup. If you have gum disease, getting treatment before pregnancy may prevent health problems in you and your future baby.

Pre-pregnancy visits are a great time to ask questions, so come prepared to ask about anything you’re wondering about.

Do I need to worry about having a high-risk pregnancy?

Probably not — high-risk pregnancies are pretty rare.

There are many things that can happen during your pregnancy that you can’t control, and sometimes things go wrong for random or unknown reasons. However, there are lots of things you can do to help avoid problems and make sure you and your pregnancy stay as healthy as possible.

Getting pre-pregnancy care from your nurse, doctor, or local Planned Parenthood health center before you get pregnant, and having regular prenatal care visits throughout your pregnancy are great ways to help lower your chances of having a high-risk pregnancy.

Certain conditions can make pregnancy more difficult. It’s especially important to get pre-pregnancy care if you:

  • have high blood pressure, or heart or kidney disease
  • have other chronic conditions, diabetes, lupus, or HIV/AIDS
  • have a history of miscarriages, stillbirths, or premature births
  • know you’re at risk of having a child with birth defects or a genetic disorder
  • have a sexually transmitted infection
  • are underweight or overweight
  • are older than 35

What’s my partner’s role in planning my pregnancy?

Your partner can play a big role, if you want them to. Encouragement and emotional support can be really helpful and important, especially if you’re making changes to your lifestyle as you get ready for pregnancy.

Your partner or sperm donor’s health is also important when it comes to getting pregnant. Diet and lifestyle can lower sperm count and semen quality. This can make it harder to get pregnant.  

Some things that can lower sperm count include:

  • drinking alcohol
  • smoking or using other kinds of tobacco
  • using steroids
  • using illegal drugs
  • using certain prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines
  • recent and frequent time in very hot environments (i.e., hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms)
  • having an unhealthy diet

Talk to your partner about making lifestyle choices that can help their health and your future pregnancy.

Do I need a new doctor once I get pregnant?

If you already have a gynecologist, midwife, or family doctor that you , you may be able to keep seeing them throughout your pregnancy.

If you want to switch to a different nurse or doctor, friends, family members, and other nurses or doctors may have recommendations.

You can also get prenatal care, or help finding a doctor in your area, from your local Planned Parenthood health center.

It’s super important that you your doctor or midwife and feel comfortable talking honestly with them about what kind of pregnancy and birth you want to have. You may want to interview any health care provider that will be helping with your pregnancy, labor, and delivery ahead of time. And it’s totally okay to move on to someone new if you don’t feel comfortable.