Trying for a baby – Do's and don'ts


What can I do to improve my chances of becoming pregnant?

  • A healthy body and mind improves your chance of getting pregnant. Start taking preconceptional vitamins (folic acid) before you plan a pregnancy. This will help reduce the chance of birth defects.
  • Stop smoking and use of alcohol. Avoid excessive caffeine (caffeine is present in tea, coffee and chocolate).
  • If you have not been immunised against rubella – see your doctor and get vaccinated.
  • An optimal body weight will improve your chances of getting pregnant and a good pregnancy outcome. A BMI between 19 and 25 is optimal. Your BMI is
  • If you have any medical problems like high blood pressure or diabetes, make sure that they are well controlled before trying for pregnancy. Talk to a doctor if there is a genetic problem in your family.
  • The best time for a woman to become pregnant is before she turns 35. The chances of becoming pregnant become less with every passing year after this age. The risks of problems occurring during pregnancy also increase with advancing age.
  • Stress can affect your chances of becoming pregnant directly and also by reducing your desire to have sex.

What is the fertile period?

Ovulation occurs approximately two weeks before the first day of your period. A woman who has menses every 28 days will ovulate on the 14th day of her cycle. A woman who has periods every 32 days will ovulate on the 18th day of her cycle. Since the day you ovulate might change, it helps if you have sex from a week before to a week after the expected day of ovulation. Timing sex with the date of ovulation can be sometimes stressful and having regular intercourse throughout the month is desirable.

How often should I have sex?

Having sex every two to three days is optimal if you are trying for a pregnancy. Avoiding sex for a long period can decrease the sperm quality.

Is there any position during sex which might help me get pregnant?

Sperm from semen released into the vagina reaches the fallopian tubes within minutes regardless of position during sex. There is no evidence that sexual position, orgasm or lying down for a prolonged period increases the chance of becoming pregnant. Avoid lubricants during sex as it might damage sperms.

Is there something my husband can do to improve my chances?

A man who is obese, who smokes and drinks excessively is less likely to father a child. Maintaining a normal body weight, smoking cessation and reducing alcohol intake will help. A diet rich in anti-oxidants (fresh fruits and vegetables) or taking a multivitamin will help improve sperm quality. There is some evidence that using tight underwear and using laptops on your lap for long periods might worsen sperm quality.