Our lovely community expert, Kate Davies, once again shared a very informative video and gave her tips on getting pregnant naturally. We have posted this on our community and on our YouTube channel. Here’s the transcript of the video:
Hello, my name is Kate, and I’m an independent fertility nurse consultant. I’m going to talk to you about my four top tips to boost your fertility when you’re trying to conceive naturally.
Get really empowered with your body and your menstrual cycle
The first one is to get really empowered with your body and your menstrual cycle. Learn as much as you possibly can, and importantly, understand when you’re ovulating. Once you know when you’re ovulating, then you’re doing all you can to maximise each month. So a lot of ladies might choose to use ovulation predictor kits. And whilst they can be useful, they can be quite expensive, and they can be quite time-consuming. I do find that they can often be overwhelming. So my preferred method is to observe the natural fertility indicators that are in your body.
You might have heard of some of them, but maybe not all. The first one is your temperature. So your temperature changes throughout your cycle, and it is a result of progesterone in the body. By taking your temperature every morning at around the same time, before you sit up, before you have a cup of tea, before you do anything, then you can chart that on an app. There are lots of apps that you can chart it on now. That starts to show you what your body is doing.
You’ll notice halfway through the month or just as you ovulate. You’ll have a rise in temperature. And that temperature indicates that ovulation has occurred. That temperature then stays elevated and will stay elevated if you conceive. However, it will drop down if you don’t conceive in that cycle just prior to your period. So that’s your first natural indicator.
Now, on its own, that’s useful, but it’s telling you when you’ve already ovulated. It’s not telling you when you’re about to ovulate. So if you put that with another fertility indicator that tells you when you’re about to ovulate, then this can give you so much more information. So this indicator is your cervical mucus. Your cervical mucus changes throughout the month as your temperature does.
At the beginning of the month, when you’ve got a bleed, you probably don’t notice any cervical mucus. But as your estrogen levels start to increase, it starts to increase your estrogen in the bloodstream. Therefore your cervical mucus starts to build up. And you might notice that initially, it’s perhaps thick white clumpy, and then eventually, as you near ovulation, it transitions to a silky smooth light, clearer and more profuse secretion. A lot of people call that egg white because it looks a little bit like egg white.
This information is gold dust. This is your body telling you you are either ovulating or about to ovulate. So you look for that, and you notice that you can maximise sex around that time also. Then when you can notice that your temperature has risen, that then confirms ovulation has occurred. So that’s two indicators.
The third indicator is slightly more difficult to understand and get to grips with. Not every woman feels comfortable doing this one. But this is the position of your cervix the position of your cervix changes throughout your cycle, just like the other two indicators. What happens is when you are not fertile at the beginning of a cycle, and after ovulation, when you’re no longer fertile, and your cervix is quite low in the vagina, quite easy to feel, and it feels like the end of your nose. As you become more fertile, your cervix moves up in your vagina, so it’s more difficult to feel, and it transitions to feel like your ear lobes. That goes from that to that.
It’s worth getting to know your body, understanding more about your fertility, to see whether that information helps you identify ovulation. So I really would recommend giving that a go.
Have regular sex
My second tip is to have regular sex. Now, I know that might sound really obvious, but so many of my patients come to me, and they’re just not having enough sex. The recommendations are that you have sex every two to three days throughout the cycle. I know we talked about observing your natural opportunity indicators and then perhaps maximising sexual intercourse around that time, which is absolutely you can do. But it’s also important to make sure that you’re having lots of sex throughout the cycle.
There are a number of different reasons for this. Number one, if you’re having regular sex, then you’ve got really good, fresh, healthy sperm for the time of ovulation, rather than old sperm that’s been sitting around in the testes for a few days or weeks. So that’s one thing to remember.
The second thing is some research a couple of years ago showed us that actually, the uterus is reminded that sperm isn’t a foreign body if you’re having regular sex, and therefore it’s a more accepting environment for sperm. So that’s just an important thing to remember.
The third thing is when you’re trying to conceive; sometimes, sex can start to become quite difficult. It can become more mature because it’s all about making a baby rather than the reason why the two of you fell in love with each other in the first place. It’s important for a good relationship to maintain that regularity of sex. So it’s not just about trying to conceive, but it’s intimacy because the two of you love each other.
My third tip is all about nutrition. We are what we eat, and I think we underestimate the importance of what we put into our bodies and how that can impact our fertility. It’s really important to have a good, healthy diet for both of you. So lots of really good fruit and veg.
I always talk about eating the rainbow, so all different colours of fruit and veg, not just sticking to the same fruit and veg throughout the cycle, so lots of different fruits and veg. And then you’re going to get all the nutrients that you need. Having good protein sources from either meat, chicken, or fish, or if you’re vegetarian sourcing or vegan sourcing. Good protein sources from elsewhere. Making sure that you keep those refined carbohydrates, the sugars, the biscuits, the cakes, the white pasta, and the white rice to a minimum and perhaps switch to whole grains.
Whole grains are super important when it comes to fertility. So whilst you might Google a fertility diet and probably come up with 150 different answers, research shows us there is no one particular fertility diet apart from a Mediterranean-style diet. So has all those healthy things I’ve talked about, fruit and veg, good protein sources, keeping the refined carbohydrates low, omega three, all of those really, really good things. Think about Greece on a plate, and then you’ve got your great Mediterranean diet. It seems to be the best one for fertility.
My fourth piece of advice place and probably one of the most important things is to stop smoking. This is really important for both of you, particularly as well as for men, because we do know that sperm can be destroyed by smoking.
The good news is that men can, when they stop smoking, can help improve sperm. So that’s important. By making those lifestyle changes for women. We also know that it impacts ovary health and egg health. So not smoking and stopping smoking if you can, is going to really help. And the same is for vaping. Although we don’t have so much evidence for that yet, we are aware that there’s probably an impact on sperm health, particularly due to the toxins that are in the vape. So that would be my top tip is to stop smoking and, equally don’t vape.
Are you also trying to conceive naturally? Tell us about it in the comments, or join our free Hoopsy Community to hear thoughts from other women on the same journey.