Making sure that you are in the best of health will help your body provide the optimum conditions for conceiving and nurturing a developing baby. Not all couples want to seek medical advice or have treatment to help them conceive. Some couples want to wait, at least for a while, to see if they can "give Nature time to work" and improve their chances of getting pregnant on their own.

Many experts believe that the most important thing you can do to increase your chances of conceiving is to reduce your overall stress level. Unfortunately, for many couples, trying to conceive can become a major stress in their lives. This can happen when they have become too focussed on trying to have intercourse at the "right" time, around ovulation. This can involve the use of temperature charts andovulation predictor kits to try to pinpoint ovulation, but there is no evidence that using either of these methods improves the chances of getting pregnant naturally.

Fertility experts discourage trying to time intercourse too precisely not only because it doesn't really help but also because it can dramatically increase your stress levels. Ironically, stress in either partner can affect your relationship, lower your sex drive and the knock-on effect of that is that you don't have sex as often.

If a couple is having sex, without reference to the calendar, every two or three days, then the sperm will be in the right place at the right time, regardless of what a chart or predictor kit says. Most couples actively trying for a baby and having regular sex will become pregnant within one year. If you have been trying for a year without success (or for six months if you are over 35), there may well be some clinical reason why you are not conceiving and this can be investigated.

Your doctor can rule out basic problems such as fallopian tube blockage or poor sperm production. Some diagnoses clearly require medical intervention if you're going to get pregnant and, depending on the cause of your infertility, it may well be that fertility drugs or other infertility treatments will help you conceive.As for taking anything else to try to help you conceive, there is limited evidence that herbal medicine can help, but stronger evidence to support the use of acupuncture, particularly for couples undergoing IVF or ICSI.

Some experts feel that when a couple have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, as long as they are in good health generally, doing things like taking vitamin and mineral supplements will actually have a minimal impact on their chances of conception. Getting support is a different matter. Experts agree that joining a support group or taking up offers of counselling can really pay off. Not only can it help you cope with your situation and reduce your stress levels but there is evidence that getting some sort of mind-body therapy or psychological group support can improve you chances of conception.

When you are trying to conceive, one of the best things you can do is extract yourself from the hectic pace of the modern world and make sure you have time for a quality relationship with your husband. If your sex life has become more about baby making than love making it's time to take a step back and find ways to rekindle that spark andput the joy back into your sex life. Taking the focus off your fertility may just do the trick.

-Anna McGrail
babycenter India

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