Top Fertility Tips

12 top fertility tips from our experts

12 top fertility tips from our experts

Tip 1 - Prepare the body for pregnancy

Dr Matthew Prior, Fertility Consultant

“When people start trying to conceive, they often forget the importance of preparing their body for pregnancy. The run up to Christmas can make it a little difficult to plan some positive lifestyle changes, set yourself achievable goals and take some positive action on your fertility journey.”

As Dr Matthew Prior suggested, there are lots of ways you can help prepare the body for pregnancy, we have written our ‘Couple’s guide to getting pregnant’ to help you get ‘baby body’ ready. Even if you have already started trying to conceive, any positive lifestyle changes you make will only support you on your fertility journey. It is important to note that it is not only women that need to prepare their bodies for pregnancy, but men do too, the earlier you start preparing your body the better!

Tip 2 - It’s all about the timing - understand your cycle

Kate Davies, Fertility Nurse Consultant

“When it comes to trying to conceive, it is all about the timing! Take some time to learn about your cycle and when is the best time to have sex, you can also use products to help you along your way, such as ovulation tests and fertility monitors.”

A woman is only fertile for around 6 days per her cycle, pinpointing your ovulation can help you to ensure you are having sex when you are most likely to conceive. The NHS guidelines are to have sex every 2-3 days to make sure you are having sex in your fertile window. Some people prefer to use ovulation tests or fertility monitors to help them predict when they are fertile. If you would like to learn more about predicting your fertile window, read our ‘Signs of Ovulation’ blog. We have also written ‘Our guide to ovulation tests’ to help you choose which ovulation tests best suits your needs.

Tip 3 - Have a sexual health check-up

Dr Matthew Prior, Fertility Consultant

“Although it can be uncomfortable for some, if you are trying to conceive (TTC), planning on TTC or are sexually active in any way, you should go for a sexual health check-up. STI’s can negatively impact your fertility and even be passed on to the baby during labour. Even if you have been with your partner for a while, it’s still important to get checked.”

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) can affect fertility. Lots of STI’s are left untreated as they may not present any symptoms, it is very important that you keep on top of your sexual health checks. You can find your local sexual health clinic on the NHS website.

Tip 4 - Take time out to relax and focus on self-care

Kate Davies, Fertility Nurse Consultant

“It is so important to look after your physical and mental well-being when you are trying to conceive. I know it is difficult, but try to prioritise self-care, schedule it into your diary and make it happen. Wake up and ask yourself ‘what am I doing for me today?’”

As important as it is to look after your physical health when trying to conceive, you must remember to take care of your mental health too. This can mean different things to everyone, some prefer to schedule in some time for self-care, others like to discuss how they are feeling with a friend, family member or a professional. Self-care looks different for everyone, it can be a long walk, a bath, yoga or simply switching off your phone for an hour. If you are unsure on how to manage your anxieties while trying to conceive, we have written a ‘Managing stress and anxiety’ blog, to offer support and guidance on your journey.

Sometimes, it can be reassuring to talk through your fertility journey with an expert, who can offer guidance and medical advice on the best next steps to take on your fertility journey. If you have been considering talking to someone, our Fertility Nurse Kate Davies is offering a FREE 10-minute video chat to help you understand which service would best suit your needs. Unfortunately, Kate is not able to give personalised medical advice within a 10-minute video chat.

Tip 5 - Don’t be too hard on yourself

Kate Pleace, Fertility Nurse

“Fertility journeys can be tough, try to remove the pressure and be kind to yourself. Reach out and speak to someone if it is becoming too much.”

Around Christmas when the focus is on children and family dealing with your fertility journey can be hard. If you are apprehensive about the upcoming Christmas holidays, we have written a ‘Managing Christmas when TTC’ blog to help support you.

Tip 6 - Educate yourself on your fertility

Kate Pleace, Fertility Nurse

“We spend our whole lives being taught how to avoid getting pregnant, which means when the time comes to start trying, we often don’t know where to start. If you are lucky enough to have a little bit more time off at Christmas, why not use this time to learn more about fertility and the steps you can take to ready yourself for pregnancy.”

There is so much information available, it is difficult to know what you should be doing when trying to conceive. This is why we created jargon-free fertility information in our fertility hub. We have a range of blogs, guides and video series to keep you entertained during the Christmas break, why not delve in? Visit our ‘male fertility hub’ and ‘female fertility hub’ to learn more.

For medical fertility advice that is tailored to you why not to book a video consultation with one of our fertility experts and explore your own fertility further. Our clinicians provide you with a personalised action plan, which can include positive lifestyle changes, medical advice, fertility testing and prescriptions if required. Please note, only our doctors can prescribe.

Tip 7 - Understand where you are in your fertility journey

Dr Matthew Prior, Fertility Consultant

“Understanding your baseline is a great way to know which next steps to take on your fertility journey. You can start to learn more about your fertility through fertility testing, which can be done at home or through a fertility clinic like Dr Fertility.”

Home fertility testing does not replace tests carried out by a doctor, but they can be a great starting place to learn more about your fertility potential. We offer a broad range of home fertility tests for men and for women.

Our fertility experts can offer more advanced fertility testing from the comfort of your own home through our online fertility clinic.

Tip 8 - Take time out from your social calendar

Kate Davies, Fertility Nurse Consultant

“Although we are not socialising as much as we may usually at this time of year, it is important to remember you can say ‘no’ to online events or dinners (whatever social scene your tier allows). Take time out from the festivities to focus on yourself.”

Whether it is Christmas time or not, it is important to take time out when you need it. You may feel as if you are letting people down, but you must remember that you are the priority. It can help to speak to your friends or family and explain how you are feeling to receive extra support.

Tip 9 - Delve into the wonderful world of fertility products

Kate Pleace, Fertility Nurse

“There are lots of fertility products you can use to support you on your fertility journey. If you haven’t already, why not explore your options.”

As Kate mentioned, there are a wide range of products which can be used on your fertility journey:

  • Pregnancy tests are a TTC must-have but if you are unsure of which test is best for you, we have written ‘Our guide to pregnancy tests’ to help you decide
  • Vitamins and supplements help prepare your body for pregnancy
  • Ovulation tests can be useful to help identify your fertility window. We have also written ‘Our guide to ovulation tests’ to help you decide
  • Fertility monitors can predict your fertile window, tell you when to test, record your cycle dates and some can also test for pregnancy
  • Fertility lubricants provide a sperm-friendly environment for your swimmers
  • Home fertility testing can help you to learn more about your fertility potential

Visit www.drfertility.co.uk to learn about our range of fertility products, through our ‘what we love’, ‘any drawbacks?’ and ‘is this product right for you?’ sections on our product pages.

Tip 10 - Get realistic - understand the chances of getting pregnant each month

Dr Matthew Prior, Fertility Consultant

“A lot of people have unrealistic expectations of how long it will take to get pregnant, which can often lead them to worry. It is useful to know that it is completely normal for it to take up to a year to conceive.”

According the NHS, about 84% of couples will conceive naturally within a year if they have regular unprotected sex (every 2 or 3 days). It's a good idea to see a GP if you have not conceived after a year of trying. Women aged 36 and over, and anyone who's already aware they may have fertility problems, should see their GP sooner.

Tip 11 - Men need to learn about their fertility too!

Kate Davies, Fertility Nurse Consultant

“Fertility is often seen as a woman’s issue; we need to change the narrative! Problems with sperm are a factor in around 1 in 3 couples that have trouble conceiving. Gents, it’s important that you learn about your fertility too!”

Want to learn more about sperm? We have created our #spermbanter video series with Professor Allan Pacey to discuss all things relating to sperm health. Topics include:

  1. How sperm are made 
  2. What 3 things make sperm more fertile? 
  3. How long can sperm live inside the female body? 
  4. How often should you have sex when trying for a baby? 
  5. Are sperm counts declining? 
  6. What 5 factors affect sperm quality? 
  7. Does alcohol affect sperm? 
  8. The impact of weight on male fertility 
  9. Do protein shakes and anabolic steroids affect sperm? 
  10. Can sexually transmitted diseases affect male fertility? 
  11. Does age affect male fertility? 
  12. Does smoking affect sperm? 
  13. Do home sperm test kits work? 
  14. How is a sperm test done? 
  15. How do sperm banks work? 
  16. Retrograde ejaculation and pregnancy?  
  17. Why don't I have any sperm? 
  18. Does chemotherapy affect sperm? 
  19. How do genetics, illness and infection affect sperm? 

                                        Tip 12 - You are not alone - Don’t be afraid to reach out for help 

                                        Kate Davies, Fertility Nurse Consultant 

                                        “Fertility journeys can often be quite lonely, do not be afraid to reach out for help. Some people like to gain reassurance from a fertility expert or speak to a friend or family member. It is important to remember you are not alone and help is out there should you need it. 

                                        We know that fertility journeys can be difficult, especially if you feel you have no one to talk to. Whether you are at the beginning of your fertility journey, or have been trying for a while, help is out there. Dr Fertility provides fertility education, products, and online service to support you throughout your fertility journey.  

                                        video consultation with one of our experts can provide re-assurance, guidance, and a personalised fertility action plan, which can include positive lifestyle changes, fertility testing, referrals and prescriptions if required. Please note, only our doctors can prescribe. To learn more or book an appointment visit: https://support.drfertility.co.uk/ 

                                        A little more about our services… 

                                        At Dr Fertility we are passionate about supporting you on your fertility journey, whoever you are and whatever stage you are at.   

                                        • Our fertility experts can support you however long you have been trying to conceive 
                                        • Our NHS trained doctors and nurse all specialise in fertility 
                                        • There are no waiting lists or stuffy waiting rooms 
                                        • Our appointments are 45-60 minutes long, so you won’t feel rushed  

                                         Our experts can provide you with: 

                                        • Tailored medical advice and a personalised fertility action plan  
                                        • Male and female fertility blood tests 
                                        • A prescription*if required
                                        • Reassurance and guidance on your next steps 
                                        • Advice on specific fertility concerns such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, miscarriage, secondary infertility 
                                        • Support to make positive lifestyle changes, understand cycle tracking and prepare your body for pregnancy 

                                        We are also launching our fertility coaching services in January.  Fertility coaching is designed to help you deal with the emotional effects of your fertility journey, so you feel happier, supported and emotionally stronger whilst trying to conceive.  

                                        If you want to find out more about how our fertility experts could support you on your path to parenthood, check out our online fertility video consultations and book an appointment with a clinician of your choice at a time that suits you. 

                                        Disclaimer

                                        You must be over 18 years old to use our service. Dr Fertility’s services are not to be used for any diagnosis or treatment that may require a physical examination or in a medical emergency. If you have a medical emergency, you must immediately call 999 or NHS 111. Dr Fertility does not offer assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF. Our fertility consultation services are paid for private healthcare services that are separate from any NHS treatments that you are currently having or may have in the future. All additional testing comes at an added price.

                                        *Only our doctors can prescribe. 

                                         

                                        References 

                                        1) Wilcox AJ, Dunson D, Baird DD. The timing of the "fertile window" in the menstrual cycle: day specific estimates from a prospective study. BMJ. 2000;321(7271):1259-1262.  

                                        2) NHS Best time to get pregnant [online] Accessed 08.12.2020: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/how-can-i-increase-my-chances-of-getting-pregnant/ 

                                        3) NHS Infertility [online] Accessed 08.12.2020: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/infertility/ 

                                        4) NHS low sperm count [online] Accessed 8.12.2020: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/low-sperm-count/ 

                                         

                                        Written on: 15/12/2020 Next reviewed: 15/12/2023