Over the course of my search, I came across all sorts of recommendations for enhancing chances of conception. Some of them were gems of information I absorbed and even tried, others were so laughably silly! The funniest were especially for conception for specific genders. Imagine one about the male partner wearing socks during lovemaking, in order to conceive a boy, or another advising the woman to be the one to initiate sex, if they want to conceive a female child. Another classic is for the woman to sleep on the left side of her husband to produce a boy. I shake my head, even as I recall these myths.
Anyway, I have compiled a list of some of the more useful conception tips…and not gender specific, I might add! No, we won’t even go there! So…here they are:
S.M.E.P – Sperm Meets Egg Plan
I had never heard of anything like this until I stumbled on the acronym on one of the fertility boards I used to frequent. From that minute, I started seeing it everywhere. The more I read about it, the more sense it made. In a nutshell, it is a plan that enhances conception odds, with ovulation awareness and intercourse timing.So, how does it work? Starting from the 8th day of your period, you have to have sex every other day until you receive a positive result from your OPK (ovulation predictor kit). Note that you have to start testing for ovulation with your OPK from the 10th day of your cycle. Anyway, once you get this positive result, you have to have sex for three consecutive days, meaning the day of your positive result, the next day, and the day after too. After this, you skip a day, and then have the sex the day after. However, if your OPK never turns positive, have sex every other day until your period. Okay, I know some people reading this might be sniggering. I know. So did I. But guess what. IT HAS A 40% SUCCESS RATE!!!!! 40%!!! As long as you stay faithful to the plan, and have no major fertility issues, studies have shown that 40% of women will succeed on this plan. So, it’s worth a try, I’d say.
Pre-seed is a sperm friendly lubricant designed to match a woman’s vaginal fluids, providing ideal conception conditions. It is the only lubricant that is known to allow sperm freely, as other supposedly sperm friendly lubricants have been proved to impede the ability of sperm to swim in the vaginal canal.Especially for women who suffer from vaginal dryness, Pre-seed is a great solution. Even for women that don’t, it helps create an even more conducive environment for the sperm to swim to their destination. Its application could be external, or internal via applicators. The major glitch would be the application inconvenience and the break in the spontaneity of the sexual encounter. But if you’re looking for something to up your chances, this would definitely be a good try.It is easily available in leading pharmacies.
Maca is a root-like cruciferous vegetable, known to enhance fertility, primarily by supporting hormonal balance and thyroid activity. Now I have to admit that I am not very familiar with the stuff, but only got to hear about it from the numerous online communities I frequented. From what I gathered, it can be taken in the powder or capsule form. If taken as a powder, it can be sprinkled on food and drinks. I wasnât convinced enough to go look for it, so Iâm really not sure how easy it is to source locally.
Yes, I was surprised by this too! Robitussin, the cough mixture??? Whilst the jury is still out on whether this is fact or myth, there is a growing number of women who swear by it. The belief is that guaifenesin, which is Robitussin’s key ingredient, helps thin cervical mucus, making it easier for the sperm to swim. Whilst critics argue that there is no certainty that thinner cervical mucus, on its own, enhances fertility, there were enough online testimonies of women who have gotten pregnant just by including it in their conception arsenal. By using it starting from about cycle day 7 (say a week before ovulation), with the recommended dosage, of 5 women sampled, 4 of them got pregnant the month they tried. The major drawback is the associated drowsiness, but for a few days in the cycle, I would take this chance!
I am not a Robitussin success story as I decided to go assisted pretty much around the same time I first heard about it. But I would absolutely also recommend trying it.
Like Pre-seed, it is also widely available in the country.
Pregnacare Conception is from the well-known Pregnacare family, one of the leading pregnancy supplements. This one was designed for women trying to get their bodies ready for conception and contains folic acid, Vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, vitamin D, and other key conception nutrients. A close family member, who had previously been warned by her Ob/Gyn that she might suffer from premature menopause, got pregnant the very month she tried it. I tried it, and even though I did not get pregnant, I found it really helped with my PCOS symptoms, especially the water retention. On the whole, there are a number of pregnancies that have been attributed to this great prenatal.
It is widely available in the country.
There is the common belief that green tea is linked to fertility. Whilst a lot of women will swear by it, I couldn’t really find much to substantiate this. Yes, it does offer some proven health benefits, acting as an antioxidant, and protecting the body from cancer and the like. However, research hasn’t shown that it truly boosts fertility. Apart from possibly limiting one’s caffeine intake, which is always a good thing for fertility, there is little other proven fertility enhancing evidence.
Grape Fruit Juice
Grapefruit juice, in its natural form preferably, has also been credited with changing the consistency of cervical mucus, making it thinner and easier for sperm to travel. The recorded successes have been varying, with some women reporting marked changes in their cervical mucus, and others none at all. Though still touted as a myth and an old wives tale, there are enough testimonies that convince me that it is still at least worth a shot. And it costs only as much as the price of the grapefruit, so you really don’t have much to lose by trying.
This is a popular fertility enhancer for both sexes, and is a naturally rich source of amino acids, and vitamins A, C, D, E and B complex. It is produced from the glands of worker honeybees, which is located in the head of the bee. I don’t personally have any first hand information about its efficacy, or not, but a few friends of mine have accredited it with being able to conceive. According to a friend of mine, in addition to changing her lifestyle by eating healthier, cutting out pop/frizzy drinks, eating less fast food, eating more salmon and veggies, and drinking more water, she took one spoon of royal jelly between December 2011 and January 2012, and by February 2012, she was pregnant. They had been trying for a few years. Of course, it might have been her lifestyle change that enhanced her fertility, but itâs still worth a try. Royal jelly is available in leading pharmacies nationwide.
For my last IVF cycle, my spin on this was to take raw natural honey. My rationale was that honey, like royal jelly, was from bees too. I had a tablespoon twice a day that cycle (but stopped right after I had my embryo transfer). This was one of the very many things I did differently that cycle, which was a successful one.
Evening Primrose Oil
This is a much hyped fertility and hormone balancing aid for women and men as well, and is said to improve the quality of cervical mucus, making it more fertile. It is derived from the seeds of the evening primrose plant, and like other nuts and seeds, it is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Its healing properties date back to Medieval Europe, when it was called the “King’s cure-all”, because it was helpful in fighting many ailments and illnesses. It is currently still used as a remedy for eczema, high blood pressure, fertility issues and pre-menstrual syndrome. It is even used as a home remedy for women at the end of their pregnancy to help induce labor. The person I know took 1000mg every day, from the first day of her cycle till her ovulation day. In the forum I was a member of, some of the members advised that Evening Primrose Oil not be taken after ovulation, as it can cause cramps, which can then lead to early miscarriage! It is good for women who know their cycles and know when ovulation is likely to happen. Please note that this is not medically substantiated, but based on first hand information from people like you and me. But for me, I tend to lean more towards the latter, as I’d rather hear from someone who has lived and walked it, than from some man in a lab coat.
Cutting Down On Oral Sex
Sorry people, but this is a pleasure that might have to be put on the back burner when trying to conceive. The acid in our saliva is capable of killing sperm. If oral sex is performed before intercourse, saliva can actually prevent the sperm from living long enough to make it to the egg for conception. However, some medical practitioners argue against eliminating it in its entirety, stating that its impact on the sperm, though present, is slight. Fertility Expert, Zita West, instead insists that it should only be avoided in the fertile window. This, I quite agree with.