20 Simple + Proven Ways To Increase Your Fertility

791 people found this helpful - 25 Comments
Philip Druce

By Philip Druce, Founder of Ovulation Calculator

With only a few days out of each cycle when sexual intercourse can result in pregnancy, an unproductive attempt can feel like a major setback. So, it's natural for any couple, regardless of fertility, to want to speed up the conception process and increase fertility.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help increase fertility and boost your chances of getting pregnant sooner.

Prepare your body for fertility

Preparing your body for pregnancy will not only help you increase your fertility, it will also give you and your baby the best chances of a successful and healthy pregnancy.

1. Stop taking birth control

This may seem obvious, but it remains on our list because it is important to know when you should stop taking your birth control. Increse fertility - Stop taking birth control

If you are taking the birth control pill, your normal cycles will resume almost instantly, and you may even get pregnant as early as the cycle after you stop taking the pill.

However, if you are using a longer-term birth control method, you may need to plan ahead. For example, the birth control injection Depo-Provera can protect against pregnancy for three months, but it may take up to a year or longer to return to your normal cycle after the last shot.

2. Preconception nutrition

Before getting pregnant, you will want to ensure that your body has all the nutrients it needs. Adopting important eating habits now, such as eating well-balanced meals, will help and you and your baby on the course to a healthy pregnancy.

Increse fertility - Diet

You should aim to have three main meals a day with 2-3 snacks in between meals. This will help prevent you from getting over hungry, as it is really hard to make healthy food choices when we are ravenous. The key to avoid getting over hungry is to not let more than 4-hours pass between eating.

3. Start taking a prenatal vitamin

Not only will your baby need vitamins when you do conceive, but there are certain vitamins that may help improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Stock up on B-family vitamins and folic acid. These are necessary for your body to produce the DNA and RNA needed in early conception.

Increse fertility - Prenatal vitamins

Most women can benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement, but those who are trying to conceive should pay special attention to their levels of this essential vitamin. The skin converts the sun's rays to vitamin D, but in recent years, many of us have not be getting enough exposure to keep our vitamin D levels in a healthy range. Many know that vitamin D assists the body with calcium absorption to help build strong bones, but this vitamin is also crucial for hormone regulation.

Zinc may be the most widely-studied vitamin for its correlation with fertility in men and women, possibly because it is necessary for your body to efficiently utilize the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Selenium, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E are also important for conception.

Rather than taking a handful of pills, look for a good quality prenatal vitamin.

Get $10 off prenatal vitamins here. Enter XR6OKQSF at the checkout to save $10.

4. Get the right amount of sleep

It's important that you get 7-8 hours sleep per night. Make it a priority. Research studies show that poor sleep habits can lead to irregular periods which can make it increasingly difficult to get pregnant. Also, when we are tired we are more likely to make poor eating choices leaving our bodies without the nourishment it requires as well as often putting on weight.

Increse fertility - Get enougth sleep

Pro Sleep Tip

Studies show that night shift workers can develop irregular cycles. Consider changing your shifts if you have not been able to get pregnant.

5. Exercise

Exercise is also a great way to prepare your body for pregnancy. Not only will stronger muscles help you carry around the extra baby weight, but your body will bounce back to its pre-pregnancy shape better if you are fit when you become pregnant and continue some level of exercise throughout pregnancy.

And there is yet another bonus. Women who exercise during pregnancy tend to have more energy than those who do not. Just be sure to talk to your doctor or midwife about your exercise plans when you become pregnant.

Some exercises are not healthy for the baby, so your doctor may recommend that you try something else or switch to a modified version of your previous exercise.

6. Get your weight under control

Increse fertility - Get weight within normal range If you are over or under weight, it is time to make some dietary changes. If your body mass index (BMI) is over 24.9 or under 18.5, make an effort to get yourself to a healthier weight - especially while trying to conceive. Extremes on either end of the spectrum can impact your fertility - and not in a good way.

If you are overweight, try to adopt a healthy diet. Avoid starvation diets as these can also have a negative impact on fertility over time.

If you are under weight, you may benefit from consuming more calories in a day. Make an effort to add more healthy fats, such as nuts, coconut and avocado to your diet.

7. Cut back on the caffeine

More research needs to be done on this topic, but some studies have shown a link between caffeine consumption and the ability to conceive.

One cup of coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine, and a cup of tea contains about 50 mg. You should aim to stop caffeine completely whilst trying to conceive, or at the very least, less than 100 mg each day. That includes all sources of caffeine such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate - not just coffee.

8. Quit drinking & smoking

Drinking and smoking not only reduce the likelihood of conception, but can lead to various complications during pregnancy and may contribute to other medical problems as the child grows.

Increse fertility - Quit smoking, drinking

Smoking deprives your eggs, embryo, and fetus of essential oxygen which can hasten ovarian aging, and increase the chances of miscarriage.

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to "fetal alcohol syndrome" which can cause mental and physical birth defects and growth problems. If you want to increase your chances of conception and a healthy pregnancy, the best advice is to quit these habits as soon as possible.

Click here for more information about preparing your body for pregnancy

9. Know when you're ovulating

Since there is only a very short window of time each cycle in which you can conceive, make the most of your increased fertility by knowing when you will be ovulating.

Your fertile window begins 5 days before you ovulate, and the most fertile days are the three days leading up to, and including, ovulation day. Having sex during your most fertile days will improve your chances of conceiving within any cycle. Each cycle, your body provides clues as to when you're most fertile and when you are about to ovulate. The most common of these include:

Increse fertility - Track ovulation

For more information on how to detect ovulation with these methods and others, please see this article: The 12 Best Ways To Detect Ovulation - Signs & Symptoms

10. Go for a preconception checkup

To make sure your body is ready for pregnancy, you can also see your doctor or OB/GYN for a preconception checkup.

Let him or her know that you are about to try to conceive. Your checkup may include a physical exam and some expert advice.

Your doctor may also recommend genetic testing. This is a simple test that usually involves a saliva or blood sample from you and your partner. This test helps determine whether you are a carrier for serious inherited illnesses. While this particular test may not speed up conception, it is likely the single most important test you can have to ensure you will have a healthy baby.

11. Keep testicles cool

The testicles hang away from the body for a reason. Optimal sperm production happens in a cooler environment than the rest of the body. This is why the testicles are usually about three degrees cooler than the rest of the body. Tight underwear can force the testicles closer to the body, thus warming them up. Also, avoid hot tubs, saunas and hot baths when trying to conceive. There is no evidence that these things cause long-term harm, so you can go back to soaks in the hot tub after you have conceived.

Increse fertility - Keep testicles cool

12. Have regular sex

Sex is a hot topic when it comes to conception and fertility. When and how often to have sex are among the most common questions couples have when trying to conceive. So, what are the facts? When and how often should you have sex to increase fertility?

How having sex regularly can boost fertility

Most healthy, fertile couples are advised to have sex every two to three days during the woman's fertile window in order to boost the chances of conception.

Some experts believe that a short break in sexual activity will give the man's body time to replenish sperm. When men go for a few days without ejaculating, the number of sperm in the epididymis at the top of the testicle increases, so if you have concerns about sperm count, having sex every two to three days makes sense.

Increse fertility - Fresh sperm

An Australia IVF study found that having sex daily for a period of seven days substantially improves the genetic quality of sperm without lowering sperm count enough to impair fertility. More studies must be done on the impact of daily sex on pregnancy rates, but it is promising news for couples who are trying to conceive. The 2009 study found that the longer sperm sits in the epididymis, the more genetic damage it accumulates through heat damage and free radicals. Ejaculating regularly empties the sperm reservoir, which is why experts have recommended holding off for a few days, but it also ensures that newer, better-quality sperm can make their way to the egg.

13. Keep sex fun

"Wild and thrilling" sex is the key to conception says Professor Allan Pacey - men ejaculate around 250 million sperm but can ejaculate up to 50% more when fully stimulated. With just an extra five minutes of sex activity before ejaculation can produce up 25 million more sperm. This "additional" sperm is of a higher quality and has a greater chance of fusing with the egg. Read more of Professor Allan Pacey's Journey of Sperm

Increse fertility - Fresh sperm

14. Get the timing right

Start having sex two days before you are due to ovulate. This is your most fertile period, and your fertile period will also include the third day when you actually ovulate.

Learn the two days you need to have sex

What if our schedules only allow for sex once during a fertile cycle?

If you are limited to just one chance to make a baby during a fertile cycle, take it. If you are concerned about sperm quality, you may recommend that your partner masturbate a day or two before you try to conceive.

15. Be picky about lubricants

Saliva and several over-the-counter lubricants can actually reduce your chances of conceiving. If you are trying to get pregnant, avoid commercially available water-based lubricants and products that have spermicidal properties.

16. Sex position

Whilst there is no scientific research to back up "which sex position is best", it is believed the missionary (man on top) is best as it gives sperm the best chance of reaching the egg through the cervix due to gravity.

17. Spend more time in the sun

Is it a coincidence that many women seem to conceive on vacation? This phenomenon may be caused by a variety of things, free time included, but we cannot discount the power of the sun's rays. The body uses them to create vitamin D, which plays a role in hormone production.

Increse fertility - Vitamin D

18. Reduce stress

Reducing stress can increase ovarian activity, which may increase your fertility and chances of getting pregnant.

It's important to let go of whatever stresses you have. Here's a great example...

Let go of stress Increse fertility - Reduce stress

19. Seek professional help

Whilst we completely understand that seeing an infertility specialist is not affordable for some, it's important that you seek advice from at least your family doctor on what your next steps to take are if you are unable to get pregnant naturally after some time. It's recommended you see a Doctor after:

Increse fertility - See your doctor after TTC without success

20. Relax and enjoy the process

Once you have done everything in your power to hasten conception, it is time to sit back and enjoy the process. Enjoy this time with your partner and look forward to the family you have decided to start.

These are all tips that could help put you on the path of giving birth to your very own bundle of joy. The most important thing however is to give these tips an opportunity to work and to enjoy the process.

Confused by all the TTC Lingo? View our cheat sheet
Got a question or a comment? Post it below.

New Join the Discussion!

  1. Aurisha Aug 14, 2016
    It is best to stay focused and not to lose site of what's important. But being over the age of thirty five has got me wondering and feeling over anxious. I have to remember to keep calm and allow God to do it's work. Trying not to lose hope, keeping the faith.
    1. Christina (OC Team): It does help to have a positive attitude, and it sounds like you have that covered. Here is an article for some further inspiration. https://www.ovulationcalculator.com/infertility-inspiration/ Good luck! - (Aug 15, 2016)
  2. Nikki Aug 19, 2016
    I'm 41 and just started TTC for the past 2 months. I have been taking prenatal vitamins for 5 months and wanted to know if there are other natural vitamins I can take along with my prenatal vitamins to help me conceive.
    1. Christina (OC Team): Hi Nikki, We don't have information about other vitamins or herbs, but have a look at this article on nutrition before pregnancy https://www.ovulationcalculator.com/fertility-nutrition-diet-plans/ - (Aug 21, 2016)
  3. Christy Aug 29, 2016
    I'm 47 and my IUD fell out 2 months ago. I started having regular periods right away. I'm TTC and have been taking prenatals for 3 months. I'm eating healthy and charting with ovulation calculator. Anything else?
    1. Christina (OC Team): Tracking ovulation is the best thing you can do to increase your chances of conceiving. The calculator will give a prediction based on your cycle dates, but it will become more accurate if you also track in another way. Try charting BBT in addition to logging your data into your account. You'll find more information on that here. https://www.ovulationcalculator.com/basal-body-temperature/ - (Aug 29, 2016)
  4. Ruttical Aug 31, 2016
    Please, is it possible for a woman to ovulate whiles menstruating? Please help because I am confused.
    1. Christina (OC Team): It is unlikely, but this all depends on cycle length. With a short cycle, a woman may ovulate closer to the beginning of the cycle. - (Aug 31, 2016)
  5. Ruttical Aug 31, 2016
    OK, thanks very much.
  6. Purity Sep 04, 2016
    I had sex on my 13th day but I didn't conceive. What might be the problem?
    1. Christina (OC Team): There are two things to consider. First, it is normal for a healthy, fertile couple to take a few cycles to conceive. Second, be sure you're tracking the signs of ovulation to know exactly when you ovulate. It is a crucial component of trying to conceive. Have a look at this article https://www.ovulationcalculator.com/ovulation-symptoms-signs/ Good luck! - (Sep 04, 2016)
  7. Zama Sep 22, 2016
    My fiance and I have been trying for a baby for more than 8 months. I even used pregnicare pills but nothing. And I've been to a gynecologist before and everything was perfect. I also did an online ovulation test. What could be the problem?
    1. Christina (OC Team): I'd suggest that your fiancé get tested when he can. 50% of the time, infertility is the man's problem. https://www.ovulationcalculator.com/male-infertility/ - (Sep 23, 2016)
    2. Zama: But he does have a child from a previous relationship. - (Sep 29, 2016)
    3. Christina (OC Team): Unfortunately, previous pregnancies don't guarantee current fertility. - (Sep 29, 2016)
    4. Princess: Ok, thank you. - (Sep 29, 2016)
  8. Helen Sep 25, 2016
    I've been TTC for 8 months now. I'm 24 and my husband is 33. I don't know what to do. Any advice? Thank you.
    1. Christina (OC Team): Once you have been TTC for a year, you can talk to your doctor about fertility testing. In the meantime, be sure to track ovulation and TTC within the fertile window. - (Sep 25, 2016)
  9. Scholly Oct 13, 2016
    Are menstruation and ovulation sure signs that one is fertile? Been addicted to (eat) white clay for years, will that prevent pregnancy? For four months we have been TTC with no success.
    1. Christina (OC Team): Menstruation and ovulation are good signs of fertility, but many things can impact your chances of conceiving. Four months isn't terribly long. It can take a healthy fertile couple a few cycles to conceive. Good luck! - (Oct 14, 2016)
  10. Ana Oct 14, 2016
    We got pregnant last year in July after our second try. I was 38 and my husband 33. Unfortunately, I had a miscarriage during my 11th week. September 28th 2015, to be exact. We started trying again 3 months after that, and have been using ovulation prediction kits with no success of pregnancy . It has been a year since my miscarriage. And no pregnancy. I've had blood work done and everything is normal What should be our next step? A fertility clinic? Please help. Thank you .
    1. Christina (OC Team): I'm sorry for your loss. After a year of trying without pregnancy, you can request fertility testing. You may want to ask your doctor for recommendations. Good luck! - (Oct 14, 2016)
  11. Diamond Oct 14, 2016
    Please, I'm 27 but I and my husband have been trying for a baby for 2 years now. I do have vaginal discharge. Can it prevent pregnancy? Thanks!
    1. Christina (OC Team): Vaginal discharge could be normal cervical mucus that is present during ovulation, or it could be a sign of an infection. If you are concerned, make an appointment with your doctor. An untreated infection could have an impact on fertility. - (Oct 14, 2016)
  12. Julia Oct 17, 2016
    I'm 35 and my husband is 33. We've been trying for few years on and off. We had a miscarriage in April after 6.5 weeks. We were devastated. I've had a few procedures due to abnormal smear tests. But I have had clear results for last 8 years. Is this why?
    1. Christina (OC Team): It would depend on the specific procedures and results. Talk to your doctor about your medical history and how it may affect fertility. - (Oct 17, 2016)
  13. CLaire Oct 17, 2016
    I am 43 and my partner is 46. We are TTC and have been trying for 3 months now. We both have children from a previous relationship. I am starting to think I am too old to conceive again? Are there any statistics of 43 year-olds conceiving naturally? I'm just starting to now track my ovulation. Thanks x
    1. Christina (OC Team): The ovarian reserve decreases with age, but it's possible to conceive until menopause. Tracking ovulation is one of the best things you can do to boost your odds of conceiving. Good luck! - (Oct 17, 2016)
  14. Nikita Oct 23, 2016
    I am 30. Me and DH have been trying for 2 years and I was diagnosed with PCOS 2 months ago. I was told I would need to start clomid. I conceived the end of last month, but sadly miscarried shortly after. Is it a good sign I conceived without any fertility need? Or is it part of PCOS? How do I boost my chances naturally?
    Thank you
    1. Christina (OC Team): It's a good sign that you conceived naturally. The best thing you can do, especially with PCOS, is to be sure of when you are about to ovulate. You can use OPKs to help. Good luck! - (Oct 24, 2016)
    2. Nikita: I read that OPKs do not work when people have PCOS. I am totally confused on what to do. - (Oct 24, 2016)
    3. Christina (OC Team): They won't work if your LH levels are consistently elevated, but it's worth testing. If you always get a line in the result window, OPKs will not work for you. Otherwise, as long as you're ovulating, they can be very helpful. Good luck! - (Oct 24, 2016)
    4. Nikita: It looks positive to me, but was told that it was negative. I don't know what to do. Me and DH have been DTD every 2/3 days so am hoping that will help instead. - (Oct 25, 2016)
  15. Ng Oct 23, 2016
    I have been trying to conceive for a year now. I was used to taking a particular contraceptive for some years. My period is not even regular as the date changes every month. Could the drug be the cause of my inability to get pregnant? Please help
    1. Christina (OC Team): I don't know what drug you are referring to, but irregular cycles can make it more challenging to conceive. After a year of actively trying, you can talk to your doctor about fertility testing. Good luck! - (Oct 24, 2016)
  16. Amanda Oct 23, 2016
    I have pcos. I am 39 years old. I have been on a high strength metphormin for a long time. Any suggestions?
    1. Christina (OC Team): Have you been tracking ovulation? You can talk to your doctor about options, if you haven't already. Good luck! - (Oct 24, 2016)
    2. Amanda: I have tracked ovulation before, but I stopped trying for a while. Just started again - (Oct 24, 2016)
  17. Sha Oct 23, 2016
    I am 41 going to be 42 next year. i've been on pill for 20 years. I stopped my pills this May and have been taking clomid for 4 months now. I have 1 son and he is 18 years old now. I'm also tracking my ovulation, taking prenatals and doing ovulation testing as well. Until now, I'm not pregnant.
    1. Christina (OC Team): Have you been trying for four months? This isn't terribly long to TTC. It can take a healthy, fertile couple a few cycles to conceive. But at 41/42, you can see your doctor for fertility testing after about 6 months of actively TTC without a pregnancy. Good luck! - (Oct 24, 2016)
  18. Lulu Oct 24, 2016
    Hello - we are both 40 and have been trying to get pregnant for over a year now. My tests are ok, but my other half has a low count. We will be going back to get a bit of extra help soon I think but I feel a bit frightened about it and wanted to try and track first properly using this app. I get a bit confused with the bbt, though. I have read the article and started to add the readings. Does the app work out the rise and take this into account when predicting for you? I am feeling a bit sad as I know we are not getting any younger here and we would both so love a little one. Neither of us have had children before. Xx
    1. Christina (OC Team): Being sure of ovulation and timing is a very important part of TTC. The app is very helpful for keeping track, and the predictions can become extremely accurate over time, but I'd suggest also using a physical method of tracking to start. You can chart BBT, use OPKs and/or look for the physical signs of ovulation https://www.ovulationcalculator.com/cervix-cervical-mucus/ - (Oct 24, 2016)
  19. Mary Oct 26, 2016
    I am feeling hot in my pelvis and have gone for different tests, but no sign of any infection. Can I get pregnant with the hot flashes?
    1. Christina (OC Team): In order to know the answer, you would need to find the cause of your symptom. Good luck! - (Oct 27, 2016)
  20. Rhoda Nov 02, 2016
    I am 34. Have been married 17 month now. We being ttc. After using clomid in March this year, I missed my period in April. Then on May 27th, I started bleeding. Since then, I have been tracking my ovulation for 3 months now and am still not pregnant.
  21. DAni Nov 05, 2016
    Hello, I am 36 and my partner is 41. We have been TTC for about 6 months now. I had a birth control implant for about 2 years before that and only just started following my ovulation calendar. My parter has 3 kids from his previous relationship and I have one. My GP said that referrals to family clinic and check ups is after 12 month of trying minimum. I wonder if we follow the ovulation calendar and trying on most fertile days and still nothing happens what can be the reason? Am I just too impatient?
    1. Christina (OC Team): The Ovulation Calculator will give you an estimate of your fertile window, but you may want to use a physical method of tracking to ensure you know exactly when you ovulate. Have a look at this article https://www.ovulationcalculator.com/get-pregnant/ - (Nov 05, 2016)
  22. Onyii Dec 09, 2016
    Hi, I had my period on Dec 1st. It lasted four days and my cycle is 28 days. When will I ovulate?
  23. Chris Dec 17, 2016
    After being told I would never have a baby 20 years ago, I found out I got pregnant in February. We were really happy, but the baby was too low in the cervix and we lost the baby at 7 weeks. We have decided to try for a baby this time, but I'm nervous it won't happen again. Am I affecting my chances by over thinking?
    1. Christina (OC Team): I'm so sorry for your loss. Stress is never good for the process, so try to find some ways to relax. Good luck! - (Dec 17, 2016)
    2. Christina (OC Team): I'm so sorry for your loss. Stress is never good for the process, so try to find some ways to relax. Good luck! - (Dec 17, 2016)
  24. SSharyn Jan 09, 2017
    Hi, I am 43. My partner is 24. We have been TTC for two years. We had a loss very early last year, and since then, I've had one of my ovaries out due to a cyst. I've had lots of blood tests and a test to make sure my remaining ovary is healthy. All have come back as normal. My partner has had his sperm tested. It's all normal. I track ovulation as periods are not always there. I had a period in December, so I track from this using the app.
    My doctor has said they can help using fertility treatment, but we are still TTC naturally. Is there anything else I could be doing to help the process? We want so much to have our own family, thanks.
  25. Lexi Jan 15, 2017
    Me and my partner have been trying to concive on off for a year. Due to work and stuff, the past 6 months have been hard. I've tracked my ovulation, but I don't seem to be getting anywhere. We are both in our early twenties and are just losing hope. Any ideas on what we can do?

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