In fact, data shows that more than half of couples who are trying to conceive require six months to get pregnant, with about 85% conceiving within one year.
But remember: Once you stop using hormonal birth control, it is technically possible to get pregnant right away. So if you’re not quite ready to conceive, be prepared with use another form of contraception like condoms.
When it comes to baby-making sex and strategies for getting pregnant fast, some experts recommend avoiding certain personal lubricants (but again, no evidence suggests this is actually true). Some couples may think lube helps sperm move more quickly, but some lubricants might actually hinder your pregnancy efforts. That’s because many formulas alter the pH balance in the vagina and decrease sperm mobility. That said, conception sex should be as stress-free as possible, so reach for the lubricant if it makes things more pleasureable for you!
If you’re using OPKs, experts say that you’ll want to have sex soon after getting a positive result, and then again for the next few days to take advantage of that pre-ovulation window.
- Keep it vanilla(ish). While there’s no single sex position that’s best for conceiving, try sticking to one where you’ll be on your back when it’s over.
Step 6: Take a Pregnancy Test
Step 7: Try Again
Illustration: Emma Darvick.
As much as we may wish, there is no magic remedy for getting pregnant fast. How long it takes to get pregnant depends on many things, from your age and health history to your unique menstrual cycle and lifestyle factors. While it’s possible to conceive on your first try, most people try for several cycles before getting that positive pregnancy test.
«After you’ve been using birth control for a while, it may take your body a few cycles to start ovulating regularly and be primed for pregnancy,» Dr. Williams says. This gives you time to track your cycle and figure out when you ovulate, which is key for timing conception.
Some doctors recommend using ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) to detect ovulation. These at-home tests work by detecting a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine, which occurs about 36 to 48 hours before you ovulate. OPKs help you plan baby-making sex for when you’re the most fertile.
If you have any concerns or simply want to give yourself the best chance of conceiving quickly, don’t hesitate to make a preconception appointment with your health care provider.
If you’re tracking your cervical mucus, time baby-making sex with when you start to see fertile-quality mucus—that raw egg white consistency.
No matter how often you have sex, if you skip the most fertile days of the month, you won’t conceive. «The biggest mistake my patients make is not knowing exactly when they ovulate,» says Dr. Williams.
Step 3: Have Sex Before You Ovulate
If you’re taking birth control pills and are hoping to get pregnant fast, it may be helpful to stop taking them a few months before you start trying to conceive, and switch to a non-hormonal form of contraception instead, suggests Christopher Williams, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist in private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia, and author of The Fastest Way to Get Pregnant Naturally.
If you want to get pregnant fast, it’s important to know that having sex before you ovulate boosts the chances that there’ll be sperm around to greet the egg once it leaves the ovary. Sperm can survive in your reproductive tract for up to five days under the right conditions, but an egg only lasts for 12 to 24 hours after it’s released.
Step 5: Avoid Baby-Making Mistakes
If you’re less inclined to meticulously track fetility signs, you can start having sex at least a few times per week as soon as your period ends (every other day is even better). Getting busy regularly after your period helps ensure you won’t miss your most fertile time, especially if your cycle length varies from month to month.
The earlier you confirm a pregnancy, the sooner you can see a health care provider and start prenatal care. Home pregnancy tests work by detecting levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. Levels of this hormone, produced by the placenta, rise quickly in early pregnancy.
Step 4: Try Some Recommended Positions
If you don’t have a positive pregnancy test this time around, you’re not alone. Most experts advise seeing a fertility specialist if you don’t conceive within 12 months of trying if you’re under 35 (or after six months if you’re over 35). But that doesn’t mean that you can’t consult with a health care provider sooner.
Step 1: Stop Taking Birth Control
When it comes to the best penis-in-vagina position to get pregnant fast, it can be hard to separate real advice from myths. But Dr. Williams says the following tips may be worth a try (but keep in mind there’s no evidence they actually work):
The same advice goes for other forms of hormonal birth control, including vaginal rings, patches, intrauterine devices, and implants. However, if you are taking the Depo-Provera birth control shot, you should stop that about nine months before as it takes time to leave your system.
Now that you’ve stopped using birth control, you may be wondering, «When is the best time to try to get pregnant?» The answer is during your «fertile window,» or the days leading up to and just after ovulation.
In these cases, your body isn’t producing enough hCG yet to be detected by the test. Waiting and testing again a few days after your missed period will give more accurate results.
Other ways to track ovulation include charting your basal body temperature (BBT), monitoring your cervical mucus, and tracking your menstrual cycle.
- Lie on your back after sex. «Because the vagina naturally slopes downward, resting on your back after sex allows sperm to pool there, which gives them an edge in swimming toward your egg,» says Dr. Williams. Should you keep your legs elevated, too? It can’t hurt, he says, but it probably doesn’t help any more than lying down does.
If you’re hoping to get pregnant fast, you may wonder how soon you can take a pregnancy test. Tests marketed as «early result» or «early response» may be more sensitive at detecting lower levels of hCG, usually a few days before a missed period. Keep in mind that testing too early can yield a «false negative» result—when the test says you’re not pregnant, but you really are.
- Have sex before bed. Though some sources report that sperm count is highest in the morning, the truth is that there’s no optimal time of day to have sex in terms of sperm count. However, having sex before you hit the hay is an easy way to ensure you stay on your back afterward.
Step 2: Find Your Fertile Window
Download a PDF of this fact sheet here
Fertility Options After Vasectomy
Vasectomy is currently one of the most common methods of sterilization in the United States. After your vasectomy, if you change your mind about having children, there are two procedures that can help you have a child with your partner. The two options are: a vasectomy reversal or sperm aspiration prior to in vitro fertilization (IVF). Your doctor can help you choose which procedure is better for you and your partner based on:
- How long it has been since your vasectomy
- Your age
- The number of children you want
- The cost
- How quickly you want to conceive a child, either naturally or through IVF
What are the first steps I should take?
The first thing to do is see a urologist. A urologist is a doctor who specializes in medical care of a man’s reproductive organs. Your urologist will take your medical history and do a physical examination to make sure you have no other health issues that would affect your fertility. Your partner should also see her doctor to make sure she has no fertility issues.
What happens in a vasectomy reversal procedure?
There are two types of vasectomy reversal procedures. The procedure used depends on the area of the male reproductive tract that was blocked during your original vasectomy procedure.
- A vasovasostomy (vas-o-vay-ZOS-tuh-me) reconnects the two ends of the vas deferens. The vas deferens is a tube that transports sperm out of the testicle. You have two vasa deferentia, one each on both the right and left side of the scrotum. Each of the vasa deferentia was cut during your vasectomy to prevent sperm from mixing with semen.
- A vasoepididymostomy (vas-o-ep-ih-did-ih-MOStuh-me) reconnects the epididymis to the vas deferens. The epididymis is a coiled segment of the sperm ducts where sperm mature. This surgery is used when a vasovasostomy is not possible due to blockages caused by the vasectomy.
Your doctor will decide which procedure is better for you during the operation. Both types of vasectomy reversal may let you and your partner have a baby naturally through sexual intercourse.
How is sperm aspirated prior to an IVF cycle?
During this procedure, your doctor aspirates (gently suctions) sperm from your testicles. This procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia (with the use of numbing medication) in the office. It can also be done under general anesthesia (when you are put to sleep). A tiny needle is used to remove sperm directly from each vas deferens close to the testicle, or even directly from each testicle. Most men have some minor pain complaints after this procedure is completed. The sperm is then used to fertilize your partner’s eggs in a laboratory by using IVF. The sperm can either be aspirated the day of the IVF procedure or it can be removed in advance and frozen for a future IVF procedure. Because the quantity of sperm is small, its use for artificial insemination is not recommended. When this method is used along with IVF, it is highly successful, especially if your partner is under 35 years old. There are several other advantages to this method. It may mean that it will take less time for your partner to get pregnant and you won’t have to use birth control after a successful pregnancy. It is also a less invasive procedure for the male partner. There are some disadvantages as well. It is more expensive. If more than a single embryo is transferred, your partner may have more than one child at the same time. It is also a more invasive procedure for the female partner, and the procedure may have to be repeated if you want to have more children. Revised 2011 Fertility Options after Vasectomy-pdf Breastfeeding can have an effect on your fertility, particularly in the early months. While for some mothers this is a benefit, it can also be a source of frustration for those hoping to grow their families.
Can I get pregnant while I’m nursing?
The simple answer is that you can get pregnant while nursing. However, many moms experience a time of delayed fertility during breastfeeding. This is very common and is referred to in many places as the Lactation Amenorrhea Method (LAM) of contraception. As described in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, the Lactation Amenorrhea Method of using breastfeeding to delay fertility needs all the following to be true:
- Your periods have not returned.
- Your baby is exclusively and frequently fed from your breasts- this is especially important to remember when your little one begins sleeping through the night. It means not just that your baby does not have bottles, but also that they do not use a pacifier, in other words that all of your baby’s sucking needs are met at your breast.
- Your baby is less than 6 months old. If your little one is older and eating solid foods, your chances of ovulating and risk of pregnancy increases. Some moms will find it takes more than six months for their cycles and fertility to return, while other mothers find that their cycles and fertility return earlier than six months. It is also important to mention that after six months, there is a higher chance that you might ovulate and possibly become pregnant before your first postpartum period. If you suspect you are pregnant, you will want to check with your health care professional.
But what if I want my periods to return while I am breastfeeding?
For some mothers, the contraceptive effect of breastfeeding is a very welcome side effect, but it can be worrying and upsetting if over a year has passed since your baby was born and you still have not noticed any signs that your body is returning to being fertile. You can read more about breastfeeding and menstruation here. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding states that most breastfeeding mothers will resume their periods between 9 and 18 months after their baby’s birth. Some mothers find that once their baby starts sleeping for longer spells at night, or if they are separated in the day time (for instance through return to work outside the home) this is enough to reduce the effect that breastfeeding has on reducing estrogen levels, so that their bodies can start to menstruate again. Others find that while their baby is still nursing at all, this seems to be enough to suppress menstruation completely. It can be very hard emotionally if you feel that you are needing to choose between your future hoped for child and meeting the needs of the child currently in your arms. Some mothers like to think of this as an experience of their bodies being in tune with their babies’ needs: when our babies are feeding from us often enough to suppress our fertility, this might be because they are not yet ready to share us with a sibling.
Will breastfeeding affect my use of fertility treatments?
If you need fertility treatment such as IVF to grow your family, you may find yourself faced with some difficult choices. This is a complicated and under-researched area. Some drugs used in fertility treatment are safe to use while breastfeeding; others are not harmful to your baby but can affect your milk supply; and still others could be dangerous.1 You will need to talk carefully to your healthcare provider about the proposed plan, and weigh up the length of time you would like to continue nursing your first child for, with the timing of when you would like to begin treatment. 1https://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/ivf/ LLL Greece Article
- Food and fertility are linked. If you both stick to a healthy, balanced diet, you may be able to boost your chances of conceiving. Find out the best foods to eat for men and women who are trying for a baby.9 / 9 iStock.com / jhorrocks
Step seven: get away together
Smoking is known to reduce fertility in men and women. It’s also dangerous for your baby if you’re still smoking when you conceive. If you haven’t kicked the habit yet, why not help each other to give up using our quitting hints and tips? iStock.com / Dean Mitchell Photodisc
Step six: keep ’em cool!
5 / 9 Stock.com / maps When testicles get too hot, the sperm they produce suffers. Sitting for long periods, using laptops on laps, and working in hot environments can all affect sperm production. It’s even been suggested that tight underwear contributes to fertility issues, though there isn’t much evidence for this. If you’re hoping to be a dad, putting your laptop on a table and wearing loose-fitting boxers could make a difference.
- 1 / 9Thinkstock
Step eight: take your foot off the gas
- For some couples, trying to conceive can turn sex into more of a chore than a pleasure. If this sounds familiar, forget fertile windows for a while, and try to rekindle a date atmosphere with your partner. Who knows where a night in front of the telly might lead?
Step one: quit smoking
Step three: eat healthily
Step five: cut out booze
Step four: relax
- 8 / 96 / 9
Track your baby’s development
- Polly Logan-Banks is an experienced editor with a keen interest in producing evidence-based content. Polly is passionate about ensuring that every child gets the best start in life.
- A holiday or even a long-weekend getaway can be just what you need to relieve stress and enjoy some relaxing time together. In fact, some parents swear that their «conceptionmoon» or «procreation vacation» was the key to getting pregnant.
Step two: exercise together
4 / 9 Alcohol can harm your baby if you drink after you conceive, especially in the early weeks before you realise that you’re pregnant. Heavy drinking can also reduce fertility in men. So it’s best if both you and your partner avoid alcohol as soon as you start planning to have a baby. Try these tasty mocktails instead. 2 / 9 Thinkstock Thinkstock 7 / 9 3 / 9
- Join now to receive free weekly newsletters tracking your baby’s development and yours throughout your pregnancy.Getting fit is a great way to boost your fertility. If you’re not used to exercising, start by building more movement into your day. For example, you could try getting off the bus a stop earlier, or taking the stairs instead of the lift. You may also enjoy going to a dance class together, or taking up running.Don’t overdo it, though. Women who exercise strenuously (such as professional athletes) sometimes find that it interferes with their menstrual cycle, which can be bad for fertility. If your periods are irregular, or you have no periods at all, try cutting back to a more moderate exercise regime.As we all know, having sex is the most important thing! Although it can sometimes help to know when you’re ovulating, just having sex every two days to three days throughout the month will give you the best chance of conceiving. More baby-making tips:
- Learn how much folic acid you need to take while trying.
- Is your body ready for pregnancy? Take our quiz and find out!
- Find out how long it takes most couples to conceive.
Trying to get pregnant? Some simple lifestyle changes may help to boost your fertility as a couple. Check out these top tips.Trying to conceive can be stressful. A bit of occasional stress is perfectly normal, and shouldn’t affect your chances. However, prolonged or severe stress may make it more difficult to conceive for both men and women, so try to take it easy when you can. Give each other a soothing massage, try some deep breathing exercises, or just enjoy a fun meal out. Whatever helps you feel calm and relaxed. iStock.com / caratt
Step nine: have regular, but not regimented, sex
There are a number of reasons a person might opt to get a vasectomy, from deciding not to have any more children to never wanting children in the first place. In fact, one in every five men over the age of 35 has elected to get a vasectomy. However, some people get a vasectomy and then change their minds afterward. If you or your partner wants to get pregnant after having a vasectomy, there are some options that may be available.
What Is a Vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that severs or blocks the vas deferens, which is the tube that carries sperm from the testicles to the urethra. When successful, a vasectomy blocks the sperm from reaching the area where it combines with the seminal fluid to create semen, which is eventually ejaculated. “With a vasectomy, you are not stopping the production of the sperm,” explains Michael Werner, MD, medical director and founder of Maze Sexual & Reproductive Health based in New York City and Purchase, New York. “You are stopping the delivery of the sperm when [a person] ejaculates.” There are two techniques commonly used to reach the vas deferens: the conventional incisional method, and the no-scalpel version. The conventional incision method involves small incisions made in the scrotum so the surgeon can reach the vas deferens. By comparison, the no-scalpel version entails making a tiny puncture hole in the scrotal sac. Research suggests the no-scalpel method takes less operating time and can reduce adverse events like bleeding and bruising, as well as infection, hematoma, and pain. At least one study found that people who underwent a no-scalpel vasectomy were able to return to sexual activity more quickly, too. But this method also requires more training than the conventional method, so it’s important to find out if your doctor is prepared to offer it. Dr. Werner favors the no-scalpel vasectomy because it’s less invasive and results in less post-operative pain. However, your healthcare provider can help you or your partner determine which procedure is best for you.
Chances of Getting Pregnant Naturally if Your Partner Had a Vasectomy
There’s a reason that experts often refer to vasectomies as “permanent birth control.” Generally speaking, vasectomies are very effective and essentially function as male sterilization. As long as the vasectomy is successful, the chances that a partner will get pregnant are very low. According to the American Urological Association, the risk of pregnancy after vasectomy is about one in 2000. So getting pregnant without additional intervention is not very common afterward, according to Paul Gittens, MD, a urologist and founder of the Centers for Sexual Medicine in Philadelphia and New York City. However, it can still happen. How effective is a vasectomy in preventing pregnancy compared to popular types of birth control? The numbers look good when you consider that about nine out of 100 women get pregnant in a year when using a birth control pill or a patch, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The numbers look even better when you learn that 18 out of 100 women whose male partners use condoms may get pregnant in a typical year. However, less than one out of 100 women will get pregnant when using an intrauterine device (IUD) as contraception for a year.
Ways to Conceive After a Vasectomy
If you want to conceive after you or your partner has undergone a vasectomy, there are two options: getting a vasectomy reversal, or using assisted reproductive technology procedures like in vitro fertilization (IVF). A vasectomy reversal, also known as a vasovasostomy, attempts to reconnect the vas deferens
restoring the flow of sperm once again. Vasectomy reversals are possible, and some are successful, but many aren’t. Dr. Gittens suggests choosing a physician who has special training in vasectomy reversals to perform the procedure, as they are more complicated than vasectomies themselves. While vasovasostomies can be done, the chances of a successful one and a subsequent pregnancy decline over time. The success rate for a vasectomy reversal is around 75% within three years of the vasectomy. It drops to 55% between four and eight years—and again to about 40 to 45% at the nine-year mark. Some people might choose to get a vasectomy as a form of birth control with the intention of reversing it down the line. Dr. Gittens recommends against this, in the event that the vasovasostomy is not successful. “The patient should go into [a vasectomy] with the (idea that) this is a permanent form of birth control,” he says. If a vasectomy reversal isn’t possible, is not effective, or is simply not the best option for you or your partner, you might consider IVF or another form of assisted reproductive technology. “Before you do a vasectomy reversal, it’s really important that the woman be evaluated,” adds Dr. Werner. Basically you want to explore all your options and rule out other potential factors that might inhibit your or your partner’s ability to get pregnant. For example, you’d want to rule out ovulation problems, which is a leading cause of infertility. That could include polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or primary ovarian insufficiency (POI).
How to Avoid Conceiving After a Vasectomy
Vasectomies are nearly 100% effective at preventing pregnancy. However, they don’t begin working immediately after the procedure. “The next week after [the vasectomy], they could still get their partner pregnant,” says Dr. Gittens. He typically recommends that people abstain from sex altogether for about one week post-vasectomy, and then use protection until they can get a post-vasectomy semen analysis (PVSA). A PVSA checks to see if there are any sperm in semen. Some studies have recommended waiting until three months after a vasectomy to do the first analysis, while the American Urological Association suggests that a PVSA can be performed between eight and 16 weeks after the procedure. If the analysis indicates that the semen sample contained any motile sperm or more than 100,000 immotile sperm, your healthcare provider may request another sample for analysis—and caution you and/or your partner to continue using another form of contraception until the results are back.
A Word From Verywell
When performed successfully, a vasectomy is a very effective way to prevent pregnancy. But if you and your partner change your minds and decide that you want to conceive after all, there are a couple of options to consider, such as a vasovasostomy or assisted reproductive technology. Talk to a urologist, a reproductive endocrinologist, or your healthcare provider to begin charting a path forward. The simple answer is yes, but it’s a little bit more complicated than that. In this post, we’ll unpack fertility while nursing, the chances of getting pregnant while breastfeeding, and how tracking your temperature holds the key to your fertility. Get comfy, grab a coffee, and join us as we answer ‘can you get pregnant while breastfeeding?’ This article is also available in Spanish.
How soon can you get pregnant after giving birth while breastfeeding?
If you’re not breastfeeding, you can get pregnant again as soon as three weeks after giving birth. However, a review of studies in 2011 found that most women did not ovulate until six weeks after giving birth, this is different if you choose to breastfeed. If you are exclusively breastfeeding (i.e. feeding your baby only breast milk) this can work as a method of birth control for up to six months after giving birth. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to know when that first ovulation is going to arrive — you might not know it’s happened until you get your first period after pregnancy, by which point you’ve already been fertile. There are a couple of options available to help you detect ovulation. LH tests can detect a surge in hormones before ovulation, while taking your basal body temperature can confirm ovulation has happened.
Do I ovulate while breastfeeding?
You’re extremely unlikely to ovulate in the first weeks after giving birth, and if you are only feeding your baby breast milk then ovulation is likely to be delayed further. Of course, if you’re not ovulating, then you can’t get pregnant. However, since the signs of ovulation are extremely subtle, you likely won’t be able to tell when it’s coming and prepare for it. You should get the opportunity to get contraceptive counseling with your doctor both before and after the birth of your baby. This is a good time to consider your birth control options and ask questions as you might want to try a different method of birth control than what you’ve used previously.
Chances of getting pregnant while breastfeeding
If used perfectly, breastfeeding as a birth control can be as much as 98% effective. This means you are only giving your baby breast milk, and only for the first six months. After this time the chances of becoming pregnant will increase. Of course, this varies from woman to woman, and while for some it might take a longer time for ovulation to resume, once it does there is a risk you might get pregnant. If we look at birth control effectiveness, and take couples who have regular sex without using any protection there is an 85% chance they will fall pregnant within a year. Again, if you are breastfeeding exclusively, then ovulation is likely to be halted for the first months after giving birth and you can rely on breastfeeding as contraception during this time.
Pregnant while breastfeeding symptoms
The symptoms of early pregnancy can be hard to detect at the best of times, but if you’re looking after a little one and you’re having irregular cycles, it might be extra hard to detect a pregnancy. However, some symptoms of becoming pregnant while breastfeeding include:
- Missed/late period
- Sore breasts
The symptoms of early pregnancy are also very similar to those of PMS, so it can be a little confusing — especially if you have been experiencing irregular cycles after giving birth. If you’re in doubt, take a pregnancy test and consult with your doctor if you still have concerns.
Birth control and breastfeeding
You can use both hormonal and non-hormonal birth control while breastfeeding. However, for the first three weeks after giving birth you should avoid birth control containing the hormone estrogen. You might want to try a non-hormonal birth control method post-pregnancy — or if the pill has always worked for you, you might reach for the packet again. Either way, it’s a good time to have a discussion about the available methods with a healthcare professional.
Using Natural Cycles while breastfeeding
Natural Cycles is an FDA Cleared app and thermometer that helps you understand your own personal fertile window. Natural Cycles has three modes that adapt to your unique fertility journey: NC° Birth Control, NC° Plan Pregnancy and NC° Follow Pregnancy. Regardless of whether or not you choose to breastfeed, we recommend you start using Natural Cycles once you get your first period after giving birth. You can use Natural Cycles earlier, but keep in mind that until your first ovulation has been detected, NC° Birth Control will give you only red days. We hope you’ve learned lots about breastfeeding, preventing pregnancy, and when you’re likely to ovulate again after giving birth. There’s lots more to learn about your body and whether you’re looking to plan or prevent pregnancy, Natural Cycles is a great tool that gives you personal insights into your own cycle. Are you ready to take control of your fertility?
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