You’re trying to conceive

You’ve both decided you want to try for a baby, so what happens next?

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What you and your partner are doing

If you haven’t already, it’s good to start taking a supplement of folic acid. Scientists have found this can help with crucial early foetal development and recommend taking it even before conception. If you want to take a supplement that contains other valuable vitamins and minerals, make sure you’re taking one that’s suitable for pre-pregnancy and pregnancy.

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Men can also get in on the act – pre-pregnancy supplements for men can top up levels of zinc (which helps raise the sperm count) and vitamin E (good for encouraging those sperm to swim well).

Also, at the risk of sounding a bit like a biology lesson – hopefully you’re having lots of sex!

When is it best to have sex?

During your monthly cycle there is actually only a brief window of opportunity when you can get pregnant and that is within the 24 hours after one of your ovaries has released an egg (this is called ovulation). If you have a regular cycle, ovulation should occur in the middle of the cycle, counting the first day of your period as day one, and counting up to the last day before you next period starts to calculate the length of your monthly cycle. This is why if you have an average 28-day cycle, then you would ovulate around 14 days before your next period.

Knowing when you are ovulating isn’t always easy. Some women keep a record of their cycle, or monitor their temperature (as it goes slightly up around ovulation), but really, the best way to get pregnant is to have regular unprotected sex throughout the weeks when you are not on your period.

If you don’t have the chance to have regular sex, then aiming for the days around the middle of your monthly cycle will really help.

What’s going on in your life

If you have made a conscious decision to get pregnant then hopefully you and your partner feel the time is right for you in your relationship, but also you are both happy with where you are at in terms of where you live, your careers and your finances. As many people say, there’s never a 100% ideal time as most of us would probably like to be living somewhere bigger and have more money! However, if you feel that pregnancy and new parenthood will be manageable where you are in your lives, then that’s great.

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What to do this week

  • Share your feelings. If you haven’t already, maybe visit the TTC (trying to conceive) forums on this website. Sometimes sharing your hopes and experiences with other women in your situation – especially if you don’t want to tell your friends and family that you are trying for a baby – can really help give you the support and confidence you need.
  • If you’ve been trying for a few months. Don’t presume that you will never get pregnant – most couples without any health issues take at least six to 12 months to successfully conceive. But if you are at all concerned, think about talking to your GP, if only to put your mind at rest.

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