family & pregnancy

You are here > > Family > Parenting Tips > How to get pregnant

How to get pregnant? Just have lots of sex. Unfortunately it's not as easy as that. Even a healthy, young woman has only a 25-40% chance of conceiving during any given month. However, many women can only dream about those kind of percentages. There are many reasons why you may be struggling to conceive. Fortunately there is a cradle full of advice to help improve your chances.

How often do we need to have sex?

The more sex you have the greater chance you have of getting pregnant. This is a proven fact and dispels the myth that if a man has too much sex it can reduce his sperm count and adversely effect the chances of conceiving. So should we be having sex twice a day? In general the answer to this question is no. Studies have shown that couple having sex every day did not have higher percentage of conception than those who has sex every other day. Every second day or three times a week is a good rate to aim for.

Give yourself every chance

Fortunately, there are many changes we can make to ourselves and our lifestyles to increase our chances of getting pregnant. Some of them will be very unpopular but you have to ask yourself what is more important.

- Smoking. Research has shown that smokers are 25% less likely to conceive over a period of time than non smokers. Smoking has also been proven to lead to a higher miscarriage rate.

- Diet. A balance diet full of nutrients and vitamins will increase you chances of conceiving. You don't have to become obsessed with your food but you should try to eat as healthily as possible. You should also begin to take folic acid in order to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. These conditions can occur in the foetus at a very early stage.

- Get a full body check up. Blood pressure, weight and many medical conditions can affect your ability to conceive and also your ability to deliver a healthy baby.

- Birth control. Obviously stop taking contraceptive pills and stop using condoms, diaphragms and the like. However, you must also remember that your body may take several weeks to revert back to a normal after a period of contraceptive pills use.

- Missionary position. Having sex in the missionary position encourages the flow of semen to the uterus. Of course you can conceive in any sexual position but with a woman on top there is less chance of the sperm reaching its destination.

Don't Panic

The best advice if you are struggling to conceive is don't panic. All the information above should tell you that's it's sometimes not easy to get pregnant. Yes there are women who decide to try for a baby and fall pregnant after a week. But there are also women who take several months to hit the jackpot. You just have to stay positive, follow the advice and keep the bed squeaking. However, if you haven't conceived six months, you should see a fertility specialist, who can help you ascertain the problem and advise you on the treatments available.

Can I have IVF treatment on the NHS?

Fertility & Pregnancy


Artificial insemination
Learn about the costs, risks and probability of success from this infertility procedure.

Treatment abroad
What you need to know about having fertility treatment overseas.

Gender selection
A guide to the legal and moral aspects of choosing the sex of your baby.

Diet & Weight Loss