It seems there is something to having timed intercourse, as experts have found that couples who pinpoint their most fertile days had up to a 28% chance of conceiving each month.
Meanwhile, those who didn’t track their fertility had an 18% likelihood of falling pregnant per month.
However, when it comes to tracking your cycle, it seems urine tests are more reliable than cycle-tracking apps.
Couples who track fertility using urine tests are more likely to conceive
Couples hoping to conceive may now have some insight into the best method to help them know when they are ovulating.
Period-tracking apps, which predict when the ovary is most likely to release an egg, are a popular method, while some women also opt to take their temperature or monitor their cervical discharge or period dates.
But experts found urine-testing monitors, which involve women urinating onto a stick, and confirming whether ovulation is occurring, are the more successful method for couples.
2,374 women attempting to conceive naturally took part in the study, which was presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual conference.
The researchers found that urine tests appeared to help the majority of couples conceive within less than 12 months.
But they concluded there was not enough data to determine if timed sex boosted the chance of those with fertility problems.
“This update suggests a benefit of timed intercourse using urinary ovulation detection,” says Dr Gibbons, from the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health.
“However, more evidence is needed on the adverse effects of timed intercourse and its effectiveness in different groups — such as those with unexplained infertility — before clinicians are able to promote this practice.”
“Future studies should also assess the use of fertility awareness-based methods for couples trying to conceive.”
What many people don’t realise is that fertility and diet have a connection. Women who struggle to conceive may not have anything wrong with their reproductive organs, or their partner’s.
It could all come down to what they are putting in their body.
A couple is defined as having fertility problems if they are unsuccessful following 12 months of trying to conceive. This time frame is reduced to six months for women over age 35.
How to improve health and fertility and help boost your chances of conceiving
While it’s estimated that 1 in 6 couples experience problems conceiving, health and fertility matters are often not widely discussed in society.
Many studies have delved into the link between fertility and diet, and one of the main culprits of infertility is weight.
What’s more, women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome, often called PCOS, often have imbalances in their insulin levels, higher tester one levels and can be overweight.
Excess weight can disrupt the finely-tuned hormonal balance that regulates the menstrual cycle and stimulates ovulation.
By the same token, being underweight can also affect your fertility by causing hormone imbalances and problems with ovulation.
Calculating your Body Mass Index
It may sound complicated, but Body Mass Index is simply the measure of fat in one’s body based on their weight and in relation to their height.
Your BMI is calculated by measuring your weight in kilograms and dividing it by your height in metres squared. For example, if you weigh 55kg* and your height is 1.6m, then your BMI is calculated by dividing 55 by (1.6)².
By cutting out processed foods and exercising, losing 10 to 20 per cent of their body weight, pregnant women who are struggling to conceive could be helping to improve their insulin levels and inadvertently boosting their chances of falling pregnant.
“There’s definitely data to suggest that coming back to normal weight can help those problems and promote ovulation, but there is not enough data to conclude definitively that one diet helps more than another,” Dr Amanda Kallen, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive sciences at the Yale Fertility Center, tells CNN.
Other experts claim women trying to conceive should switch their low-fat milk to full fat temporarily, due to the presence of specific hormones in milk fat. But this can be tricky if you are trying to watch one’s weight.
8 ways experts claim to boost your fertility through your diet:
- Avoid fatty foods, such as fast foods that can cause unhealthy weight gain.
- Eat more protein, such as nuts and beans.
- Drink whole milk instead of skim milk.
- Reduce your coffee intake.
- Aim for a healthy BMI weight.
- Get active, both you and your partner.
- Quit smoking. Smoking is associated with miscarriage, infertility and early menopause.
- Reduce your alcohol intake, as this can affect fertility and ovulation.
Experts claim the best way to fall pregnant is to lose weight
Martha McKittrick, a registered dietitian and PCOS expert, tells CNN: “I’ve had many women who lost weight and got pregnant.”
“If a woman is overweight and trying to conceive, I try to help them lose weight. That, to me, is number one.”
It seems a healthy diet in the year prior to conceiving has been shown to improve women’s health and fertility, and it is also associated with lower rates of birth defects.
Both women and men should consume a healthy diet and exercise regularly when trying to fall pregnant,
You might also want to consider taking folate supplements and have your iodine levels checked to ensure your thyroid is functioning correctly.
The health impact pregnancy can have on you and your body is significant. So, you need to make sure you go into it as fit and healthy as possible.
Lose weight and boost your fertility with The Healthy Mummy
For some lucky women, falling pregnant is relatively effortless.
However, for others, it can be a complicated process with many hurdles along the way including multiple failed attempts and medical procedures such as IVF.
We understand the emotional rollercoaster ride many women and their partners face when trying to conceive.
Even modest weight loss has been shown to significantly improve fertility rates. If you need help getting to your optimal weight for pregnancy, why not join our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge here?