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Is there anything my husband and I can do to help 'conceive' without using medications?

By January 6, 2009 - 10:04am
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My husband and I have been trying to conceive for a few months now with out luck. We are both in our 30s, so we know that it can be more difficult to get pregnant at this stage in life. Is there anything we can do to help the process along? I've read that timing and positioning can make a difference, but I cannot find any details.

Thank you.

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You're very welcome, MissManagement, and be sure to come back and let us know what happens in the meantime, and when you're successful!!!

January 8, 2009 - 10:04am

thank you all for the great responses!

January 7, 2009 - 10:02am

I think Diane P did a great job covering most of the key points. I will take time to read Shannon's article. Just a couple of things to consider

1. Sperm count testing for your husband to ensure he is producing sufficient male reproductive cells in the semen. If the results come back low, there is a great natural product called Maca that both of you can start taking. Here is an article by Dr Ray Sahelian who has gather data on this plant and men fertility. http://www.raysahelian.com/sperm.html

2. I know of two women who could not concieved and both went to an acupunturist who knew how to unblock the respective meridian (energy point) that is linked with conception/pregnancy. In both cases, these ladies got pregnant within a month. I am sharing an article from 2005 that appeared in the LA Times about this practice. http://articles.latimes.com/2005/jul/04/health/he-acupunc4

And here is a very recent article that appeared in Living Health publication showing more supportive evidence to try acupuncture.


Best of luck!

January 6, 2009 - 10:07pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi MissManagement,

When my husband and I were trying to conceive we were told that it was best to have intercourse during ovulation. To ensure I wasn't missing my window of opportunity, I used ovulation sticks a.k.a. ovulation prediction kit to help me out.

Hope this helps you guys!

January 6, 2009 - 9:05pm


I wrote an article on infertility for EmpowHer.com a few months ago you may find useful. In "Knowledge Key In Overcoming Infertility," you can learn many of the reasons infertility occurs that may relate to yourself and your husband. Hope this is helpful!


January 6, 2009 - 1:04pm

Hi, MissManagement,

So glad you wrote. Trying to conceive can be a joyful -- and then a maddening -- thing. Once we make that decision that we're ready to welcome a new baby into our lives, it's very frustrating when it doesn't happen.

First, don't be too discouraged. A couple is described as having an infertility problem when they've tried to conceive for a year without results. You say you've been trying for a few months; sometimes it just takes a while. But because you're both in your 30s, it's good to get more information and do all you can do to enhance your chances.

First, are your cycles regular?
Do you and your husband use a lubricant, and if so, are you sure it's a sperm-friendly one?
Have you heard of basal body temperature, or basal thermometers?
Have you tried over-the-counter ovulation tests?
Do either of you smoke? Do you drink a lot of caffeine? Alcohol?
Do you (and/or your husband) have a stressful life? Do you get good nutrition, vitamins, and exercise?

All of these things can have some effect on a couple's natural fertility. Here's an overview from the Mayo Clinic:


Timing is very important. In a "regular" 28-day cycle, you ovulate around day 12-14, and have about a 24-48 hour window to get pregnant. Right before you ovulate, you have a surge of hormones that tells your body to release the egg. That hormone release is what over-the-counter ovulation predictor kits measure. Also, your cervical mucus will change a bit, taking on a clear consistency similar to egg whites, and your basal body temperature -- the temperature you register when you just wake up in the morning, even before you get out of bed -- jumps a bit, which lets you know that it's time to try.

Here's a good explainer on how ovulation occurs, with a calculator to help you figure out yours:


A basal thermometer is different from a regular thermometer. It has larger marks that are farther apart, which give you the ability to see even a tiny jump in temperature. By taking your basal temperature before you get out of bed in the morning, and by keeping a chart over a period of a few months, you'll get very good at predicting just when you're ovulating. Here are two good BBT explainers; the first one has a BBT chart you can download:



In terms of position, what you're trying to accomplish is for the sperm to be deposited as close to the opening of your cervix as possible. There's a lot of disagreement over whether positions actually affect fertility; generally, a determined sperm can conquer an Olympic-like obstacle course on its way to an egg! But there is some agreement that positions where the woman is on her back, perhaps with her pelvis tilted up slightly, are the most conducive. Here's a page that discusses this:


Here's a good article by the Cleveland Clinic on stress and infertility:


And if you scroll down on this page, you'll see a list of common vitamin and herbal supplements and how they help with fertility:


In short, there's a lot you can do naturally, without medicine. Charting your basal body temperature and learning the changes in your cervical mucus may be all you need. On the other hand, if you are not successful with these methods after a few months, you may want to go ahead and consult a fertility expert. It's good to find out if there may be other issues at hand -- sperm motility, for instance, or a blocked fallopian tube.

Write back if you have more questions, or specifics that might change the kind of research we can do for you. I wish you well!!!

January 6, 2009 - 11:09am

Not yet. We're going to wait a bit longer to be sure there isn't a problem. I've only been off of birth control for about 3 months now.

January 6, 2009 - 10:50am

Have you talked to your OB/GYN yet about your issue?

January 6, 2009 - 10:47am
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