If you’re anything like me, you are thrilled when your significant other finally tells you that they are no longer completely terrified by the idea of having a baby. As far as you are concerned, this means you are officially trying to get pregnant! With the internet and phones that can do just about anything, we live in the world of instant gratification, so when you finally have unprotected sex and you don’t get pregnant, you are pretty much devastated. Here are a few things to remember:

According to pregnancy-info.net, 20% of couples don’t conceive in their first year of trying, but 95% of couples do get pregnant within the first 2 years. Some people may get pregnant faster than others and if you don’t get pregnant right away, you may begin to feel like everyone but you is pregnant. You are more aware of others when you are trying to conceive but remember not to compare yourself to others, no good will come out of it! It’s a tough reality, but stay positive. It is a lot easier said than done, but added stress will make it more difficult to get pregnant. Try to keep things stable in your life, don’t make any drastic changes. Keep your diet and exercise routines the same unless your doctor suggest that you change them and be sure to take vitamins, especially folic acid.

Knowing your body will also help. Figure out how long your menstrual cycle is. The average cycle is 28 days, but some are more and some are less. Knowing how long your cycle is will help you identify when you’re ovulating, which is the time in your cycle when you can conceive. Document your cycles for 8 to 12 months before you are ready to start trying (or for as long as you can if you don’t have that much time!). Mark the 1st and last day of your cycle on a calendar. Most women generally ovulate 14 days before their cycle is over, but there are a few days when you are able to conceive. To find the general time when you are fertile, count 18 days from the first day of your cycle, and 11 from the last. The days in between are the most fertile ones. There are great free apps out there that will do it all for you.

There are two types of apps. One that is simple and one that is more complex. Try checking out the following apps to see what works for you:

1) P Tracker Lite – Simply click a button when your cycle starts and ends. Each month, flowers appear on the days when you are most fertile. It  keeps you past information in the period log which indicates your average cycle length as well as the dates of each past cycle. There are tabs you can use to make notes on the calendar such as the flow, if you have spotting and when you were intimate. You can also add your own notes where you can document information about your cervical mucus or changes you notice.

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/period-tracker-lite/id330376830?mt=8

2) Pink Pad Period Tracker – This app is very detailed. The calendar remains the same but you can document the same information as above plus your mood, symptoms, weight and basal body temperature. (Some women use a method where they check their temperature with a basal thermometer. When their temp increases, they are ovulating. This is a good way to keep track of your temperature if it is something that you are interested in doing.) Another tab charts out your weight and your body temperature. An added bonus with this app is the forums tab. There are many forums for you to participate in such as health and wellness, fitness, relationships etc. If you like detail, this is the app for you!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pink-pad-period-tracker-free/id389724080?mt=8

Now, at the risk of getting too graphic, pay attention to your cervical mucus as well. You will find there are days when you have more and days when you have less. You tend to have a lot just before ovulation. When it is thick and looks like raw egg whites you are the most fertile…so get to it!

If you are having trouble keeping track of all of this, you can buy ovulation kits at your local drugstore which will help you identify your most fertile days with a simple urine test.

When to take a pregnancy test:

There are many tests out there and they all give you different information. Some tests are able to detect hCG,  human chorionic gonadotrophin, in your urine sooner than others and that is why some test say “as early as 4 days before your expected period”. If you have regular cycles, wait until your period is supposed to arrive and then test if it doesn’t arrive! Home pregnancy tests can be up to 99% effective the day of your period. Read the directions! You want to make sure that you complete the test at the right time of day (most often the first urination of the day), that you submerge the tab at the end of the test correctly, and that there is enough urine on the stick. Some tests have a “control indicator”. This is a window that lets you know if the test is working correctly. Do not trust results from a faulty test! There are tests that show lines, plus signs and digital tests that show words. If you see the line, plus or “yes” that indicates a positive test result, you have a positive test result. It doesn’t matter how faint the line is, as long as its there. Note: Some women have very low hCG levels, so if you have missed your period and the test is negative, wait 3 days and try the test again. Contact your doctor to have a blood test to confirm all positive home pregnancy test results.

Examples of positive home pregnancy tests.

When to see your doctor:

If you are under 35 years of age and have not been able to conceive after a year, or if you are over 35 years of age and have not been able to conceive after 6 months. You should also see your doctor after a positive home pregnancy test.

‘Jenna’s Top Tips':

1) Don’t go the bathroom immediately after intercourse…give those swimmers some time!

2) Rely on gravity! Tilting your pelvis upright by placing a pillow under you during intercourse can’t hurt!

3) Have intercourse frequently…but  not too frequently. Some say everyday while others say every other day. You don’t want to decrease your partners sperm count by having intercourse too often.

4) Remind your partner not to engage in activities that may decrease his sperm count such as: cycling, extreme heat exposure, frequent masturbation, and using drugs alcohol and/or tobacco (this is also important for you to avoid!)

5) Have fun! Don’t put too much pressure on yourselves or intercourse will become a chore.