The fertility journey can be long and frustrating — after all, you only have a few fertile days each month, and if you miss them, you have to wait a whole other month. While there aren’t really any true shortcuts, there are a few things you can try that might increase your chances of getting pregnant or help you better tell when you’re at your most fertile. Please be sure to talk to your doctor though before taking or stopping any medications.
Have you ever heard the term mucous membrane? There are several in the human body: your nose, your lips and mouth, your anus, and of course, your genitals. Essentially, most are places on the body where the inside meets the outside. They are called mucous membranes because they all contain cells that secrete mucin, which makes up — you guessed it — mucus!
So it makes sense that many women have reported that using an expectorant (commonly used in cough syrups) helped them increase their cervical fluid when trying to conceive. Sperm loooove the cervical fluid you secrete as your hormones surge for ovulation and during ovulation. They use it to survive in the vagina and to hitch a ride to hook up with an egg. The expectorants in cough syrup are designed to help increase the production of mucus from mucous membranes, and that affects all your mucous membranes — therefore you may see an increase in cervical fluid, too. Please note that I’m not recommending that you take cough syrup to conceive, just letting you know of its possibilities.
Many women report an increase in dream activity, and in particular sexually themed dreams, around ovulation. I don't have the data behind this, but I can say that after seeing this noted in more than one article and book, it might have some truth behind it. And I myself have noticed this to be the case for me.
Many women note that they have an increased desire to make love or are just downright frisky around the time of ovulation. It's not necessarily true for every woman, but something to keep an eye on as you track your fertility. I found this to be the case pretty accurately after my first baby, but not before.
Avoiding Allergy and Sinus Medicine
For some women, this maybe difficult to do because of the overall effects on their daily lives of seasonal allergies. If you are noticing that you do not have an abundance of cervical mucus however, this might be a simple trick for you. Spermies need cervical fluid to hitch a ride on and survive on while waiting for an egg. Think about whether or not you are taking anything that does the opposite of what we talked about above with expectorants like cough syrup. Just as your nose goes, so does your vagina in many ways. Your whole body is connected and if you give your body something to dry up your mucus membranes, it will also dry up your cervical mucus. When TTC it’s best to avoid things that have ingredients like Loratadine or Pseudoephedrine which are found in most sinus and allergy medicines. You can check the box for the ingredients.
Stop Using Scented Tampons and Douches
In general, it is best to just let your vagina be a vagina. Your vagina does not need to smell like flowers, it’s a vagina. When your vagina is healthy, it will have a healthy vagina aroma but should not overpower you. If you are worried about the way things are going down there and think that you are getting a little . . . funky, then it is time to check in with your doctor. Scented tampons and douches disturb the natural ph balance and environment of your vagina. This disturbance can potentially make for a challenging place for sperm to survive.
Mind and Body
This might not be a secret, but it is quite helpful to have a healthy body and mind when trying to conceive. I know you’ve heard all this before but I say it because it’s true! Weight can impact your cycle whether over or under, as it can affect your hormonal balance. Too much exercise can also be a factor. Stress can be a factor. Essentially, you need to take care of yourself. If you know you’re drinking too much, cut back. If you’re smoking, cut back or better yet just quit. If you are a carb-a-holic, sugar-a-holic, or caffeine-a-holic, consider cutting back on those as well. There might be a detox phase where you get a few headaches, but in the end, you might just find yourself sleeping better and with more energy to boot! No matter what, one thing I recommend to anyone is to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. Water helps detox the body and keep your fabulous cervical fluid levels up - this makes sperm happy, which will make you happy when you get that BFP on your HPT!