2 Little-Known Ways Your Plan to Combat Infertility May Be Backfiring

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If your partner and you have been trying to conceive a child and haven't had luck for a few months, then you have likely begun looking into methods to increase the chances of conception by changing your bedroom habits. However, if you are following commonly circulated advice about increasing your chances of conception too closely, those changes in your lifestyle may actually be backfiring. Read on to learn how those methods of increasing the chances of conception may actually be contributing to your difficulty conceiving and what to do instead. 

1. Relying Too Much on Ovulation Charting or Using the Information Incorrectly

One of the first steps you may have taken after having trouble getting pregnant for several months may have been beginning to track your BBT, or Basal Body Temperature, with a thermometer and only making love with your partner after your temperature rises a bit when you ovulate. 

Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, this strategy could actually be the cause of your difficulty conceiving. First, you are actually most fertile during the four days before ovulation, so you should ideally be making love before that BBT rises and not after. This means that to predict when you are most fertile, you must track your BBT for several months and then, if your temperature rises during the same day of your monthly cycle for several months, make love during the several days preceding ovulation. 

However, if you notice that your BBT does not rise at the same time every month or doesn't seem to rise at all during the month, then keep charting your daily temperature and visit an infertility center. This information will be very valuable to your doctor, and they can use your daily BBT readings to help determine why you are having trouble conceiving. 

2. Using Lubrication When Love-Making

To increase your chances of conception even higher than relying on any fertility-charting methods, fertility doctors recommend simply making love every day or every other day all month long until you have conceived. If you have read and are already following this advice, then just be sure that your partner and you are not using personal lubricants during intercourse. 

Of course, you know that personal lubricants with spermicides in them should not be used when you are trying to conceive, but the use of any personal lubricant has actually been shown to decrease the chances of conception for several reasons. First, your vagina pH is tailored to create the optimal environment for the survival of sperm. Personal lubricants can make your vagina more acidic, and this acidic environment can actually kill sperm. The lubricants also inhibit the motility of sperm, which means the lubricant prevents them from "swimming," which is what they need to do to travel through your cervix and into your uterus to meet with your egg. While there are "fertility-friendly" lubricants on the market, and studies show that while they inhibit sperm motility less than typical lubricants, fertility-friendly lubricants still inhibit the sperms' ability to swim.

What should you use instead? You should avoid using all personal lubricants during intercourse when trying to conceive. If you are experiencing vaginal dryness when making love every single day, then cutting back to every other day may help. However, if you experience frequent vaginal dryness for no known reason, this could be a clue into why you are having difficulty conceiving altogether. Vaginal dryness is one of the key signs that your body is not producing enough estrogen, and a lack of estrogen can cause your body to stop ovulating. If you suspect that this may be the cause of your vaginal dryness, then visit an infertility clinic, and they can run hormone tests to help you find out whether you have a hormonal imbalance that is preventing conception and help you correct your estrogen deficiency. 

If you are trying to conceive a child with your partner and are not having any luck, then make sure your bedroom habits are not actually contributing to your infertility. If you feel like you are doing everything "right" in the bedroom and still can't conceive, then experts recommend visiting a fertility clinic such as Delaware Valley Institute of Fertility after one year of difficulty if you are under the age of 35 and after six months of difficulty if you are over 35. However, it can never hurt to visit one earlier, especially if you notice that your BBT isn't changing every month or you have chronic vaginal dryness.