How to get pregnant?
Natalia Lukiyanova

Getting pregnant: dos and don’ts

Trying to get pregnant can be a super-exciting time for a couple. Sex feels really special when you know it could be the start of a new life. But if things don’t happen like they’re supposed to, it can turn into a nightmare.

So it’s good to stay calm, know your facts and don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your partner. For do’s and don’ts, keep reading!​​​

  • …have lots of sex (at the right time)

    This seems to be a bit of a no-brainer. Of course, you can just take the simple approach of having lots of sex all the time – nothing wrong with that! But if you want to maximise your chances, there is a crucial aspect to it: you need to have sex at the right time of the month.

    To find out when you are ovulating, you need to monitor your menstrual cycle. Some women do that simply by writing down the dates of their periods and then estimate their ovulation. This happens generally around the 14th day after the first day of the period.

    The egg is only ready for conception for 12 to 24 hours, so it’s important to time it accurately. That gets difficult if you have an irregular cycle. The good news is that sperm can survive for a few days after intercourse. This means they can lurk around waiting for an egg to pop out. So you don’t have to hit that 12 to 24 hour window period exactly to get pregnant.

    There are also apps and online calculators to help you estimate when you are ovulating. Another way is to measure your temperature in the morning. At the time of ovulation, your body temperature rises slightly, because that makes conception easier. And yet another way is to look at your vaginal discharge. Around the time of ovulation, it tends to get a bit sticky and there’s more of it than usual.

  • …work on your lifestyle

    There are some things you can’t change. For example, the older you are, the more difficult it can be to conceive. But there are plenty of things in your life you can work on to make sure that getting pregnant gets easier.

    Stop smoking and drinking – this goes for both women and men. Try to eat healthily and exercise regularly. You also should start cutting down on your coffee intake – lots of caffeine can lead to problems with your pregnancy. And make sure you get enough shut-eye. Being well-rested can make the first few months of pregnancy a bit less exhausting.

    Also, if either you or your partner or both of you are significantly overweight or underweight, it can make you less fertile. So it might be a good idea to try to get to a healthier weight.

    In general, now is the time you need to take good care of your body to prepare it for the coming months.

  • …keep track of him as well!

    Obviously, it takes two people to get pregnant. But many women forget that it’s not only their own health they need to keep in mind to increase the chances of becoming pregnant. Taking care of your partner is equally important. Being over- or underweight, stressed or having a medical condition can affect the man’s body’s ability to produce sperm, so it’s important to look out for anything unusual.

    And keep his testicles cool! Testicles need to be a bit below body temperature to make sperm. So don’t wear tight underpants or trousers that make your testicles too hot. And avoid having hot baths.

    Lastly, please don’t forget that your partner is the person you love and not just a sperm-producer. Keep your relationship and the sex fun, and don’t make getting pregnant a stressful exercise for either of you!

  • …forget to take folic acid

    Folic acid, (also known as folate or vitamin B9), is a vitamin that helps your baby’s spine to develop properly and reduces the risk of a condition called spina bifida. Spina bifida means that the baby’s spine doesn’t close up properly, which can cause a range of disabilities.

    So you should start taking folic acid tablets as soon as you decide you want to try for a baby. It’s best to take it while you’re trying to get pregnant and for the first three months of pregnancy. If you get pregnant and you haven’t been taking it, just start straight away.

    Natural sources are green leafy vegetables and whole grains. But it’s almost impossible to get the amount you need to make a difference through food alone. You can buy the tablets over the counter at a chemist or drug story. And while generally it’s not advisable to go for over-the-counter supplements without asking your doctor first, you are okay to take this one. The recommended dose is 400 micrograms a day.

  • …believe the myths

    There are no sex positions that make it more likely that you will get pregnant. And don’t believe that positions like standing up, or eating red meat and salty snacks will increase your chances of having a baby boy, or having sex while there is a full moon for a baby girl. All myths! The sex of the baby depends on genetics and biology, not on who initiates sex or the foods you eat.

    But lying still on the bed for about 15 minutes after sex is a good idea. No need to keep your legs in the air though – that’s another myth.

    Also, taking the pill, or using other birth control methods long-term won’t impact your fertility. It might take a few months for your cycle to get back to normal. But infertility is not a result of using birth control.

  • … wait too long to see a specialist

    If you have tried to get pregnant for more than a year without success, you shouldn’t hesitate to discuss your issues with a doctor or a pregnancy or fertility specialist. They can identify any problems and help you and your partner find ways that might make it easier to get pregnant. Especially women over the age of 35 seem to benefit from specialist help if they have trouble getting pregnant.

    Having said that, don’t forget that it’s just as likely to be the man as the woman who is having the fertility problem. And when it comes to starting fertility testing, it’s much easier to test a man than it is to test a woman.

    Also, if you have trouble getting pregnant, don’t rely on home remedies or over-the-counter pills and herbal supplements to help you unless they have been approved by your doctor. Some of them can actually have a negative impact on your cycle.

    And most importantly, don’t blame yourself if you can’t get pregnant.


    Do have any other tips in getting pregnant? Or want to share your experiences? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.

did you find this useful?

Tell us what you think

Recent Comments (60)

  1. If a woman as a fluid,can she
    If a woman as a fluid,can she get pregnant?

    1. Hi Temitope,

      Hi Temitope,
      we are not sure what kind of fluid you are talking about. Could you explain some more?

  2. All in all have trust and
    All in all have trust and faith in God and everything will be alright

    1. Hi Wairimu,

      Hi Wairimu,
      that’s a great approach!

  3. Thex,had miscarriag last yr
    Thex,had miscarriag last yr march twins 6 mnth,since thn ave tried bt no results again y.i mis gettn preg’ mi

    1. Hi Grace,

      Hi Grace,
      pole sana!
      After a miscarriage, it can take quite a while for the body to get ready for another pregnancy. So it’s not unusual that you are still struggling with getting pregnant again. However, it might be a good idea to speak to your doctor about this. If the doctor thinks this is unusual, it might be a good idea to have some tests done.
      `Good luck and all the best!

  4. What are d dos & donts of
    What are d dos & donts of someone dat av done multiple fibroid operations twice and still did not get pregnant.or is there no chances of getting pregnant again?

    1. Hi Toyeen,

      Hi Toyeen,
      it’s very difficult to judge this from afar, and only knowing little of the history. It would be best to discuss your options with the doctor who has been treating you for fibroids or another gynecologist. Good luck!

  5. My wife got pregnant when on
    My wife got pregnant when on contraceptives, why did it happen?

    1. Hi Alfred,

      Hi Alfred,
      unfortunately, no contraceptive is 100% effective, so even when using them, there is always a small risk. Condoms can slip, pills and injections can be forgotten or unavailable, being sick and taking medication can influence the effectiveness of birth control- many, many options. We hope this answers your question.

  6. i had sex with a 28yr old.
    i had sex with a 28yr old. before ahe discovered she was heavy she took family planing injection three month dose. when we did the test it showed she was pregnant…help

    1. Hi Moses,

      Hi Moses,
      taking three doses of injections is certainly not recommendable (although sometimes used as a method of emergency contraception), and it will have no effects whatsoever on an existing pregnancy.

  7. is there any possibility of
    is there any possibility of getting pregnant if u ave 1 tube blocked??

    1. Hi Sammier,

      Hi Sammier,
      yes, it might be a bit more difficult, but there is no reason for it to not work. Discuss it with a doctor who is familiar with your situation.

  8. pls help can someone who as
    pls help can someone who as 1blocked tube get pregnant?

  9. Hi.good advice…
    Hi.good advice periods are irregular. Have tried contraceptives as per the docs advice n this being the second tym, as using microgynae to raise my progestrone levels. I really need to get pregnant, what meds can i use to enable me to av a baby.?

  10. I love my wife but wi dont…
    I love my wife but wi dont have a child but mapango wakando ako na na my Child but sina feel kwake hila uni call kuni ask jihisi vyenye tuko na maisha nita fanya aje bcz i love my wife sana

    1. Jackim, If you have been…
      Jackim, If you have been trying to get pregnant with your wife for longer than 6 months you both need to visit a specialist for a check up. You also need to decide how you will deal with the two relationships. If you are committed to your wife let the other woman know but you need to agree on how you will participate in the raising of the child you have together.

  11. Hi I’d like to know is it…
    Hi I’d like to know is it possible I’m pregnant,had unprotected sex with my partner during my ovulation period I’m due to have my periods first week next,we both really want the baby..what worries me is that m having flush period pains as always wen m due..are the possibilities that m pregnant or not!!pls help m turning 30 this October

    1. Hi Pearl, We couldn’t…
      Hi Pearl, We couldn’t possibly tell if you are pregnant you would have to wait for atleast two weeks and then do a test. There are chances you could be pregnant if you had sex when you were ovulating. If you have however been trying longer than six months, you may want to visit a Gynecologist for a check up. We do wish you well.

  12. Can irregular ovulation in a…
    Can irregular ovulation in a woman result to not getting pregnant

  13. Hallo Love matters, my wife…
    Hallo Love matters, my wife and I have been trying to have a child for 3 upto now but we have failed. We each have a child from other relationships before we me now we don’t understand why she is not becoming pregnant? Any advice?

  14. Please don’t be offended. I…
    Please don’t be offended. I want to used this great opportunity to speak to you about one of my friend’s sickness. And the sickness is called wet-bed please can this be cure and how can it be cure? Thanks.

    1. Hi Gee, do you mean your…

      Hi Gee, do you mean your friend usually wets their bed? There are many reasons that are likely to cause this including medical conditions or psychological issues particularly in adults. It maybe important that your friend seek medical help since this will determine the actual cause of the problem and also get the right solution. 

  15. I have been trying for four…
    I have been trying for four years I think I am just giving up this. The clinic said I should just keep trying. I have tried herbs I don’t know what to do.

    1. Hello Agnes, have you…

      Hello Agnes, have you consulted a specialist gynecologist yet? It is important you do consult a specialist who may carry out test and then advice you on what to do. I am not sure about the herbs. Take to a specialist for further advice and help.

  16. Thank you for the…
    Thank you for the information.

  17. My sperm is very watery and…
    My sperm is very watery and light is this normal? Can it make a girl pregnant or I am not fertile? Very worried I am just 21 years old.

    1. Hi Njeru, to address your…

      Hi Njeru, to address your fears the best thing to do is to seek medical advice and perhaps the tests. A laboratory can measure your semen volume, total sperm count, and concentration. They can also assess your sperm’s vitality, shape and size, and their ability to swim efficiently. If those are all normal, then there’s a high probability that you’re fertile. Check out this article for more information:


  18. My husband has refused to go…
    My husband has refused to go to see a gyne with me yet we are struggling to get a child. Is there a way to know if sperm is healthy by just looking at the semen?

    1. Hey Sharon, it is not…

      Hey Sharon, it is not possible because they are microscopic, you can see them with your naked eyes, all you see after ejaculation is the semen w here sperm is contained. You can consider taking that first step on your own after which and based on your doctors advice you can try encourage him to also make the visit. Remember, it is possible that he concerns maybe fears that make it difficult for him to accept this. We wish you all the best. Have a look at the following article for some tips to keep sperm healthy;-

  19. What causes a miscarriage…
    What causes a miscarriage especially when it happens more than once?

    1. Hi Jewel, in most cases, it…

      Hi Jewel, in most cases, it’s because there is something wrong with the baby which also means there is little you can do to predict it or even prevent it. It maybe helpful however, to speak to your doctor or midwife as you prepare to conceive for further advice. We wish you well. Have a look at this article for more information;-

  20. After you stop using family…
    After you stop using family planning pills cannot affect your ability to get pregnant in future?

  21. I take long to hv sex en I…
    I take long to hv sex en I dnt use pill plan en now am struggling to get pregnant am scared cz I wait 4 ma husband lyk ayr wiz out having sex now is back am struggling to get pregnant bt it has refused wat shld I do cz ma husband is bck

    1. Dear Recheal, it may take…

      Dear Recheal, it may take upto twelve months of trying for one to get pregnant. Using the pill doesn’t make it difficult for one to get pregnant, infact if you are using the family planning pill, you should be able to get pregnant as soon as you stop. Remember, having sex when your most fertile, when you are ovulating or around the time you are ovulating is one of the ways that you increase your chances of getting pregnant. Have a look at the following article for additional tips in addition to the ones listed in the above article;-

  22. I was told my tubes are…
    I was told my tubes are blocked. My friend gave me some herbs to use which I have used for 6 months still nothing. Please help me.

    1. Hello JoAnnah, the right…

      Hello JoAnnah, the right treatment for blocked tubes depends on what caused the blockage in the first place. Talk to your doctor, they will determine what could have caused the blockage and then advice you on the appropriate treatment. 

  23. Unhealthy sperm is one…
    Unhealthy sperm is one reason for infertility so how do you make sure your spe is healthy?

  24. My first born is 5 years I…
    My first born is 5 years I have trying to get another baby for three years. My husband works in another country he comes home after a few months. He is not open to seeing a doctor he is ok with one child but I want another child. I don’t know how to convince him.

    1. Hey Kami, it is important…

      Hey Kami, getting pregnant when you are in a long distance relationship can be challenging. It is tough when partners want different things. It’s important that you and your partner agree on whether you want to have another child so that you are in agreement. This will make it easy for you both. We wish you all the best. 

    1. You are welcome Sallie.

      You are welcome Sallie.

  25. Can irregular ovulation make…
    Can irregular ovulation make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant?

    1. Hey Fridah, it may make abit…

      Hey Fridah, it may make abit challenging but a person with irregular periods can still get pregnant. It maybe important however that speak to doctor or midwife if you are planning to get to pregnant to try and address any underlying issues that maybe leading to the irregular period which will inturn enhance the chances of one getting pregnant. 

  26. Can irregular periods be one…
    Can irregular periods be one of the reasons a woman does not get pregnant?

    1. Hey Desmond, a woman with…

      Hey Desmond, a woman with irregular periods still ovulates, just not on a regular, predictable schedule. This means they can also get pregnant. The only challenge is their ovulation is not predictable. Some women experience changes when they are ovulating and these can help point them to the time they are ovulating. Have a look at the following article for more information;-

  27. Are there home fertility…
    Are there home fertility tests for men? When can I buy in Nairobi?

    1. Hey Nixon, there are home…

      Hey Nixon, there are home fertility tests for men that one can easily and safely use at home. Try checking with your local pharmacy to see if they stock any and if not they can refer you to one.  

  28. What should you to get a…
    What should you to get a baby boy? Is it timing or sex position? I want a baby boy I have 2 daughters.

  29. Hey Darlin, I suggest you…

    Hey Darlin, I suggest you speak to your midwife or doctor for further advice. All the best. 

  30. Hello Asio catrine, thank…

    Hello Asio catrine, thank you for getting in touch. To ensure that you get pregnant, make sure you are having regular sexual intercourse when you are ovulating which starts 14 days after your period. During sexual intercourse, ensure that your partner ejaculates deep within your vagina and do not worry if some comes out. Over 250 MILLION sperm are ejaculated into you and you only need 1 to help you conceive so do not worry if some sperm tends to come out. Don’t give up! 

LoveMatters Africa

Blush-free facts and stories about love, sex, and relationships