How to get pregnant (if it’s just not happening)
Each couple has a unique set of circumstances that can cause difficulties when trying to conceive. Getting pregnant is not simply gynaecological – it also involves your digestive system, lifestyle and hormones, as well as both of your minds working together. So: how to get pregnant? It all begins with good sex…
THE PATHWAY TO CONCEPTION
One of the most important aspects when trying to conceive is to keep your eyes firmly on the sexual side and to let baby-making flourish out of a healthy sexual energy. Getting ‘hot and horny’ actually increases your ability to create the receptivity that enhances conception. The chemistry of attraction is the chemistry of conception.
All too often, couples end up in a dynamic muddle that imposes stress and strain on lovemaking, as charting and test kits can begin to dictate sexual choices. Instead of being led by desire, couples can find themselves strapped into a tyranny of scheduled sex – which frankly can take the ‘hot and horny’ out of the equation.
OXYTOCIN IS ESSENTIAL
They call it the ‘love hormone’ for a reason – oxytocin is the lynchpin of our bonding chemistry. When trying to conceive, a woman needs to feel a strong sense of being bonded with her mate – knowing that her man will be there through thick and thin, to slay the sabre-toothed tiger and bring home the woolly mammoth.
For men, oxytocin is known as the ‘fidelity booster’, enhancing the bond he feels for his woman. This is why, when people first fall in love, they simply cannot keep their hands off each other. All that constant touching, stroking, kissing, hand-holding, eye-gazing is designed to amplify your oxytocin.
The nerves in your erogenous zones, such as the earlobes, neck and genitals, become highly sensitised, promoting a bond of intimacy and a desire to be touched further.
Attraction begins in the limbic system (a complex set of structures in the brain that controls emotions) when you get that libido-surge of ‘I want you’ dopamine. This, in turn, fires up the oxytocin that gets couples into the ‘hot and horny’ phase – erection for him, slippery for her – and the next thing you know, you want to do naughty things together…
And you know that thing that happens after really great sex – the ‘stupid grin’? It causes you to look at each other and share a silly smile in acknowledgement of ‘hey, wow, we just did that’. Well, that grin is oxytocin.
WHEN YOUR LIBIDO IS LOW
It’s fair to say that a lot of people are suffering ‘busy-hurry-flurry’ syndrome. And because you’re accustomed to feeling tired, sometimes it is hard to separate the reality of low libido from this everyday tiredness. For men, this is not too difficult to differentiate, because a healthy libido is easier to clock – a strong ‘morning glory’ (waking with an erection) is a sign of a well-functioning libido.
For women, it may not be so easy to recognise when the sexual juices are low. So girls, ask yourself: when was the last time you felt a real sense of wanting that only sex could assuage? When was the last time you initiated lovemaking (excluding the times when the underlying motivation was trying to conceive)?
There is no magic bullet to treat/fix a low sex drive, but for some it can be improved by a willingness to make adjustments and a commitment to doing all the things that help you to have a more efficient metabolism: quality diet, quality time management and quality rest.
Having an increased libido loops nicely with all the health benefits you get from having regular, vigorous sex – it’s a form of stress relief that not only improves sleep, circulation and heart health but boosts the immune system, too.
DIET IS KEY
The way that stress and diet affect your sexuality is primary, which means that they directly affect the balance of your sex hormones, and thus your libido and fertility. Your sexual/reproductive hormone balance is, in fact, predicated on the balance of your digestive hormones.
Insulin is the hormone that helps convert carbohydrates into glucose. If your diet comprises of too many refined foods and fast carbs, it can lead to raised levels of insulin in your bloodstream and, eventually, insulin resistance. This, in turn, can cause a drop in sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). It is SHBG that acts as an ‘escort’ for sexual/reproductive hormones. In men, a lowered level of SHBG means reduced testosterone, whereas in women it means reduced oestrogen. Therefore, good insulin balance is essential for maintaining healthy levels of the sexual/reproductive hormones.
One of the best ways to improve libido and fertility is to have a balanced, nutrient-rich diet: low glycemic whole grains, quality proteins (animal products should always be organic) and quality fats (coconut and olive oil, avocado, butter) – plus 60% of your daily intake should be fresh fruits and vegetables.
REST AND PLAY
Rest is something you need to make time for, so you can have an oasis of a day without an agenda – nothing scheduled – to lie in, enjoy leisurely lovemaking, take afternoon naps, order a healthy takeaway, watch a video, read a book. It is a quiet time to let the body and soul regenerate.
Lovemaking aside, it is important to find the activities and events that put you into a playful frame of mind – that childlike ability to be lost in the moment and follow your intuitive desires. Play is in the present, and play will always make you laugh and smile.
LOVEMAKING VS BABYMAKING
Being unable to conceive can be a highly stressful experience. As each month progresses without a positive result, it is all too easy to sink into the gloom of losing hope.
Stress is one of the greatest inhibitors for reproductive balance, so by putting the emphasis back on seduction, you can enhance your capacity to conceive.
It’s vital to turn the tide on sex as a sperm delivery system. Women: always remember that periods are a good opportunity for trying something different, such as oral sex. Let him know how much you care about him as your sexual partner, while setting up the vibe that is going to lead you towards ‘hot and horny’ for ovulation.
Men: remember to drive up her ‘want’ radar with plenty of cherishment all through the cycle and let care be the underlying driver to amplify both of your libidos.
Read more: Sex quiz — how satisfied are you?
FIND YOUR BALANCE
5 sex-habits to boost fertility
1. Teasing, tantalising and titillating
Remember how you felt when you first met? Focus on all the ways you want to seduce your lover and fall back into the habit of constant touching to rekindle that oxytocin-led desire.
Find the keys that unlock your lover’s most avaricious desires.
Send your partner snippets of the words (or pictures) that make you feel horny. Build excitement as you help your lover discover your needs and desires and keep the anticipation going until you see them.
3. Free rein your fantasies
Role play can be a great liberator. Donning a costume and inhabiting a persona can help you to lose your inhibitions and indulge in sexual exploration. Play!
4. Do it on an empty stomach
A full stomach inhibits sexual response. Make love first, eat later – your libido will rise more easily when you’re not busy digesting. Come to your next meal replete and with a great appetite!
Just as important as foreplay, loving touches in the afterglow of lovemaking will help to set that ‘want’ radar in action for the future.