1. Have Sex Often: Your odds of getting pregnant are best when you have sex one to two days before you ovulate. But cycles vary in length, and some women are irregular or have miscalculated their cycle. Sperm can survive in a woman’s body for up to five days. To hedge your bet, have sex frequently starting three days before ovulation and continuing for two to three days after you think you’ve ovulated.
2. Lie Low After Sex: Give sperm a chance to swim upstream before going to the bathroom. Stay in bed for at least a few minutes after intercourse.
3. Create a Sperm-Friendly Environment: Avoid vaginal sprays, scented tampons, artificial lubricants, and douching. They can alter the normal acidity of the vagina.
4. Know When You Ovulate: Chart your basal body temperature and your cervical mucus. You might also use an over-the-counter ovulation predictor kit (OPK) to check for hormonal changes in your urine before ovulation.
5. De-Stress: Try yoga, meditation, or long walks to reduce stress. Research indicates that stress can interfere with getting pregnant. No need to quit your job or change your life. Simple acts such as exercising, writing in a journal, or holding hands with your spouse can lower stress.
6. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Studies show that weighing too little — or weighing too much — can disrupt ovulation and may also affect production of key reproductive hormones. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9.
7. Trying for a Boy or a Girl? There’s no sure, natural way to choose the sex of your baby. But male sperm swim and expire faster than female sperm. To aim for a boy, have intercourse about 12 hours before you ovulate — or as close to ovulation as possible — so the male sperm will be there when the egg drops. To aim for a girl, have intercourse several days before ovulation, so more female sperm will be around when the egg drops. Still, experts say your odds are 50-50 unless you use a sperm-sorting technique, followed by artificial insemination.