Trying to conceive can be hard but with this complete guide I hope I can provide you with more information on how to track your cycle, have a healthy lifestyle during TTC, where to seek support and how to deal with TTC after loss. So let’s dive right in sis!
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What does trying to conceive mean?
Trying to conceive aka TTC is the act and the journey of making a baby. Ooooweee it’s a journey y’all to conceiving a child, a baby, an offspring of your own!
The reason I call it a journey (if your there sis, you understand) is because for some it’s definitely a marathon rather than a sprint! And it takes a lot of prayer! Have you ever prepared for a marathon? If yes, then you know it takes a lot of work. If not, then I know you can only imagine!
Why is it so hard?
Unfortunately, when we were younger the “don’t have sex or you’ll get pregnant” chastisement from your parents wasn’t all entirely true. Women have a very, I’m talking VERY small window for conception to happen. For sperm to meet the egg and join into a beautiful baby.
It’s hard because not all women know that! And today I hope to shed some light on what you should do when you are trying to conceive!
What should I do first?
Trying to Conceive Checklist
Who doesn’t love a checklist? When you’re unsure where to start on a new journey a checklist can be very helpful.
So I’ve created for you a TTC checklist to start you off on the right track. Click the image below or here to download your free checklist!
Track Your Cycle
So let’s start with your cycle. Tracking your cycle is so important when you are actively trying to conceive. The most important part of tracking your cycle has got to be your fertile window!
Figuring out your fertile window will get you one step closer to that baby you desire to carry. A fertile window is the window of time (the amount of days) that you are most fertile during your cycle.
This window is directly correlated with ovulation so knowing when you ovulate is definitely a key factor as well in your cycle but we’ll get to that later. Without the proper tools or maybe even apps (my favorite cycle tracking app is Glow) it can be hard to determine when your fertile window is.
But there is a key fertility sign that will help and assist you to figure out when that window applies for you. That wonderful fertility sign is cervical mucus.
I know it sounds a little TMI but yes we will be discussing the fluid that comes from your vagina unfortunately during TTC there’s a lot of TMI sis.
Cervical mucus or also known as cervical fluid or sometimes referred to as vaginal discharge can really help you in determining when your fertile window is.
There are many different variations of cervical fluid:
- Dry (no cervical fluid) or damp
- Sticky, crumbly, rubbery
- Creamy, lotiony, milky
- Eggwhite, slippery, clear, stretchy
For your fertile window we’re going to focus on those last two: creamy and eggwhite. When you get into your fertile window your cervical mucus will become creamier and wetter. When you are approaching ovulation your cervical mucus will become eggwhite, slippery clear, or stretchy and I say “or stretchy” because it can also just not be stretchy at all.
You also might notice streaked eggwhite cervical mucus which can often be a sign of ovulation spotting.
So sis, if you don’t learn ANYTHING but THIS: When you see egg white cervical mucus it is GO TIME. Grab hubby and start trying, like right now!
The end of your fertile window is indicated by ovulation. Ovulation is defined as the release of a mature egg from the ovarian follicle.
Some women will feel ovulation pain when an egg is released but most women do not which can also make it difficult in knowing when you have ovulated.
That’s where ovulation predictor kits also known as OPK’s come in. These kits are very beneficial while trying to conceive, especially if you’re just learning about your cycle and your body.
OPK’s detect the impending release of your egg through a urine test for the presence of a hormone called the luteinizing hormone or better known as LH. You always have LH in your system but LH will surge (increase) during ovulation. This time frame is 24 to 48 hours.
Remember when I told you that we as women have that small window… there it is.
Tracking your cycle, figuring out your fertile window, and when you ovulate each cycle are foundational to trying to conceive. That’s where to begin sis!
I’ve done the above, what’s next?
Starting and/or maintaining a healthy lifestyle!
So you’re tracking your cycle, maybe you see some irregularities? Some women experience the following hormonal imbalances:
- Short luteal phase (two week wait time frame between ovulation and your period),
- Anovulation (not ovulating at all)
- Limited cervical fluid
- Irregular cycles
- Hormonal conditions such as PCOS and endometriosis
- Underweight or Overweight
- Recently stopped birth control
Let’s be real. I had 5 out of the 8 listed there and guess what: I’m currently pregnant with my second child as I’m creating this blog post!
So try these healthy lifestyle tips that helped ME to assist in balancing your hormones and increase your chances of fertility!
Ahhhh, the beauty of nutrition. One of my favorite topics to discuss but also my least favorite to adhere to 🙈(Ya girl loves sweets)!
But sweet tooth aside, increasing fertility rich foods will definitely put you on the right track to not only a healthier lifestyle but healthy hormones for trying to conceive as well!
Let’s decrease trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) and increase healthy fats (avocados, nuts and seeds).
Let’s decrease sugary drinks and increase water (at least half your body weight(lbs) in ounces. So if you weight 200lbs then you need to be drinking 100 ounces daily. Surprisingly enough of us don’t get enough water.
No dry eggs if you’re going to be apart of this community sis!
Just to touch on water a little bit longer… The month I conceived my first sticky bean (baby Ava) I drank A GALLON of water almost every day and then BOOM BFP (big fat positive) pregnancy test at 8 DPO (days past ovulation).
I’m just saying. Hydrate those eggs. *steps off soapbox*
Moving on… for more nutrition tips and a full guide to the fertility diet I used (with recipes) check out the Fertility Nutrition Guide.
Folic acid is the most important vitamin for trying to conceive or early pregnancy. Folic acid helps your future baby develop properly and protects it against serious birth defects.
Most prenatal vitamins include folic acid.
I can’t begin to tell you how important intentionally moving your body is not only for balancing hormones but also just your overall health sis.
Estrogen is stored in fat. Sooo too much fat = too much estrogen which is a no go in certain phases of your cycle.
So if you happen to be overweight then exercising to decrease body fat is an excellent way to increase fertility.
BUT if you are underweight, you can have hormonal issues as well such as anovulation. In this case, weight gain is a more plausible action.
Figure out where you stand and balance it out. Not skinny, not fat, if we have to put a title on it let’s just say HEALTHY. 🙂
Seek Support for TTC and after loss
We’ve come to a very difficult topic of discussion for TTC… When to seek support and whom from (who from?) you get what I’m saying!
Especially after you have experienced a miscarriage or any type of fetal loss…
When: ASAP or as soon as you feel comfortable, but trust me you’re going to need SOMEONE to confide in. Don’t bottle it up sis.
Whom: For this section I’ve created The 3 S’s that helped me with support.
- Spiritual: You may or may not be spiritual or religious, but I am Christian and looked to God for support during my journey. I prayed fertility prayers and blessed my womb daily while trying to conceive
- Spousal: Good ol’ hubby. Yea he might not want to hear about your cervical fluid but your spouse is always a good strong shoulder to hang on to. Ask him how he feels about the journey, you never know he might need a shoulder in return.
- Sisters: There are so many women going through the EXACT situation you are experiencing. Reach out to different forums, on YouTube, or through TTC groups to find sisters to connect with.
Join the Fertile Faith Sisterhood
a membership community for Christian women looking to level up in their faith and find clarity in their journey to conceive. I provide virtual training and prayer sessions monthly to assist you shift your TTC mindset and take your faith to the next level.
Now what do I do?
Stop reading this and go baby dance already! (even if your not in your fertile window ;))
Comment below something new you learned and will apply to your journey this cycle!