coupleWhen you’re trying to get pregnant, don’t let these avoidable mistakes affect your conception goals.

Mistake No. 1: Not Having Enough Sex
You may think that cutting down on sex to “save” your guy’s sperm or only getting busy when you’re ovulating will make getting pregnant easier. But many days of not having sex can throw off conception. It’s easy to miss the fertile period if sex is limited only to when you think you’re ovulating because many women believe they’re ovulating when they actually aren’t. So go ahead — have sex as often as you like, paying special attention to the few days before ovulation.

Mistake No. 2: Having Too Much Sex
More isn’t always better. Although having sex frequently won’t decrease the potency of a man’s sperm, as many believe, it too often can potentially cause problems. If it’s for reproductive purposes alone, having sex multiple times a day or even every single day could cause ‘burnout,’ and the couple may begin to view sex as little more than a pre-ovulatory chore.

Mistake No. 3: Sticking with the Same Position
You may have heard that missionary is the best position to get pregnant, or that you should keep your hips elevated after sex. Wrong. Whether you’re on top, your guy is on top, or you’re doing a crazy new position you read about, the result is the same. So, instead of sticking with one particular thing, mix it up and have fun!

Mistake No. 4: Assuming the Woman is the Problem
When a couple has a difficult time getting pregnant, many people (couples included) automatically think it means something is physically wrong with the woman. About half of infertility issues have to do with the woman, 40 percent with the man, and the other 10 percent is both or neither. The best thing, is for both partners to be assessed from the beginning to know for sure.

Mistake No. 5: Mistiming Ovulation
Knowing exactly when you ovulate can be tricky. Many women follow the textbook rule, believing they ovulate 14 days after the first day of their period, but cycle lengths vary, and ovulation doesn’t always occur at the same time each month.

If you’re in tune with your body, you may notice that you have an increased clear egg-white-like vaginal discharge a few days before ovulation. Instead of guessing (possibly wrong), using an ovulation predictor kit can give a more accurate answer.

Mistake No. 6: Having Sex the Day of Ovulation
If you have an ovulation predictor kit, or if you’re charting your basal body temperature or using the calendar method to try to identify ovulation, you may think it makes sense to get physical the day of ovulation but that may be too late. After ovulation, the egg can be fertilized for only about 24 hours. If you’re wrong about ovulation, you’ll have to wait to try again the next month. Because sperm can live for three to five days, having sex in the few days leading up to ovulation will increase your chances of getting pregnant.

Mistake No. 7: Using Lubricant
Think twice next time you reach for the lube. Commercial lubricants negatively affect sperm motility, making it harder for the sperm to reach the egg. If you must use a lube, try Pre-Seed, a sperm-friendly lubricant. Or if you prefer a more natural lube, olive oil, vegetable oil, baby oil, and even egg whites are safe and effective.

Mistake No. 8: Rushing to a Specialist
After two or three months of trying, it’s easy to get frustrated. That doesn’t mean an immediate appointment with a fertility specialist is in order. If you’re under 35, with regular menstrual cycles and no underlying health issues that might affect fertility, you can wait for one year.

Mistake No. 9: Not Getting Help Soon Enough
In some instances, seeing a fertility doc sooner rather than later is the best move. If you’re 35 or older, you should see a fertility specialist after six months of trying without success. And if you’re younger and have irregular periods or a history of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or other health issues that may affect fertility or pregnancy, it’s a good idea to seek out a specialist right away.

Mistake No. 10: Neglecting Your General Health
Often, when couples are trying to conceive, they focus so intensely on their reproductive health, they neglect their overall health. It becomes all about cervical mucus, sperm count, and doing the do. But it’s important to pay attention to your health in general because issues like weight, smoking, stress, and medications can affect fertility too. Before trying to conceive, it’s a good idea for both you and your guy to have a medical checkup to discuss any issues that may affect fertility or pregnancy.