Many women look for ways to get pregnant naturally when first deciding that they want to have a child. The benefits of planning a natural pregnancy include having personal control over one’s own pregnancy, avoiding artificial methods that may be invasive or expensive, and a more conscious awareness of one’s overall health during the fertility process. If you have any pregnancy questions, it may be a good idea to begin here.
1. Educate yourself about pregnancy — know the hormones LH, PdG, HCG, and how they affect your body and your pregnancy.
There are three major hormones that are especially important to know when trying to conceive naturally: luteinizing hormone (LH), progesterone (PdG), and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). A surge in LH signals that ovulation will occur in the next 24 to 36 hours, and it is the optimal time to have intercourse. PdG levels increase after ovulation, thus confirming that ovulation has occurred. HCG is the hormone that confirms you are pregnant, There are at-home kits available to test for each of these hormones on the market, and you can find them here.
2. Understand that natural conception is very viable, especially when you are as educated about your body as possible.
Researching about fertility and your body is not only useful, but deeply empowering. Independently taking control of the process of conception – and succeeding – is an accomplishment that should be celebrated! Doctor intervention or expensive fertility treatments are absolutely not mandatory for most women to get pregnant, and most women can achieve pregnancy through research and an understanding of one’s own body.
3. Research the ways in which you can track your fertile window — for example, BBT testing, period tracking, and using ovulation tests.
Three major ways to calculate the best fertile days are basal body temperature (BBT) charting, period tracking, and using ovulation prediction kits.
Ovulation tests: An ovulation prediction kit measures the presence of LH in your urine, a hormone that increases before ovulation to prepare for the release of the egg. Testing consistently every day before your predicted fertile window will give you the most accurate results; a surge in LH levels means that ovulation will occur within 24-36 hours. The best time to take an ovulation test is generally in the afternoon, unless instructed differently by the manufacturer. The Premom app allows users to comprehensively store tracked information to form a detailed analysis of the fluctuations in their bodies, all in one convenient app.
BBT charting: When your body ovulates, progesterone (PdG) causes your body’s temperature to rise, and then your basal body temperature drops directly before your menstruation begins again — unless you are pregnant, in which case it will remain high. To know your basal body temperature, you can take your temperature in bed, in the morning before doing anything. (Even walking to go to the bathroom might cause your temperature to rise slightly and lead to inaccurate charting.) This BBT Fertility Tracker can be synced to an app on your phone to chart your temperature automatically and accurately. Your information is stored conveniently in one place, and you can avoid the stress of manually tracking your BBT.
Period tracking: Tracking your period consistently every month can allow you to see the average length of your menstrual cycle and to predict your fertile window through your calculations. The Premom app allows users to track their period and uses their personal information to predict a user’s fertile window and specific day of ovulation.
4. If you’ve done all of these things and are still not seeing results, you might have PCOS, endometriosis, or a situation that is interfering with your fertility.
If this is the case, make an appointment with your doctor to get checked for a potential fertility issue.