Sunday, April 23, 2017

How We Increased Our Chances of Getting Pregnant for Older Women Trying to Conceive

“This is a sponsored conversation from Mums the Word Network and The Stork OTC. All opinions are my own.”

I was very fortunate that our first pregnancy happened two months after we started trying when I was 35 years old. We didn't think things would materialize so quickly! Then, our second baby took almost a year of trying, I was almost 40 years old, and we almost gave up. During that year, we learned a lot more about fertility and what you can do to increase your chances of getting pregnant especially for older women trying to conceive (and any other moms dads-to-be too). I thought I'd share what worked for us and some resources which could help others be successful in their pursuit of pregnancy.

Ummm Stork delivery, right now please!

So you are ready to have a baby. You stopped preventing pregnancy and nothing happened. Maybe you try a few more times and each month passes without success. Before you start panicking, read through this list and hopefully it may help some of you avoid pitfalls and make that baby happen!

How We Increased Our Chances of Getting Pregnant (for Older Women) Trying to Conceive:

Make an OB/GYN appointment. 

Let your doctor know you are trying to get pregnant. It is a great place to start for a general wellness check and some reassuring advice.

Track ovulation. 

I'm jumping right into the important stuff just in case you have the alarm bells going off on your biological clock. Pinpointing ovulation is arguably the BEST technique women have at our disposal. The main ways to track ovulation are checking basal temperature, changes in vaginal mucus, an ovulation calculator, and using urine test strips.

Some women feel pain in their ovaries which actually has a name; 'mittelschmerz' which means "middle pain" in German. I am of German descent which has nothing to do with anything besides the fact that I can actually pronounce it, but it certainly made things easier because it was a perfect indication for me.

Work smarter, not harder. 

Once you've pinpointed ovulation I suggest purchasing The Stork OTC device from your local CVS and increase your chances of getting pregnant at that perfect time.

Does Stork OTC work?

They have shown a 3.23 percent increase in sperm value at the cervix in clinical studies. For the low cost compared to other fertility treatments, it is certainly worth a try!

Right now, you can get $30 in CVS ExtraBucks® 
when you purchase 2 Stork OTC devices at CVS/pharmacy™ 
(Ends April 29th)

Eat healthy. We gave a plant-based diet a try!

There is no better time to start eating healthy/healthier than when you are trying to conceive. Rotating more fruits, vegetables, natural, and whole foods into your diet and cutting out the sugar, processed food, and junk is always a good idea at any point in life.

A beautiful green salad with creamy avocado chunks, crunchy cucumber and orange peppers drizzled with our savory Tahini Sauce.

Did going vegan help me get pregnant?

I had been transitioning to a plant-based diet from a vegetarian diet and it was literally the first week I made it through entirely as a vegan after almost a year of NO BABY, that the second pregnancy finally happened. Coincidence??? Perhaps. Did I feel great physically? YES!

The vegan thing helped me look better, feel better, and could have quite possibly sealed the deal!

My only regret was not going vegan sooner, and my biggest problem was my pregnancy food cravings that consisted of cheese and more cheese. (I restarted my vegan journey a few months later when my overwhelming need to gnaw on a 16 oz. block of sharp cheddar cheese subsided.)

Get some exercise. 

If you aren't regularly exercising, even something light like getting out for a daily walk, or some yoga stretching will not only help you get healthier but can also lower stress levels and become part of a healthy pregnancy routine. Walking miles and miles through theme parks and sightseeing adventures is our preferred method of exercise, it totally counts, plus it helps to keep us in pretty decent shape. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health showed that men who exercised rigorously had 73% higher sperm counts than those who didn't bother.

Avoid alcohol. 

I can't say we were necessarily good at this one. It took us almost a year to conceive and a glass of wine was part of our occasional relaxation and connection. Just note that alcohol can be problematic for both female and male fertility (and we're not just talking performance issues).

Say cheers with one of these! Just 3 separate blends of frozen watermelon, frozen pineapple, and frozen melon and fresh spinach greens with some water in a high speed blender and layered in a glass.

Do not smoke - and that goes for the man too! 

We didn't smoke during this time, but I thought it was worth mentioning because I was able to kick that nasty habit YEARS ago and feel like I have some practical advice besides "just quit smoking, okay, just do it." According to a recent article from The Guardian smoking can reduce chances of conceiving by up to 40%, causes 5,000 miscarriages per year, AND men who smoke can have lower sperm counts and malformed sperm. Yes, quit smoking, but perhaps try my way...

How anyone can quit smoking the easy way (my way) before trying to conceive:

If you or your guy is a smoker, figure out exactly how many times you smoke each day and keep cutting back one less each day or every 2-3 days. If you mess up one day, you pick up where you left off the following day and don't give up. Over 2-3 months you can reduce dependence and if you stick to this plan, quit completely.

Avoid toxins at home and at work. 

While reading up on all the toxins and chemical ingredients in everything from cleaning to beauty products after bringing home my first baby, I found that many products we had in our home contained substances that are known to be endocrine disruptors and can affect reproductive health. has excellent tools on their site to find products rated to be safer and just as effective. We started to use more natural products on our skin and clean everything with a mixture of vinegar and water and have never looked back!

Avoid and manage stress.

I left an extremely stressful job situation 2 months before becoming pregnant with my first which could have been a factor in the fast turnaround time. I realize quitting or changing jobs is not an option for everyone, but stress is a known issue for those trying to conceive. Meditation, yoga, walking, hiking, bike riding, reading, painting, even getting a new hobby like the super-popular coloring books are known to relieve stress with minimal skill and effort.

Also, I know I talked a little about going vegan a little earlier, but I wouldn't be a vegan if I wasn't shouting it from the rooftops!!! I also really wanted to delve into some deeper issues in this post that are beyond the standard advice we hear over and over and this is mine...

Switching to a plant based diet may have been a game-changer for getting pregnant. Cashew cheese recipes may have been a game-changer for going vegan.

There was a tremendous weight taken off my shoulders when I gave up all animal foods. The only way I can explain this is that my soul felt lighter. For a while I was convinced that it was impossible to give up dairy (because cheese! cake! pizza!) and it really bothered me even though I couldn't resist the temptation. I finally found a way to kick another bad habit with all the great vegan cheese recipes and replacement foods that are available.

The heavy guilt I carried was replaced with positivity and hopefulness and bam. Baby.

Like I stated previously, this could have been entirely coincidental. But even if going vegan isn't on your radar, there is something to be said about eliminating stressful and anxiety inducing practices, situations, or habits in your life and filling that space with things that give you peace.

Focus on the man's fertility too!

When it seems like fertility always seems to fall to the woman, I would check out the The Stork OTC blog regarding sperm health because about 20% of the time, fertility issues lie with men. Luckily, totally doable things like eating healthy, exercising, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and refraining from smoking among other things can amplify sperm health.

I hope some of my personal stories and tips as well as some of the information I shared in this post get you guys a little bit closer to your goal and make all your baby wishes come true.

Have a tip you want to share? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think helped you get pregnant and help others do the same!


This Tuesday, April 25th at 8pm, 
join the #TTCwithStorkOTC & #becomingadad Twitter Party!
 We will chat about male fertility and have a chance to win some great prizes.

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