How to improve your chances of getting pregnant

There are a few things you can do to improve your chances of having a baby.

More sex will help you conceive

Frequent sex is the best way to conceive. This means having sex every 2 to 3 days throughout the month.

The most likely time to get pregnant

You are most likely to get pregnant if you have sex around the time of ovulation. If your cycle is 28 days long, ovulation usually happens around 14 days before your next period. It can be difficult to know exactly when ovulation occurs, so the best advice is to have frequent sex.

Get a health check

You are more likely to get pregnant if you are both in good health.

If you are planning to get pregnant, it is a good idea to visit your GP for a health check. This is important if you have any health problems or are taking any medication.

Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight or underweight can mean you are less likely to get pregnant. Also, men who have a normal weight produce better quality sperm.

Measure your Body Mass Index (BMI). If your BMI is between 20 to 25, your weight is healthy. If your BMI is over 30, this can impact your ability to get pregnant.

If you are overweight, losing as little of 5% of your body weight can improve your fertility.


Calculate your BMI

Stop smoking

Smoking can lower your chances of becoming pregnant. Women who smoke are more likely to be infertile and take longer to conceive. Smoking can also damage a man's sperm.

Nourish your body

Eating healthy foods will help you manage your weight and improve your health. Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, protein, whole grains and healthy fats. Taking a folic acid supplement, also known as vitamin B9, is also very important.

Exercise, but not too much

Regular moderate exercise is good for your body and your mind. Avoid very intense exercise as this may lower your fertility. For example, athletes participating in marathons may notice that their periods stop.

Try and keep your stress levels low

Stress can affect your sex drive and this can mean you end up having sex less often. It can also affect sperm production. When trying to get pregnant, relaxing and avoiding stress can help.

Review any drugs you take, legal or illegal

Illegal drugs can reduce your fertility and are dangerous during pregnancy.

Some medications are not safe to take during pregnancy. Some of these may also reduce your fertility.

Before trying to become pregnant, talk with your GP or pharmacist about any medications or supplements you are taking.

Prevent sexually transmitted infections

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), like chlamydia, can reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. If you are not yet trying to conceive, practice safe sex and use a condom each time you have sex.

Page last reviewed: 15 March 2018
Next review due: 15 March 2021