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Fertility Basics: 5 Tips if You're Having Trouble Conceiving

Tracking Ovulation

Another smart move is to figure out your menstrual cycle since certain days are better than others when it comes to conceiving. Typically, about two weeks into your menstrual cycle is when hormones trigger your ovaries to offer up an egg, which then zips through its respective fallopian tube, waiting to see if it's going to encounter any sperm. Increasing your lovemaking around this window is your best way to conceive; otherwise, the egg will say sayonara and hit the road.

To figure out when you're ovulating, it's a good idea to start a chart that tracks your basal body temperature (that's the lowest daily temperature your body achieves). Because a woman's body tends to run slightly hotter than usual right after she ovulates, knowing the average temperature can be a helpful way to unlock the schedule. It's not the most exacting method, but it can -- typically after a few months of diligent record keeping -- help determine when it's the optimum time to try for a baby. Since temperature fluctuates throughout the day, basal body temperature is best measured right upon waking, with as little prior movement as possible. The condition of your cervical mucus, the start of your period and when you have sex are other elements to keep track of.

Cervical mucus can be examined for monthly variations. When it's your super-fertile time of the month, the texture and consistency of the mucus changes to make it able to assist any incoming sperm speed along toward the intended egg. At other times of the month, the mucus is generally thicker and stickier, slowing down any stray sperm that happen by.

Your cervix also changes position when you're ovulating, and it alternates between hard and dry to wet and soft depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle. Using all these monthly changes to help predict when an egg is about to cut loose can greatly improve your chances of getting pregnant.