10 Ways He Can Have Better Baby-Making Sperm

Although you'll be the one carrying the baby for those nine months, dad-to-be has an important role too -- his sperm affects whether you'll get pregnant at all and if the pregnancy will be healthy. To keep his boys in tip-top shape, he should make these changes.

Get His Weight in Check
Being underweight or overweight can have negative effects on a man's sperm, and it can kill a couple's sex life because weight problems can affect a man's libido and performance. Sticking to a healthy diet that contains a good mix of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, grains, and dairy, and fitting in physical activity on most days of the week can help him reach or maintain a healthy weight.

8 Facts About Your Cycle and Conception

If you're like many women, you're probably still a little mystified by your cycle, and you probably haven't had to think twice about it until you decided to start a family. Once you throw conception into the mix, things can get even trickier to understand. So we asked two top doctors to answer some of the most common questions women have about their reproductive health.

How do I know if my cycle is normal?
This is one of the most common questions that Pamela Berens, M.D., professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston gets asked in her practice. Although the average cycle occurs every 28 to 32 days, some variation each month is common, says Dr. Berens. "Many women are concerned that they're not regular if their cycle is off by a few days, but most cycles will not be perfect every month," she says. In fact, it would be unusual to have a period every 28 days on the dot with no deviation. "When your doctor asks if your cycle is regular, she's really just making sure it isn't occurring every two weeks or that you're not skipping months between cycles."

Your Chances of Getting Pregnant, at Every Point in Your Cycle

Timing is everything when it comes to baby-making!

To hit the baby-making bullseye, you've got to aim for certain sweet spots of fertility in your cycle. Here's how to maximize your odds of conceiving throughout the month.

Phase 1: Your period
In essence, menstruation is the monthly shedding of the endometrium, the inner membrane of the uterus. For most women, this lasts between three and seven days. By the third day, levels of progesterone and estrogen are on the rise and working on rebuilding your endometrium.

The Truth About Babymaking Sex

Are you getting frustrated with the limited positions and scheduling sex so that it's best for conception? Find out how babymaking sex can be as hot as ever.

Basal thermometers. Ovulation predictor kits. Cervical mucus. Are you hot yet? If not, you're not alone. While babymaking sex sounds great in theory (no worrying about birth control!), couples who've been there are more likely to describe it as "mechanical," "unromantic," and "a big turnoff."

What's the problem? One husband explains, "When we threw away the condoms, I thought that meant we'd get to have spontaneous, uninhibited sex. Instead it was just the opposite. We had to schedule intercourse to correspond with my wife's ovulation, and limit ourselves to a couple of positions because they offered maximum penetration."

10 Common Baby-making Mistakes

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

Mistake No. 1: Not Having Enough Sex
Of course you don't want to think you're doing anything wrong when it comes to baby-making, but at least this mistake is fun to fix! 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," says Samuel Wood, M.D., medical director at The Reproductive Sciences Center in La Jolla, CA. So go ahead -- have sex as often as you like, paying special attention to the few days before ovulation.

Best Fertility Gadgets and Apps

From basal thermometers and ovulation tests to fertility watches and apps, we review the top eight high-tech tools to help you get pregnant

Go-Go-Gadget Baby! Okay, so it might not be that easy. But with the latest high-tech tools, getting pregnant can be a whole lot easier. We asked Melissa M. Goist, M.D., Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Ohio State University Medical Center, to share her favorite fertility gadgets from basal body thermometers and ovulation tests to fertility watches and smartphone apps.

Bottom line: "Any woman who is trying to conceive should be aware of her own cycle. Not everyone has the classic 28-day menses, where bleeding starts on day one and ends between days five and seven," Goist says. "That's where the gadgets come in."

Are You Maximizing Your Fertility?

Ready to take charge of your own fertility? Take our fertility maximizer quiz to see if you're making all the right moves to get pregnant.

If you're trying to get pregnant, fertility can seem like a mysterious combination of luck and genetics. But while you can't control how old you are right now -- an element that has a big effect on your fertility -- you can take charge of other aspects of your life to maximize your chances of getting pregnant sooner rather than later. Take our fun fertility quiz to find out how fertile you really are and to get tips on what you can do to make it more likely you'll conceive soon.

The Benefits of Folic Acid

Folic acid in early pregnancy can help protect your baby.

What Is Folic Acid?

Whether you're already expecting -- or just planning to be -- taking the right vitamins can help ensure a healthy baby. One of the most important for you and your baby is folic acid. Up to 70 percent of all neural tube defects (NTDs) -- birth defects of the brain and spine -- could be prevented if every woman of childbearing age took folic acid daily, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Folic acid is a member of the B-vitamin family. It occurs naturally in foods as folates, and is available in synthetic form in vitamin pills. Foods that contain folates include orange juice, green leafy vegetables, and beans. Fortified breakfast cereals, enriched grain products, and vitamins contain a synthetic form of folic acid. The synthetic form is more easily absorbed by your body than the natural form.

Health Update: Are You Getting Enough Folic Acid?

Folic acid is a vitamin essential for preventing birth defects and premature births -- and, as new research shows -- it's especially important to take long before you plan to get pregnant.

Why do I need folic acid before I even try to get pregnant?

Sure, you know you need to take prenatal vitamins during pregnancy. But new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston reveals that taking folic acid (it's found in multivitamins and prenatal vitamins) for at least a year before conceiving may reduce the risk of preterm birth by 50 to 70 percent. About 13 percent of babies are born prematurely every year.

Fertility-Boosting Yoga Poses

Try this yoga workout to relax, better align your pelvis, and increase blood flow -- all factors that may help promote quicker conception.

Can yoga actually help you get pregnant?! Studies show that yoga can help reduce stress, which can affect fertility. Some experts also believe that specific poses can help promote baby-making by increasing blood flow to your pelvis, stimulating hormone-producing glands, and releasing muscle tension.

Click to the following slides for a series of fertility-boosting yoga poses by Eden Fromberg, D.O, a board-certified gynecologist and yoga teacher in New York City. Do the workout four to five times a week for best results.

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