When you decide it’s time to get pregnant and start a family, the first thing to go is the contraceptive. For some, conceiving after stopping with contraceptives is easy and can happen quite quickly. For others, it isn’t quite so simple and it can take a bit of time for the big moment to arrive.

Here are some tips and tricks you can try to ease the process and encourage conception.

Tests to check fertility

One of the first things you should do if you haven’t fallen pregnant after trying for several months, is go to the doctor. There are numerous tests they can run to ensure that everything is in working order for both you and your partners. They will check your hormone levels and do an ultrasound to look at your uterus. For the man, they will check sperm count and activity in the sperm.

Increasing your chances of getting pregnant

After you’ve done all the tests and been told that everything is ok, there are a few things you can try at home to improve your chances of getting pregnant. The most common trick people talk about is letting gravity do what it does best. After sexual intercourse, raise your hips by putting pillow or blanket underneath them. This will add the force of gravity to the swimming sperm and help them move in the right direction.

You should also try just staying lying down for several hours after having sexual intercourse. If possible, don’t get up and don’t wash the area until the following morning. Remember to urinate before you have sexual intercourse as urine can eliminate the sperm.

Find out what position your uterus lies in

No uterus is exactly like another. They can actually lie in different positions within your body, and can sometimes move around depending on how full your bladder is. Additionally, your uterus can change position after it goes back to normal size after being pregnant. The actual current position of your uterus can impact which angle is easiest for sperm to enter the area. There are three common angles:

Anteverted – This is the most common angle and is when the uterus lies at almost 90 degrees to the vagina, slanting to the front of the body.

Retroverted – The uterus slants backwards, away from the bladder and towards the rectum

Midposition – The uterus points straight up with the opening aligned to the entrance of the vagina.

If you have a retroverted uterus, it’s best to have sexual intercourse facing in the same direction, ie. the woman has her back to her partner. For those with an anteverted uterus, positions where you face each other are best. This will get you at the best angle for the sperm to enter the uterus.

When to have sexual intercourse in order to increase your chances

You will only fall pregnant if you have intercourse during your fertile period. This is the three days before you ovulate and for roughly three days after. You can test for ovulation by using the basal temperature method or by taking urine tests for LH.

However, it’s a good idea to continue having sexual intercourse throughout your cycle. This will keep the man creating plenty of sperm, and ensure that the sperm is fresh and new when you reach your fertile period. Additionally, it will put a little less pressure on you to ensure you have intercourse during this time.

Does a female orgasm help with getting pregnant?

An orgasm in the woman can actually help the sperm to enter the uterus. At the moment of the orgasm, the vaginal muscles contract and this can pull the semen into the uterus. So yes, ensuring that you both get the full pleasure of sexual intercourse can make falling pregnant a little bit easier.