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The Top 5 mistakes people make when TTC (and what to do instead)

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by Photos Courtesy of Ava

Deciding to have a child is one of the most exciting times in the life of a parent-to-be. Of course, it can also be one of the most frustrating times if conception isn’t happening as smoothly or as fast as you want it to. Which is where Ava Fertility comes in. The first and only FDA-cleared wearable fertility tracker, the Ava bracelet helps increase the chances of getting pregnant by helping wearers properly time intercourse by charting one’s peak 5-day fertility window.

As numerous studies have shown—the fertile window is more than just ovulation day, it’s also the 5 days leading up to it, with peak fertility happening 2 to 3 days directly leading up to ovulation. (As many as 75% of couples typically get their fertility window wrong, making conception take longer.) To figure out your unique fertility window, simply wear the Ava bracelet to bed and the device will collect continuous data that you’ll sync to the Ava Fertility app in the morning in order to pinpoint your best days to try for a baby.

Below, the folks at Ava are sharing 5 other common TTC mistakes that couples make—and (more importantly!) what to do instead. Read ’em, get busy, and good luck!

Mistake 1: Expecting it to happen right away.
If you tried very hard to prevent pregnancy when you were younger, you might be surprised to find that it doesn’t happen immediately when you stop using contraception. But for a couple with no underlying fertility issues, it can sometimes take up to a year to get pregnant. 

In a 2017 survey of 1,000 women conducted by Ava, 83% of women underestimated the amount of time it would take to conceive. One of the few evidence-based ways to shorten time to pregnancy is to accurately time intercourse around ovulation—the Ava bracelet is a great option for this.

Mistake 2: Trying too late.
Many couples focus too much on the day of ovulation. This is not the only, or even the best, day to have sex if you want to get pregnant. For the best chances of getting pregnant, you want sperm to already be ready and waiting in your Fallopian tubes at the time of ovulation.

To accomplish this, ideally you should have sex at least once during the 2 to 3 days just before you ovulate. If you track your fertility using LH tests, you may be missing some of the most fertile days of the menstrual cycle. LH tests typically provide only about 24 hours warning before ovulation. 

The Ava bracelet identifies 5 fertile days per cycle, letting you take full advantage of your peak fertility.

Mistake 3: Using special lubes when you don’t need them.
Some couples mistakenly believe that specially formulated fertility-friendly lubricants can boost their chances of conception. But there is some evidence from laboratory settings that conventional lubricants can harm sperm. Fertility-friendly lubes are less harmful to sperm than conventional lubes. But “less harmful” is not the same as helpful!

If you usually use lube during sex for comfort or pleasure, it’s probably a good idea to switch to a fertility-friendly one when trying to conceive. But if you don’t usually need lube, there’s no reason to start.  

Mistake 4: Focusing on things that don’t matter.
Lots of people start buying special tinctures, teas, vitamins, or supplements to boost fertility. But most of the time, the evidence for these remedies is lacking.

There is one thing you can do to dramatically boost your chances: accurately timing intercourse around the fertile window of the menstrual cycle. This doubles the chances of conception. 

Mistake 5: Symptom spotting.
It’s common to wonder if every headache, cramp, or twinge is a sign of pregnancy. But most women don’t experience any signs of pregnancy until 6 weeks of gestation, or 2 weeks after the missed period. 

Implantation, which occurs before your missed period, does not cause bleeding, cramping, or other symptoms.

If you feel lots of strange symptoms in the days before your period is due, you’re not going crazy! You can blame the hormone progesterone. There’s no way to tell the difference between early pregnancy symptoms and premenstrual symptoms because they are caused by the same hormone. 

This article is brought to you by Mother + Ava Fertility.

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