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fertility myths and conception tricks

We've all heard those old wives' tales about eating the right foods, having sex on certain days, or even trying to conceive during a full moon. Some are a little on the weird side, but it turns out there's a couple out there that are based on science, and therefore could help your chances of falling pregnant.

Here's our myth-busting guide to the best methods you and your partner could use to get your body baby-ready.

Expectant mum relaxing

getting to know your cycle


Once an egg is released, it has two days of floating around inside of you to get fertilised. Tracking your own monthly pattern is useful for checking when you're more likely to conceive and then putting that time to good use (if you know what we mean).

You may like to make a fertile days calculator to keep an eye on your cycle, or you could try an ovulation kit. This measures your temperature and hormones to see how fertile you are at various times of the month. Equally, go tech-savvy with apps like iPeriod or Clue that do all the tracking for you.

aiming for the right day


It's highly debatable whether the day of the week comes into the conception equation, even with all the myths suggesting otherwise. Superstition says that boys are more likely to be conceived on odd days and girls on even days, although there's zero proof of this. However, contrary to popular belief, it's still possible to get pregnant when you're on your period.

eating with your body in mind


You're more likely to conceive if you're fit and healthy, which means eating a rich and balanced diet. There are such things as 'fertility-boosting' superfoods that you could try, too. Eating several portions of vegetables and fruit a day (including green vegetables rich in the B vitamin folate) will help your body get all the right nutrients it needs. Make sure you eat whole grains and foods that contain calcium and iron. Fish rich in omega-3 can be beneficial, as can swapping animal protein for some plant-based equivalents.

adding a few extras to your plate


It's possible that supplementing your meals with folic acid could boost your chances, and it's been proven to protect unborn babies from spina bifida.

A few old tales mention eating things like red meat to increase your chances of having a boy, or chocolate for a girl, but – unsurprisingly – these don't quite stand up to scientific testing.

Mum-to-be doing yoga

staying fit and healthy


When you ask your doctor, they're bound to tell you that keeping fit and eating well should help you conceive. This means cutting back on alcohol, quitting smoking and keeping up with your exercise routine. You also need to make sure you're getting plenty of sleep. In fact, a romantic early night in with your partner might be just what’s needed!

keeping stress free


There's no evidence to prove that the more relaxed you are, the better your chances of conceiving. But if you're feeling the strain, attending a yoga class, trying some meditation or reading a good book could take a little weight off your shoulders.

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