Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Getting Pregnant: Easy Ways to Encourage Fertility

If you’re having trouble getting pregnant but you're not quite ready for fertility treatments, there are things you can try on your own.

Fertility Booster No. 4: Acupuncture

Studies linking acupuncture to conception have by and large been conducted on women undergoing fertility treatments. Still, many experts are quick to point out that this ancient Chinese medical art may also work to help encourage fertility overall -- even for those couples trying to conceive naturally.

"I sometimes recommend acupuncture, in conjunction with stress reduction activities such as yoga, to help encourage pregnancy," Pollack says.

"I wouldn't advise a couple to rely only on acupuncture, or to try it without first getting a fertility workup, but if everything checks out OK, acupuncture can be helpful," she says.

Fertility Booster No. 5: Ovulation

While being intimate during the "right time of the month" won't do anything to increase your fertility, it can increase your chances of getting pregnant -- simply by ensuring you and your partner connect during the time conception is possible.

Timing is crucial, says Pollack, because "an egg only lives for 24 to 36 hours." But sperm can live in the lower portion of a woman's reproductive tract a lot longer -- often up to five days. So to increase your chances of conceiving you should be intimate with your partner beginning three to four days prior to ovulation, and continuing up to 24 hours after ovulation.

But how do you know when you're about to ovulate? Experts say there are several methods you can use to approximate.

  1. Chart your basal body temperature (BBT): Your BBT, which is the lowest temperature your body reaches during the day, is affected by the hormones that influence ovulation. Just prior to egg release, your BBT drops about a half degree and then rises again after you ovulate. So by carefully monitoring and keeping track of your daily temperature for one or two months, Pollack says you will notice a pattern take shape. If you have intercourse during the days when your temperature drops, then there is a good chance you will be within your fertility window.
  2. Chart your cervical mucus: Corresponding to changes in body temperature are changes in cervical mucus. Just prior to ovulation, the mucus will seem more copious, thinner, and clearer than on other days. You might even be able to pull it apart so that it looks somewhat like rubber cement -- a phenomenon known as "spinbarket." By checking your cervical mucus daily and coordinating its consistency with your BBT, you can further nail down your most fertile time.
  3. Use an ovulation predictor kit (OPK): These over-the-counter kits, costing from $20 to $75 a month, check for the hormonal changes found in urine prior to ovulation. Some use a color-sensitive dipstick while newer OPKs have digital readouts that may be easier to interpret. OPKs can alert you to ovulation up to two days in advance. Once the OPK is positive, Pollack says, you would "have intercourse that day and every day for three days to help increase your chances of conception." Another device that may predict fertility is the "ferning" microscope, which can be used to detect changes in saliva that precede ovulation. However, experts say this approach may not be as reliable as an OPK.
  4. Buy a fertility monitor: At $200 to $400, they are not cheap. But a fertility monitor can indicate as many as six or seven fertile days each cycle. That can give you a clearer sense of your fertility window and potentially increase your odds of conceiving. Try a wristwatch fertility predictor, which detects chemical changes on the skin that indicate ovulation. These fertility watches help women identify the four days prior to ovulation.

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Woman looking at pregnancy test
calendar and baby buggy
dark chocolate squares