If you're trying to conceive, those two weeks before your expected period can feel like an eternity. And the two minutes as you wait for the results on your pregnancy test can feel even longer.
Chances are, you've done extensive research online about how to get pregnant and how to know when you're most fertile. Here are some tips from gynecologists and fertility experts you might not have heard of yet:
A 2015 study found artificial light (such as from cellphones and TV) interrupts sleep patterns, ultimately affecting fertility too.
Fertility doctor Mark Surrey says, "It's hard to say that having your cell phone on at night will make you infertile, but not getting enough sleep [due to disrupted patterns] can affect your melatonin and cortisol levels, as well as potentially your ability to produce eggs."
If you're eager to have kids, set your phone aside and reach for a book or take those few minutes before bed to have a nice chat with your husband before dozing off.
Many lubricants can inhibit sperm movement by 60 percent. Increase your chances of conceiving by using mineral oil lubricants instead, as suggested by fertility specialist Kelly Pagidas.
Many people say you should have sex as much as possible to increase your chances of getting pregnant. But Paula Amato, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, tells couples it's best to capitalize on the days just before and around ovulation.
Ovulation occurs about 14 days before the next menstrual period. Talk to your OB-GYN if you need help determining when you ovulate.
It's only a myth that you have to wait for the man to build up his sperm count.
"Ejaculation effects seminal volume, not the concentration of sperm," says reproductive endocrinologist David Ryley. "The concentration is more important and not influenced by the frequency of sex."
Whether you have sex every day or every other day, the important factor is that you are intimate on the days that matter — your most fertile days.
Don't lose hope if you're overweight or underweight. Just because it makes it harder to get pregnant doesn't mean it can't happen. Talk to your doctor for help getting to your ideal weight so you can be healthy not only for your baby, but for yourself too.
"The more overweight a man is, the lower [his] testosterone and sperm function," says Dr. Ryley. Trying for pregnancy is a great time to start a diet together. Keep each other motivated to eat healthy and exercise.
The stress hormone, cortisol, messes with your brain's signal that tells your body it's time to release an egg. Seeing your friends' pregnancy announcements online can leave you feeling eager about seeing those two pink lines on a pregnancy test, but try to relax. Ask your husband to massage your scalp, go for a short walk or lose yourself in a book.
Be honest with your gynecologist about your diet, daily habits and any issues you've experienced while trying for a baby. He or she can answer any questions you have and help you know how to prepare your body for a baby. And when you finally see that positive test, you'll remember why all the hard work was worth it.