Are you at it morning, day and night and still having no baby luck? Jani White reveals what most couples are doing wrong in bed when it comes to getting pregnant and how to get it right
So, you’re feeling broody? The sight of a baby makes your heart melt and you don’t want to wait any longer, you want to start a family. Although it’s ultimately down to Mother Nature, there are some do’s and don’ts behind the art of conceiving.
Jani White, expert in sexuality and fertility and author of new book ‘The Fertile Fizz’ explains everything you need to know.
Less focus on ovulation, more focus on the lead up…
Probably the greatest mistake made by trying-to-conceive (TTC) couples is the over-emphasis given to the ovulatory days. Of course they are important, vital even, BUT it is just as important to build up the conception energy in the days leading into the ovulation as it is to ‘catch’ those all important opportunities of peak hormones that give you the smiley face on the ovulation test kits.
if we want to build our ability to conceive we need to focus on building our sexual energy.
The energy that entices the receptivity for conception begins immediately as your period ends. The big mistake that many couples make is not putting enough emphasis into building up their sexual energy BEFORE the ovulatory days arrive.
So many couples get swept up in the day to day drive of our busy hectic desk-bound commuter lives, and very often the sexual agenda is something that is not prioritised until those all important peak fertility days.
I always say to couples: The chemistry of attraction is the chemistry of conception’. That means, if we want to build our ability to conceive we need to focus on building our sexual energy.
2. Make seduction your priority
One of the biggest misjudgements TTC couples make, time and time again, is the decision to put aside lovemaking in favour of baby-making.
So let’s go back to the chemical reality of what the body needs in order to conceive. The chemistry of attraction, that pheromonal ‘fizz’ is exactly the same hormone cascade that affects your ability to conceive.
The chemistry of attraction, that pheromonal ‘fizz’ is exactly the same hormone cascade that affects your ability to conceive
It’s called the HPG, the hypothalumus-pituitary-gonadal axis, which is a highly attuned, finely balanced feedback loop between the master glands in your brain (hypothalamus-pituitary) and your gonads (the ovaries and testicles).
Your desire kicks off a signal to the limbic system which triggers your dopamine, the ‘I want’ hormone, which in turn is the trigger for your oxytocin, the so called ‘love hormone’ as it develops our sense of bonding, a most necessary ingredient in the quest to conceive. This domino effect, as one hormone triggers another, is why we call it a hormone cascade.
This hormone cascade, this desire-driven punch, then triggers the hormones that flurry us into a state of heightened wanting, firing up our oestrogens and testosterones into peak sexuality. This is our libido, our hormonally driven desire barometer.
It is in this state of wanting that we become most adaptable and receptive to conception.
If we can turn our attention to making seduction the priority, the ability to conceive will naturally be enhanced by our heightened sexual energy.
3. Cuddling, stroking, hand-holding
So we mentioned earlier that the emphasis on babymaking can interfere with lovemaking, and we also spoke about the importance of stoking up the oxytocin as a way of building up our sexual and reproductive energy.
We cannot emphasise enough the importance of this bonding hormone and how essential it is to our conception energy. We need to know that this mate we have chosen will be well bonded with us as we embark into a pregnancy and childbirth. There needs to be a certainty that this mate will be the one to ensure our safety and wellbeing in the context of caring for an infant and raising a child.
This bonding response is hardwired into a 30,000 year old program that is so entrenched into our DNA that it is impossible to feel safe about having children unless we know that our bonded mate will be there to fend off the sabretooth tigers, slay the woolly mammoth and keep the fire tended as we face the challenges of birthing and caring for an infant in a cave in an uncertain world.
Sounds a bit dramatic? Well, yes, in the context that sabretooths have been replaced by financial stresses and the woolly mammoth is your local Tesco/Sainsbury. But, in the reality of how our hormones work, this cave-orientated response is still our fundamental driver in what makes our cascades tick.
We can trigger our oxytocin response through handholding, stroking, eye-gazing, sensual noises and hugging.
Remember what it is like when you first fall in love? You are in a state of constant touch – in a state of bonding. One of the sure fire ways to fire up your reproductive energy is to return to that state of constant contact. They call oxytocin ‘the love hormone’ for a reason.
One of the sure fire ways to fire up your reproductive energy is to return to that state of constant contact
And please remember that post ovulation it is just as important to keep your sexual and lovemaking energy kindled. These oxytocin enhancing tips are vital advice for your luteal phase – the two weeks after the ovulation, the time of potential implantation.
During this phase it is so important for you both to put a great deal of emphasis and energy into ‘cherishment’. Show your lover how much you care. Be very aware that now the sperm delivery part is done, that it is just as important for you to be focussed on the upkeep of that sliding scale of hormonal vibe between you, from affectionate to rampant, however the mood may take you. Keeping that physical bond thriving through touch during the luteal phase is a vital ingredient to helping your body to be more receptive to a pregnancy.
Babies want to come and be with happy people. Cherishment during the luteal phase is a sure-fire way to trigger the hormonal receptiveness for conception.
4. Charging your sexual batteries
For many couples the process of trying to conceive can become fraught with a minefield of sexual politics and tensions, which has significant potential to become a mis-match of disappointments and needs unfulfilled.
As we stated earlier, the babymaking can supplant the lovemaking and what should be a delightful and fulfilling experience of sexual replenishment can instead become a chore.
One of the best ways to stay in the lovemaking frame is to focus instead on the things which bring you into your most sexual frame. What makes you horny?
Take your eye off of the sperm and egg ball and put it firmly back in the court of ‘Hey Baby, how can I make you horny.’
It is all too easy in our busy lives to let sex fall down the agenda to a place where it is relegated to the more ’afterthought’ or ‘occasional’ space; many people feel too tired for sex. Or worse yet, when sex becomes a scheduled obligation according to the temperature chart and the ovulation test kit, and instead of being in a state of joyful bonding, the sex can become quite mechanical and feel soulless.
Ask yourself, in this last week how much time and energy did you give over to the day to day mechanics of living your life, commute, work, shopping and cooking, errands etc? And in the context of all these regular aspects of daily life, how much time did you give over to your social media time, your email commitments or just cruising on the internet (usually looking at all the reasons why it is so difficult to conceive)?
And in calculating all this time and energy consumption, ask yourself – how much of that time did you spend thinking about ways to charge up your sexual tension? How much time did you give towards thinking of ways to seduce your lover? How much time and energy did you devote to finding ways to turn them on? How much time did you spend thinking of, fantasizing, about what turns you on?
The more time and effort that you give to charging up your sexual needs, the more you will enhance your enjoyment of lovemaking
Babymaking energy is derived out of our sexual energy, and the more time and effort that you give to charging up your sexual needs, the more you will enhance your enjoyment of lovemaking for it’s own sake, of finding sexual connection that leaves you panting and in a place of longing for more…
This is the right frame of heart and mind for making babies. The more turned on we are to enjoying and revelling in our lovemaking, the more we will enhance our ability to conceive.
5. Make love on an empty stomach
One of the biggest mistakes that many couples make, is that they relegate the lovemaking, the babymaking, the sex, to a time and place at the end of the day. And one of the worst things about this is that many couples are eating far too late into the evening, and by time they sort out their day, eat that meal, veg-out in front of the telly, and then finally move to the bedroom, they are coming to their lovemaking with a full tummy and hormones that are more focussed on digesting than being sexual.
most couples are coming to their lovemaking with a full tummy and hormones that are more focussed on digesting than being sexual
Did you realise that digestion is a hormonal process? Most people think of hormones as something that is most entirely about sexuality, but in fact all of our physiologic functions are hormonally driven. When we are digesting, our endocrine systems (the hormone governing systems) are going to be predominantly sending all energy towards sorting out the complexes of dealing with the big load you have just taxed your stomach and intestines with, in order to break down and uptake all the nutrition and organise all of the digestive functions that nourish you.
Now, by all means, we need our nourishment. All that we are suggesting here is that by prioritising lovemaking in front of digestion you will then be coming into your sexual uplift without any of the complications of trying to drive up your sexual energy to the forefront on top of all the time consuming efforts your body would be tasked with during the throes of full-on digestion.
Instead of walking through the door into an evening of your usual routine of eat first, make love later – try reversing that.
So instead of walking through the door into an evening of your usual routine of eat first, make love later – try reversing that. Simple. Walk through that door, grab your lover, whisk them into the bath or shower, get naked, wash away the day, soap each other up with a sensual lathering to get the mood rolling and then get to the love making, before you head into the usual evening supper routine.
Not only will you have better sex, less inhibited by the taxation of digestion, but you will then come to your supper with a marvellously increased appetite. Making love with undistracted hormonal flow means that your sexual hormones will have the upper hand and carry you to greater heights of more vigorous enjoyment. Win-Win.
6. Foreplay AND afterplay
Afterplay. It’s a lot like foreplay, but it’s afterwards as well as before.
Girls, I’m sure many of you have read that tilting the hips after sex is a good idea, most especially when you are on your peak fertility days. And yes, this is no ‘old wives tale’, it is indeed good practice to help pool the semen up against the cervix, most especially when you have the clear ‘egg white’ stretchy mucous (Spinnbarkeit).
If you have the ‘dry’ mucous that you see just after the period ends, you need not tilt hips during these days. The dry mucous is designed to keep sperm out of your tightly closed cervix. Dry mucous is a time for uninhibited enjoy-yourself sex for sex’s sake.
When that dry mucous begins to shift to wet, and then to stretchy, this is the time for tilting.
This is when the cervix begins to open and create a passageway for the sperm to enter.
What many people do not realise is that a good orgasm is an important part of helping to maximise the potential for the most amount of sperm to move up and through the cervix.
A good orgasm is an important part of helping to maximise the potential for the most amount of sperm to move up and through the cervix.
Many years ago Masters and Johnson, the renowned sex therapists, did some groundbreaking research whereby they inserted cameras to record what happens inside a woman during orgasm. What they discovered is that the cervix actually ‘dips and gulps’. This is a physiologic manoeuver that helps increase the movement of sperm through the cervix. Girls, you know what this feels like – that deep ‘clenching’ feeling that happens when we are in the throes of an orgasm.
guys, here’s a tip: once you have ejaculated inside of her, place your lover on a bed of pillows, tilting her hips to a 35 to 40 degree angle – and then do your best to drive her wild.
So guys, here’s a tip: once you have ejaculated inside of her, place your lover on a bed of pillows, tilting her hips to a 35 to 40 degree angle – and then do your best to drive her wild.
Women have a great capacity to orgasm, and, after you have had penetrative connection, you still have the ability to bring her off yet one (or more) time.
Even just kissing, cuddling and caressing in this position will have great ability to enhance the flow of semen through the cervix, and if you can add a wicked twist of the things you know will drive her crazy with desire, then do your utmost to see if you can help her to a further orgasm that will flash flood the oxytocin and cause that cervix to dip and gulp.
7. Periods are for his pleasure
One of the greatest mistakes that can happen for couples when trying to conceive is the relegation of your sexual play to focus primarily on having sex around peak fertility of ovulation.
Girls, this advice is for you. When you are so caught up in the challenges of trying, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of only putting your sexual energy into the lovemaking that involves sperm delivery.
When yet another period begins to flow it is, of course, disappointing and quite devastating. But, it is vital to remember that on Day 1 of your cycle the FSH and LH (follicle stimulating hormone and lutenising hormone) have begun their cyclical flow, and right from Day 1 the next follicle that may be the potential pregnancy is being stimulated into growth that will become the next opportunity to conceive.
It is so important to use this time of the period to focus on the needs of your lover. Periods are a brilliant opportunity for you to focus on lovemaking that has nothing to do with conception – but has everything to do with geeing up the hormonal fizz that is the sexual energy between you.
Periods are a brilliant opportunity for you to focus on lovemaking that has nothing to do with conception
Periods are for hand jobs and blow jobs – a time for his pleasure, a focus that has everything to do with why you are lovers and nothing to do with making babies – yet.
By putting a sexual focus into this menstrual phase you are setting up a dynamic that means as you finish the period you are seamlessly stepping into the all important phase 2 – the pre-ovulatory phase, when it is so important to really emphasise your lovemaking and build up the sexual tension that is going to crest you into the ovulation on an absolute high of wide open, receptive, peak-hormone top of the range ability to give your bodies their best chance to really make a baby.
In the wise words of fertility expert Emma Cannon, ‘pregnancy is a receptive process. You cannot achieve a pregnancy, you can only receive it’.
All the advice in this article is geared towards just this. By being in your most sexual frame, you will best enhance your ability to receive. Being receptive to your lover, opening the pathways of lust and longing, is by far the most obvious and correct way to enhance that receptivity for conception.
The chemistry of attraction IS the chemistry of conception. Take your eye off of the sperm and egg ball and put it firmly back in the court of ‘Hey Baby, how can I make you horny?’
This is by far the best way to make a baby.
Jani White, author of new book ‘The Fertile Fizz‘, is a writer and lecturer, acupuncturist, doula and antenatal teacher. When not working in the Harley Street clinic she blogs as ‘The Fizzicist’ for all things hormonal. Jani works with ‘All Ages – All Stages’, men and women, boys and girls, infants to geriatrics.