Hoping to start TTC soon- advice please

Me and my partner are hoping to start ttc soon and I was wondering if there was any advice you could give to me or if there was anything that you wish you had known before you started trying. This is our first time and I am a very anxious person. (Also I am from the UK- so I know so bit of advice may differ depending on where you are from) Thank you in advance.

First, deep breath. TTC can be a difficult journey but as a fellow anxious person, I really encourage you to curb it now instead of later as best you can.

Second, for most under 35, it can take up to a year for even the healthiest couples to conceive so there’s no reason to worry if it doesn’t happen right away. If you don’t have reasons to suspect issues (PCOS, endo, other hormonal issues), then it’s really okay if things take a bit. If you’re over 35, it’s typically recommended to go in after six months.

Third, if you have regular cycles, I would start with just aiming to be intimate every other day or every third day (if you and your partner can sustain that pattern) without tracking for the first few months and then test the day you expect your period. The only reason I started tracking as early (3-4 months in) as I did was because I have PCOS. This also depends on if tracking would help or harm your anxiety—it helped mine but for others who tend to hyper fixate, it can induce unnecessary stress into the process so you would have to decide what’s best for you.

Fourth, I would make a preconception appointment (it’s a thing in the US so idk if it is in the UK) and start taking a prenatal about 3 months before you begin trying or as soon as you know you want to start trying.

Fifth, you really can’t control it down to the last detail so stop trying to right now lol I wanted a spring/summer baby and am having a [name_f]February[/name_f] baby if all goes well. And I’m thankful! It can be a difficult journey but is one that can/should be enjoyed some as well. Be sure to pursue intimacy outside of just for TTC and continue romance–date nights, breakfast in bed, etc–as sometimes it can become so much about TTC couples get burnt out.

Best wishes! :slight_smile:


Thank you so much. Did you use anything to help you with tracking as i have had a look but I’m not sure what is best?

I have always used Natural Family Planning (I don’t know if it’s called something else now, as I started 13 years ago) to both achieve and avoid pregnancy. This involves checking temperatures and cervical mucus. I learnt so much about my body and its cycles by doing so. For TTC it can be very useful!

I agree with @cms1512 that it often doesn’t happen right away, and that’s normal. Some people will get pregnant first try, many won’t.

The preconception appointment is a great idea. Things like iron levels, vitamin D and thyroid function (I have issues with all 3) are vital during pregnancy and it can be good to get on top of any potential issues before you start trying. If you are taking any medication currently - some medications are contra-indicated in pregnancy so you need to be aware of that.

I’ll also add that, while of course pregnancy is different for everyone, be aware that the first trimester can really knock you out. I had overwhelming exhaustion and pretty awful morning (=all day) sickness with all of my kids. I knew it could happen, of course, but I never expected how much it would affect me. I really wasn’t able to do much for the first 12 weeks or so because of how sick and tired I felt. Once I was past the first trimester, I started to feel better.

Thank you so much for your advice I will definitely look into preconception appointments. I will also look into natural family planning, thank you.

1 Like

Depends on what you want. Using a BBT thermometer + LH strips is what worked best for me but everyone’s life is different. You have to take BBT at the same time every day before you get out of bed and it takes a few months to see patterns and I used Fertility [name_m]Friend[/name_m] (free version) to chart it.

LH strips’ purpose is to give you a heads up that LH is surging through your body, which typically happens about 12-48hrs before ovulation. You only need to hit the 2-3 days leading up to ovulation once to have a decent chance of pregnancy.

BBT (basal body temperature)'s purpose is to confirm ovulation took place. If it did, your temp will raise typically by at least .3 and stay elevated until your period comes or it will remain elevated if you conceive. This was important for me as some women with PCOS have multiple LH surges although I have discovered that I do not. If you do not have PCOS or if you have regular cycles, BBT probably won’t be necessary unless you want it for info’s sake.

Others use TempDrop so they don’t have to wake at the same time. Others use Inito or [name_f]Mira[/name_f] for hormone levels. It’s really individual and dependent on what you need/what your budget is.

To add on to @Chococat , pregnancy is different for everyone. I’m at 8weeks and haven’t been sick or really tired yet. I’ve had cravings and some aversions but no extreme nausea or fatigue yet.

And I really encourage you again if your cycles are regular to try for a few months just being intimate every other day if schedules and libidos allow. For many, that’s really all you need.

Thank you I will look into both. Congratulations on your pregnancy, I hope everything goes well for you.

I think ion another perspective one thing I wish I had really took time to digest was that TTC looks different for everyone for each pregnancy. When my hubby and I got married I told him I wanted to TTC immediately because as a preschool teacher Inhad a share of parents that through the years confided to me that TTC took longer then they anticipated. I remember being told, “had I known it was going to take so long I wouldn’t have waited.” So I went in kind of like expecting this long TTC journey……

Well, baby 1 was conceives first try. So was baby 2. And baby 3. And this was all in my 30’s. So by that point we thought we had it down to a science of pretty much planning the due dates. So when we tried for number 4 I had July picked out. But that baby took 2 months. And then that baby miscarried. And then our rainbow (whom we were told we could start trying for asap) took 8 months…. So really you just never know. Be prepared for instantaneous but also not so instantaneous.

I never did any big planning for any of my pregnancies. No temping, tracking or tests if any kind. The ONLY thing I did do each time was start up my prenatal when the idea of TTC was brought up.

A piece of advice I never heard:

Eat Bell Peppers Every Day!

When I became pregnant recently I started randomly craving bell pepper. After weeks of eating bell peppers and cheese every day for lunch I decided to research what bell peppers contained that my body was in need of (and hence why I was craving them.)

So first of all, apparently in Native American, Hindu, West African, and numerous other cultures red bell pepper symbolizes fertility and pregnancy (partly because of the round belly shape lol, but also the nutritional content is perfect for pregnancy!). They would even use bell peppers in fertility rituals and recommend they be eaten before, during, and after pregnancy. I did not know any of this!!

Bell Pepper contains:
-over 150% daily value of vitamin C (one of the best sources of vitamin C believe it or not)
-FOLATE (the number one thing you need for a healthy baby)

  • tons of other vitamins
  • antioxidants that prevent chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease
  • red bell peppers especially reduce your risk of anemia by promoting iron in the body (you make so much extra blood during pregnancy)

Take prenatal vitamins as well of course, but there is something to be said about the bioavailability and added antioxidants in fresh healthy foods that prenatals cannot provide. Treat your body like a temple :classical_building:

I eat them every day, religiously!

PS: don’t worry about the complicated testing and tracking stuff at all! not now anyways. this is your first time trying and you don’t need to over complicate it or stress out! if after 6 months you don’t become pregnant THEN that’s something to consider.

1 Like

Oh wow that is so interesting ive never heard of eating bell peppers. Thank you

Thank you and im sorry for your loss

I think one of the biggest things that I dont see mentioned is just to be healthy. Eat healthy, be active, and take as much care of your mental health.

Yes thank you I am starting to improve my health

1 Like

Congratulations! That’s a really exciting step. I’m hoping that it all goes super smoothly for you and doesn’t take long at all.

If you’re already an anxious person, I’d recommend finding a therapist to talk to. I’m also an anxious person. It took us over 3 years to get pregnant and I was incredibly anxious and depressed for a majority of that. Which then caused me to be super anxious during pregnancy and struggled a lot with postpartum anxiety and depression. If I ever have another baby, I would start counseling before even getting pregnant to try to stay on top of my anxiety and emotions.

If it seems like it’s taking a while, I’d talk to a doctor sooner rather than later. I’m not sure how it differs in the UK, but in the US we were able to do a lot of testing and figure out that I have PCOS and endometriosis. It helped a lot knowing that because it put us down a different treatment track. So if you can save yourself the time then it’s nice to be able to know what all you’re coming in with!

Thank you, my anxiety is more health and sickness based so I kust want make sure that I am not going to do something that could problems or if there is something that i should be doing. I appreciate your advice and we definitely look into some therapy if i definitely feel like i am in need of it.

1 Like