With the New Year upon us, there are all kinds of articles and videos making the rounds with predictions of the Zodiac signs most likely to get pregnant in 2024 (early congrats to those of you born under the signs of Gemini, Pisces and Scorpio!). But here at Beli, we take a much more scientific approach to conception. Across the board, experts have the same recommendations for couples planning on becoming parents, and they’re both easier and harder than you might think. Astrological signs aside, here are the top eight things people will do to get pregnant in 2024.
1. Know That It Takes Two
Simple, but really, this cannot be overstated. A successful conception requires both sperm and egg, and the health of both parents during the preconception window has an enormous effect on what’s to come. A preconception health series published in the Lancet Journals is pretty darn clear, calling it “important not only for pregnancy outcomes but also for the lifelong health of their children and even the next generation” (1). While women generally bear the brunt of the blame when a couple struggles to conceive, let’s be very clear that both parties can be equally culpable. Sperm health in particular is susceptible to external factors, from a crappy diet to too much stress to too little exercise, and by prioritizing overall health in both the man and the woman, a couple can take active steps toward improving their fertility health as well.
2. Start Taking Prenatals
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. The best time to start taking prenatal vitamins is before you’re pregnant, really the minute you decide you want to try, and that applies to both partners. Men and women alike benefit from a daily prenatal vitamin to shore up nutritional gaps and nourish their respective preconception health. For men, that means supporting all parameters of sperm health. For women, it’s all about egg quality and hormonal balance. And, in the event you conceive quickly, it means your teeny tiny baby will be getting key nutrients like choline and folic acid well before you even realize you’re pregnant.
We’ll go ahead and offer a recommendation here. We designed Beli for Men and Beli for Women to fuel fertility health with specialized nutrition. Our women’s formula is one of just a handful of prenatals on the market meeting recommended levels of key nutrients (choline, folate, iodine, magnesium and vitamin D, to be precise) to help promote hormonal balance and healthy egg maturation, among other benefits (2). Bonus: our serving size is a very doable three capsules. Our men’s formula, meanwhile, contains science-backed nutrients to promote healthy sperm production, motility and morphology. It’s also the first men’s prenatal with shilajit, an incredibly powerful Ayurvedic compound that supports male fertility by increasing testosterone and promoting sperm health. Happy side effects also include more endurance, recovery and muscle strength.
3. Embrace That Healthy Lifestyle
Nothing new here. Eating well, getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep are the tried-and-true steps to a healthy body and mind. Of course, knowing it is one thing, but putting it into practice is the tricky part. Still, you may find motivation in the fact that being as healthy as you can means a greater likelihood of a healthy conception, pregnancy and baby. Make it a couple’s thing and cheer one another on!
Be mindful that part of a healthy lifestyle is cutting way back on vices like alcohol, smoking and recreational drug use. Moderating your alcohol consumption is really important when you’re trying to conceive, smoking is a complete no-no, and recreational drug use (yes, even CBD) falls into the “more research needed” category (3), which means it’s something to avoid during this life stage.
4. Address Stress
Stress is ubiquitous in this day and age, but it really kills your chances of becoming pregnant. Researchers are still puzzling out exactly whether it’s the stress itself that affects fertility, or the unhealthy behaviors we end up exhibiting in an effort to cope with that stress. While they continue to pinpoint exactly what’s going on, one thing remains true: managing stress is important for your physical, mental and emotional health, which means it’s also beneficial for your fertility health. Find what works for you, whether it’s a few yoga classes every week, mindfulness techniques before bed, therapy, exercise, whatever. Every little bit counts!
5. Talk to the Doctor Sooner Rather Than Later
You’re probably familiar with the standard rule: If you’re under age 35 and generally healthy, you should give yourself around a year to conceive before you start quizzing the doctor. If you’re over 35 and generally healthy, the timeline narrows to six months. But there is tremendous value in talking to your doctor once you’ve made the decision to pursue pregnancy. This is a chance to be very upfront about your health history, any medical conditions that might affect your chances of successfully conceiving, current medications, and what can be done to really set a solid foundation for your preconception health.
6. Consider At-Home Fertility Testing
At-home fertility testing isn’t mandatory, by any stretch, but it might be an informational baseline for men in particular. Sperm health can vary pretty significantly over the course of just a few weeks, and an at-home sperm test could be a simple way to see whether your lifestyle changes are bringing about any positive change in sperm count and motility. Of course, these tests are limited, and you won’t get the detailed analysis you can expect from a fertility specialist. Still, if you’re the kind of person who appreciates data, consider it a useful first step when you and your partner are starting the journey to parenthood.
7. Become Really Familiar With That Cycle
Timing is everything when you’re trying to conceive, and a women’s peak fertility window is about six days long. That’s when she has the very best chance of conceiving, so experts recommend having sex either daily or every other day during this timeframe. Most women ovulate (release a mature egg for potential fertilization) about 14 days before their periods begin, a number that’s surprisingly consistent no matter how long their menstrual cycles last. For a ballpark estimate of ovulation, get up close and personal with your cycle. That’s the best way of timing sex to your fertile window.
8. Be Mindful of Environmental Toxins
The idea that environmental toxins are wreaking havoc on our reproductive systems really took hold in 2023, with various websites and magazines and publishing platforms sounding the alarm. That’s a good thing, because what goes into your body matters, and that includes the stuff you don’t realize is sneaking in. Carly Hartwig, a holistic reproductive health advocate and fertility awareness educator, wrote an informative guest post for us with actionable tips for cleaning up your lifestyle, from personal care to household products, to minimize your exposure to environmental toxins, so that’s a great place to start!
The Bottom Line
Making a plan for becoming pregnant is a great way to get all your ducks in a row. Since external factors, like nutrition, lifestyle, stress management and environmental toxins, can all influence your fertility health, giving yourself three to six months for meaningful change is a great place to start. Forget the stars—committing to healthy living, one day at a time, to nourish your preconception health is the best way to welcome a pregnancy in 2024.
- Preconception Health. The Lancet. (2018). https://www.thelancet.com/series/preconception-health
- Bell, C et al. (2016). Prenatal Vitamins Deficient in Recommended Choline Intake for Pregnant Women. https://clinmedjournals.org/articles/jfmdp/journal-of-family-medicine-and-disease-prevention-jfmdp-2-048.pdf
- Pregnant? Don’t Smoke! (2020). https://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/features/pregnantdontsmoke.html