One of the number one questions readers ask me is what they can do during the two week wait, or “luteal” period of their cycle (post ovulation & pre-menstruation) to boost their chances of a successful pregnancy.
They also want to know what herbs and foods they need to be avoiding.
I’m not a doctor, but I’ve done lots of research and have gotten successfully pregnant twice when the doctors said it wasn’t possible! These are all the tricks I used during the two week wait!
(Hey, and don’t miss ALL the tricks I used to get pregnant during infertility!)
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1. Eat blood-building, warming foods, and avoid cold and raw foods. Eat plenty of spinach, kale, collards, and other leafy greens. You might be craving carbs, so now is also the time to indulge in reasonable servings of orange vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and squashes. Let yourself enjoy whole, gluten free grains like brown rice and quinoa. Focus on getting plenty of plant based protein and limiting your animal protein during this period (as opposed to your menstrual cycle, where animal protein is more useful). And of course, don’t cheat on your overall fertility diet (no caffeine, no booze, no refined carbs, no dairy, no gluten, etc.) . . . here’s a link to the fertility diet for egg health that I’ve used to get pregnant twice against the odds!
2. See your acupuncturist! Needles, moxibustion, and chinese herbs may all help increase the chances of successful implantation and address any particular issues you might have. The Infertility Cure is a great book that can help you with diet and lifestyle changes tailored towards your chinese medicine diagnosis. Also, check out my blog post on finding a great acupuncturist for fertility!
3. Laugh. A lot. Watch funny movies with your honey. Seriously- this study showed that couples who saw a clown or watched funny videos after their embryo transfers were 15% more likely to become successfully pregnant.
4. Visualize success. Seriously. Imagine that perfect egg meeting that perfect sperm and becoming a perfect embryo. Imagine that perfect embryo traveling down the fallopian tube and implanting perfectly in your lush, warm, welcoming uterus. Circle & Bloom makes this easy with their meditation & visualization programs that are tailored for a natural cycle or IUI/IVF. They also have programs for cycles of Frozen Embryo Transfer, Donor Egg, and embryo donation! Consider coming up with a daily mantra or affirmation that talks about your success. You can also obsessively watch the Miracle of Life on Youtube like I did :-).
5. Have sex every day. Or don’t. Do what you want :-). We were trying naturally, and I never quite trusted any ovulation prediction method so we continued to have sex every day post-assumed ovulation just to make sure we didn’t miss our chances. There are also some wild stories of women who ovulate twice in one cycle- again, we didn’t want to miss any chance. Further, there are some studies that show that the presence of semen in the cervix and uterus actually helps with implantation. Now, unfortunately, there is another study that shows that sex decreases the chances of implantation. Neither study is great. So- do what feels right to you. Check out my full blog post talking about this issue!
6. Meditate. Reaching the “relaxation response” during meditation for 15-20 minutes a day has been shown to confer all sorts of health benefits! If you aren’t a practiced yogi there are plenty of ways you can meditate including using a Circle & Bloom fertility program which has meditations tailored to each day of your cycle, using an app like Expectful which is tailored to trying to conceive, or using an awesome gadget like SpireStone which teaches you how to meditate and tracks your progess.
Grab this guide on how to Restore Fertility Naturally!
7. Put your legs up the wall! Seriously! The very best yoga pose for the luteal period is Legs Up the Wall. Basically you lie on your back and scoot your butt up as close as possible to the wall and just hang out there. The idea is you are increasing blood flow to your reproductive organs right when they need it. I would do this each night during the luteal period for a few minutes before bed.
8. Exercise gently & do luteal-phase tailored fertility yoga. This time of your cycle is a good time for gentle exercises like walking, yoga, or swimming. My favorite fertility yoga is the Restoring Fertility DVD. They have 4 different practices for each part of the menstural cycle (menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal). The practices also incorporate some really cool self-acupressure (also tailored to your cycle) to help boost your chances. Check out this guest post on developing a yoga practice for fertility!
9. Don’t go crazy with the pineapple! I know, I know, its a total thing in the TTC and infertility communities. And while it may help if taken right at ovulation, it may actually hurt your chances when eaten later in the cycle. So, if you are determined to do it, here’s how: You take the core of the pineapple and cut it into 5 even chunks. Throw one chunk a day into your smoothie starting on ovulation day. After the chunks are gone, no more pineapple. I only did this once ever, and not during one of the two months I conceived successfully.
10. Switch up your seeds in your smoothie. With my second successful pregnancy I had been seed cycling for about two months. The basic idea is that pre-ovulation you eat seeds that boost your estrogen and post-ovulation you eat seeds that boost your progesterone. So, to boost my progesterone during the luteal period I ate and added to my smoothie sunflower and sesame seeds. Click here for my full fertility smoothie recipe!
11. Keep your feet warm! No time during your cycle is keeping your feet warm more important than during the luteal period! Click here to read my post on how warm feet=warm womb!
12. Act like you are pregnant. This means you should be avoiding all the same things as you would if you were pregnant. For example, ibuprofen and other over the counter drugs are a no-no in pregnancy, so it is a no-no for you during the luteal period. No super hot baths or hot tubs, watch your over the counter meds, no under cooked meat, etc. Also- don’t go dying your hair with toxic chemicals or walking into a nail salon either! See my overview post here on what chemicals and toxins to avoid for fertility, and click here to see all my blog posts on non-toxic living for fertility.
13. Channel your stress for good. If you have a hard time during the two week wait, don’t stress about the stress. Acknowledge it as a sign your power, energy, and fertility. Don’t desperately try to eradicate it. It is you. You don’t have to be relaxed 100% of the time. All of your energy is your life, your fertility, your goodness. It’s all love. Accept, and be. Utilize the energy for gentle walks, yoga, and getting creative. Write, make art, cook, and really use all of that energy!
14. Take Your Supplements. Don’t forget to take your egg health boosting CoQ10 and your gut health remedying and folate boosting probiotic! Check out all my favorite fertility supplements here!
Want more? Check out my guide for maximizing fertility during your menstrual period here! And, if you haven’t seen it, check out the whole list of 79 Diet & Lifestyle Changes I made to get Happy, Healthy, and Pregnant!
And hey- check out this great guide on Preventing Miscarriages!
What do you put in your fertility smoothie? Do you make it at room temperature?
Good question! I updated the post with the link to my smoothie recipe which can be found here: https://www.tomakeamommy.com/how-to-make-the-best-fertility-smoothie-ever/
Yes, I make it at room temperature! Originally I pre-made for the week, froze in glass jars, and then warmed to room temperature, but that was a lot of work. I make them fresh at room temperature now!
Hi, we have tried for 3 months during my fertile window but no result. Should we consult a doctor or wait for few months more?
Hi, am 47 and trying to get pregnant I have a fibroid which part of it is in my uterus which cause me to miscarriage twice what herbs can I use to get pregnant
How old were you when you finally had your 1st?
I was 33 when I had my first miracle, and I will be just a couple weeks shy of 36 when I have my second this spring! Way too young for all the awful diagnoses I have/had!!
Oh my thank you I am 31 head the unsuccessful attempts and want sure if agw was why
This is a great post Anna! Bookmarking this one to refer back to when we go back to try for our miracle 2nd!
Thanks Jennifer!! Be well!
Hello Anna! I’m following your advice and I’ve been very disciplined with it and because I’ve created a schedule it keeps the stress off too. I am 3 days late and my tests are still negative. Today is late luteal day 33. Is it too late to get a positive at this point?
Yes, I have to do schedules to in order to stay sane :-). I always say it ain’t over til Aunt Flo shows her face. I test ever day just in case. This second miracle I am pregnant with right now I had a negative blood test at day 33, but a positive home test on day 36. All my tracking methods were wrong for ovulation! Just keep on keepin on! Fingers crossed!!
That makes me feel much better. I just wasn’t sure what day it’s time to tell myself it ain’t this month girlie. I know I ovulated late. I think day 16 or 17 based on my temping and ovulation tests. I’m 45 so I know my chances are slim to none. That’s why I’ve really invested in myself done the things you e recommended. If I get my AF my doctor will start me on Clomid on day 5. I was hoping for my miracle this month. I’ll keep testing and I’ll let you know!! I’m a big testimonial though because no matter whAt everything has made me feel better and my Blood pressure is back to a great level. I had a bad car wreck last year and it’s been high ever since from the PTSD. You’ve really helped with that too. The meditation and the fertility massages and just the right nutrition and supplements. I can’t thank you enough. Wouldn’t be great if I could report you helped a 45 year old get her BFP?!!!!!!
I’m so glad to hear you are feeling happier and healthier!! What a great journey for you!!! I’m praying for your BFP!!!
Thank you for your amazing blog with so much helpful stuff 🙂 Do you have different routines or diets for each phase of your cycle? Also was curious if you had any safe suggestions for skin care products or make up?
I do have different diets for each phase of my cycle, and I’m working on an ebook that will include that! Also, all my recommended products including skin care and make-up can be found on this page: https://www.tomakeamommy.com/non-toxic-products-safe-for-fertility-pregnancy-and-babies/
Eventually I’ll write blog posts for each of them!
Amazing thank you! Can’t wait to read the ebook!
I am 44 and just starting this journey. I’ve been surprised to find that there aren’t many resources created specifically for those of us TTC over 40. Any recommendations? Thanks!
Hi Julie!! I recommend Aimee Raupp’s book “Yes, You Can Get Pregnant; Natural Ways to Increase Your Fertility Now and Into your 40s!” https://amzn.to/2nAJ7hA
As far as I can tell the advice for women in their 40s is generally the same as for women with these diagnoses: Low AMH, High FSH, Diminished Ovarian Reserve, Premature Ovarian Failure. So– what a 30 year old would do with these, would probably be what someone in their 40s would do. Does that make sense?
Thank you for your tips very encouraging
You are so welcome, my dear!
I’m 39 and been ttc for around 15 months. I have read several of your articles and every time I come away feeling more positive and knowing a little bit more about this complex and, at times stressful process.
I’ve started yoga and guided meditations for fertility/ positive body affirmations at night and I’m loving it!
I’m in my 2 week wait at the mo so working hard at trying not to obsess and stay in that positive mindset.
Hi Jenna! So glad you found the website!! 🙂 I hope the yoga and guided meditations help you get as happy as you can be!! That’s the key- happy and healthy mama!
May you remain blessed for this article. I hope to get more.
Hi anna i had my frozen Embryo Transfer thursday 12th of march 2020. Its been very stressful for me due to the Coronavirus news. Any ways i took a pregnancy test on day 9 but it showed that im not pregnant, the end of 2 weeks wait is this Thursday to do the test on day 15 any chance of been pregnant even thought on day 9 it showed not pregnant?
Thanks for shared your experiences I’m 40yo to be 41 this year have many health problems including gastritis, haemmorroid, OCD, long time constipation that make me often pee no matter how much I drink water, so basically this problem make me waste most of my time in bathroom ;( but until now not even doctors can know what’s solution of my problem, also since I live in outside USA in my country very difficult to find organic foods, supplements, acupuncture or traditional Chinese medicine, well I just can try do as best as I can with these situations & conditions, in addition I will never can do natural TTC because my husband has genetic disease, so only IVF with PGC which will very difficult with my age, very low AMH 0.3, whether you also familiar about DHEA? Obgyn here so not helpful more over in this corona situation etc. Really thanks with what you’ve shared, please wish me luck 😉
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Hi, we have tried for 3 months during my fertile window but no result. Should we consult a doctor or wait for few months more?
Hi Anna, I love your information you provide all of us ladies trying to convince. I am 48 and just transferred 3 beautiful 8 and 7 cell 3day fresh embryos yesterday (my own eggs). I’m still taking the supplements listed below. Are these okay to continue to take after transfer and would you add any?
Thorne Prenatal vitamin daily
Vitamin C 500mg per day
Vitamin k2 100mcg + D3 125mcg daily
Alpha-Lipoic Acid 400-600mg daily
Renew life Probiotics 90 billion cfu daily
Omega 3 fish oil 2,000mg daily
Tru Niagen (NAD)
B12 5,000 mcg
Red raspberry leaf supplement
USE BABAKULE PREGNANCY HERBS TO GET CONCEIVE
i want to appreciate ogbefi for his support and kindness he shown to me over the period of time. i was childless for a period of 7years, i did everything possible to have children,nothing happened till i met ogbefi who gave me his herbs to used for 3weeks and i was able to conceived and now am happly to shared this that i have my baby. firstname.lastname@example.org