Updated: Jan 9
Find the best websites to get trusted information and advice on how to get pregnant. Review by Dr Belinda Coker, Your Trusted Squad.
The phrase ‘Trying to get pregnant’ is searched for 7000 times a month in the US and just over 1000 times a month in the UK (Keyword Search) so this is an extremely popular topic. Google has 455 MILLION results the phrase (Google).
I want to help you find the best and most reliable sites available to help you get the right information and tips on how to get pregnant. I also hope this will save you heaps of time!
Since 75% of people do not click past the first page of the google search results page (Hubspot) I've reviewed and commented on the actual sites that came up on the first page of the results when I entered the phrase 'trying to get pregnant'.
I reviewed 7 websites providing health information. These were NHS.UK, Tommy’s, Clearblue, Livescience, Healthline, Parents and Todays Parent. The criteria are found in the main part of this blog post.
The web sites that involved medical professionals to verify the content contained trusted accurate health information were NHS, Tommy’s, Clearblue and Healthline and these sites also received the highest scoring articles.
The sites that did not have medically reviewed content were Livescience, Parents and Todays Parent.
The 4 highest scoring sites:
1. NHS - one of their two articles scoring of 9/10.
2. Tommy’s - a score of 8/10 for the one article.
3. Healthline - had two articles that scored 8/10.
4. Clearblue - one of their two articles scoring 8/10.
The purpose of this article is to help you make an informed decision and also to help you know what to look out for when considering the health information you read.
The articles that received lower scores did not necessarily indicate lower quality articles. Some of the articles focused on a specific aspect of trying to conceive (ttc) and therefore didn’t meet the criteria.
The links on the search did not necessarily generate the information that met best practice or even the best, most informative pages of all of the pages available on these websites. This means that ultimately you have to enter the right phrase or complete a number of searches to get the complete or right information.
None of the pages contained information or links on what to do when you once you had a positive pregnancy test i.e. when you should inform a healthcare professional and book your first antenatal appointment.
So to make life easier these 3 links below will give you a good start and answer your question
The review process
The first page of results
I’m based in the UK so these are the results that came up on the first page when I entered ‘trying to get pregnant’ into the search box.
A total of 11 links came up. I've put the score for each link in the bracket. The order of results on the Google First Page were :
1. NHS (Score 6.5/10)
2. NHS (Score 9/10)
3. Tommys (Score 8/10)
4. Livescience (Score 7/10)
5. Clearblue (Score 6/10)
6. Clearblue (Score 8/10)
7. Healthline (Score 8/10)
8. Healthline (Score 8/10)
9. Todays Parent (Score 3/10)
10. Parents (Score 7/10)
11. Parents (Score 2/10)
About the companies writing the articles
‘The NHS website for England is the UK’s biggest health website’. The National Health Service (NHS) is the healthcare system funded by the UK Government. It comprises NHS England, NHS Scotland, NHS Wales and NHS Northern Ireland.
The link to the first NHS article contained only brief information and in my opinion would not have provided you with enough information at all. The page didn’t include links to other useful pages about trying to get pregnant.
The link to the second NHS post was a much better page and included lots of useful links. Interestingly there was no direct link between this page and the ‘trying to get pregnant’ page above even though they are on the same NHS.UK website.
The NHS website was the only site of all of the sites to inform women of when to take the pregnancy test.
Tommys, based in the UK, ‘provides evidence-based, expert and accessible information about every stage of the pregnancy journey from planning for a baby to after birth. They are part of the pregnancy health charity ‘Tommy’s’ that funds and works closely with 5 pregnancy research centres and their specialist clinics. They investigate pregnancy complications that might lead to loss or premature birth.’ Tommy’s pregnancy information service is overseen by their National Pregnancy information service advisory board; a group of senior representatives from midwifery and obstetrics and maternity policy. It includes representatives from RCOG, Royal College of Midwifery, NHS and the Department of Health.
This article mainly focused on pre-conception advice. Links were provided to other pages that discussed ovulation, Infertility. My personal opinion is that this site is great if you have lots of time to peruse or you know what you are looking for as you have to manoeuvre around all the information and piece it together. I believe it would be better if there was a complete guide or if google took you to this page instead.
Livescience is a US based site that provides articles and interesting facts ‘for the science geek in everyone’. They feature topics in tech, health, space, physics, Planet Earth, animals, Dinosausrs and history.
The article provides a quote from a Doctor, a reproductive endocrinologist and fertility specialist but wasn’t written by or officially reviewed or verified by the doctor.
In my opinion the article provides useful information and guidance on how the practicalities of trying to conceive and includes some preconception advice. Links are provided to the American Pregnancy Association and lots of links to Livescience articles. The piece does not discuss any of the health issues regarding pre-conception advice or advise seeing a healthcare professional for preconception review.
I found the experience of reading the documents rather annoying because the links don’t open in a separate tab and you can’t simply use backspace to return to the original page without clicking 3 times to see 3 separate advert pages that are completely unrelated to the topic then, returning back to Google page and then clicking back in to the main article. So if you decide to read this article open any links in a separate tab to save your sanity.
Clearblue is 'The World’s No1 selling home pregnancy & fertility tests brand'. Clearblue’s HQ is in Switzerland.
Clearblue's content is reviewed by medical experts. The Clearblue article provided some useful tips and included advice from a Fertility Specialist who answered a number of questions specifically designed to provide guidance to readers. The article was reviewed by also Doctor. Clearblue ovulation kits, which are registered medical devices aim to apply an innovative process and easier method of tracking your menstrual cycle in the traditional sense so this could be a reason why they don’t explain much behind the physiology of conception.
This particular page did not guide you on what to do if you suspected you could be pregnant or what to do you if experienced delay in conceiving. The information is available elsewhere on the site but you have to search around for it. There weren’t any connecting links at the bottom of the page.
On a side note, I decided to quickly check that the Clearblue tests are cleared as medical devices in the UK and US. In the UK this requires a CE mark, which should be clearly printed on the packaging. In the US, devices require FDA approval. I could not find easily find information about this on their website or on the Amazon website so I’ll look into that soon. The CE mark should be clearly outlined on the packaging.
In my opinion the second Clearblue article that came up on the search was a better article. It provided information on what to do if you are experiencing delays in trying to conceive.
Healthline is a health information site headquartered in the US. Healthline has an all female Medical Affairs team that oversees the quality of their content. The Medical team is led by a doctor who moved into health tech (like me!).
The first article by Healthline was written by a registered Nurse and reviewed by a doctor. It’s a short article with a relatively narrow focus on improving your chances of getting pregnant which is why it has a lower score. The article links to a 30 day preconception plan that includes a preconception visit to the doctor.
The second article is titled 'Babymaking 101' but also has a narrow focus on sex for pregnancy. The article scored well because it included relevant links.
Todays Parent, based in Canada, produces articles and content on parenting.
The link on the Google page take you to the first of many many articles. You can scroll up for numerous articles on trying to conceive. The first article is about myths related to trying to conceive. You would have to spend quite a period of time reading through the articles to piece together all the information you need.
Parents is a US based content platform for parenting.
The first link takes you to a page which lists a number of blog articles related to trying to conceive. Some of the blog titles are sensationalist which makes them more popular to find but the content is easy to read and carefully written with a balanced viewpoint and includes expert answers.
The title of the second article from Parents is titled ‘Real Moms Dish on Easy Ways to Get Pregnant Faster’. It’s written in the context of hearing from mums sharing their experience of lifestyle changes they made before they conceived. It’s a light, upbeat conversation piece with some information written in a sensationalist way e.g. increase your fertility with food, which is not a statement with a firm evidence base.
The information is really about how mums followed the preconception advice e.g. lose excess weight, eat a healthy balanced diet with whole foods, take your supplements, perform regular exercise, and get to understand their own bodies. The article provides stories and tips rather than how to get pregnant so it doesn’t cover the points in the criteria I have set and this is why it has a lower score.
The scoring criteria
I put this criteria together first and cross matched it with information from the National Clinical Institute of Excellence (NICE) and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).
The page will contain or include links to pages that give
1. Information is based on reliable evidence that is up-to-date where applicable.
2. Information is written, posted or explicitly verified by an individual that has professional accountability* for providing healthcare to patients or an organisation that has met health information standards *.
The advice covered includes:
3. A simple but clear explanation of the physiology behind how fertilisation occurs. Understanding the physiology behind fertilisation helps you understand how your menstrual cycle, reproductive hormone levels and timing of sex are crucial in trying to conceive naturally.
4. Preconception advice to prepare and optimise your health before starting to try to conceive. This usually includes recommending speaking to or visiting a healthcare professional which can be the Nurse, Pharmacist (if they offer this service) or GP. It also involves discussing diet, supplements and general self care advice. If you are taking regular medication or have a chronic medical condition, having a pre-conception consultation with a healthcare professional is essential.
5. Understanding your menstrual cycle and how to work out when you are ovulating.
6. Guidance on best time of the cycle and frequency of having sex to improve chances of getting pregnant.
7. When to take the pregnancy test. Informing you about the physiology of implantation can help you understand that you become pregnant after implantation and not fertilisation.
8. What to do if you become pregnant.
9. What to do if you don’t become pregnant.
10. What is a reasonable time to continue to try before you seek advice from a doctor.
1 point is provided for each criteria met; therefore the maximum score was 10.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I’d really appreciate your feedback on the criteria or the findings.
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More information about the criteria and information standards
*This means they are a Government body, certified by the NHS and/or regulated by a healthcare regulator e.g. The, General Medical Council, Nursing & Midwifery Council