Having Sex Throughout The Month
While some women feel empowered by tracking ovulation, others just feel anxious and overwhelmed by it all. Whatever method of ovulation tracking you choosechecking your temperature every morning, using ovulation detection strips, checking your saliva for ferning, checking your cervical mucus, or all of the abovepaying close attention to your cycles and ovulation signs can be emotionally exhausting.
If timing sex for ovulation is causing anxiety, you can instead just rely on regularly timed sex. In these cases, experts suggest having sex every week, about every other day. Following this schedule, you’re bound to have sex at least once during your fertile window, even without tracking your cycle.
Aim to have sex at least three to four times a week, throughout your cycle. There is a theory that semen may be helpful to the developing embryo. This means that sex after ovulation, and after you’ve conceived in fact, may help your pregnancy “stick.” Another good reason for more sex.
Stop Drinking Alcohol Smoking And Using Certain Drugs
Smoking, drinking alcohol, and using certain drugs can cause many problems during pregnancy for a woman and her baby, such as premature birth, birth defects, and infant death.
If you are trying to get pregnant and cannot stop drinking, smoking, or using drugsget help! Contact your doctor or local treatment center.
Alcohol and Drug Resources
Schedule A Preconception Checkup With Your Ob
Making sure the mechanics are in good working order and knowing what things to do before getting pregnant is always a good idea before you decide to have a child. This is especially important if this will be your first pregnancy, you are over 35 and trying to conceive after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse, or you are currently or have previously suffered from endocrine issues or any other health problems that affect fertility. Your ob-gyn will offer you tailor-made advice on ovulation and how to get pregnant in a way that is healthy and safe for your body.
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Preconception Health For Women
Being as healthy as possible in the months before you try to have a baby has been shown to boost your chances of falling pregnant and give your baby a better chance of good health throughout their whole life. These simple steps will help you become as healthy and fit as possible before you become a mum.
If you want to conceive a baby, it is important to:
- begin trying before you are 35, if possible
- be in a healthy weight range
- quit smoking
- stop or reduce alcohol intake
- treat health conditions that could affect your fertility
What Should I Eator Not Eat
Its a good idea to think about being as healthy as you can be prior to becoming pregnant. Along those lines, you may be wondering if there are foods and beverages that you should avoid if youre hoping to get pregnant. In general, experts advise eating a healthy, balanced diet of nutrient-rich foods. You might want to avoid undercooked meat, to reduce the risk of possibly contracting toxoplasmosis, which is an illness caused by the parasite toxoplasma gondii. While youre on the topic of whats safe to consume, check in with your provider about what other substances are safe or unsafe during pregnancy so you can best protect yourself and your pregnancy.
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Things To Talk About Before Getting Pregnant
Where do you stand on co-sleeping? Do you both want to continue with your careers? How do you feel about princess culture? From daycare to Disney, religion to chicken nuggets, you make thousands of decisions as parents. Heres what you should discussbefore you pull the goalie.
May 1, 2017
Before my son was born, I researched childbirth constantly. I meditated every morning, did yoga three times a week, asked an osteopath to balance my pelvis and crafted a custom labour playlist with five hours worth of music. A pile of library books teetered beside my bed, and vitamins and supplements lined the kitchen counter. My obstetrician said my birth plan was one of the most detailed ones shed ever seen. But before getting pregnant, my husband and I rarely talked about what our new arrival would mean financially, emotionally, logistically or professionally. Big mistake.
Hours, days and months after my sons birth, I was crushed by the magnitude of waking up every two or three hours to feed a tiny screaming human. Our plan to alternate my early-morning shift with my husbands late-night one seemed hilariously naive and, like many new moms, I struggled with agoraphobia and breastfeeding, lack of sleep and self-care.
Figuring out where you both stand, early and often, can help smooth the ride into parenthood. Heres a rundown of the big and little things to iron outideally before you buy that first pregnancy test.
After Having Sex How Long Does It Take To Get Pregnant
Depending on the time of ovulation, the egg and sperm join and create a fertilized egg within five days of sex. Then, the fertilized egg can take 610 days to implant in your uterus. Pregnancy can be detected after implantation.
The best way to determine whether youre pregnant is by taking a pregnancy test after your period is delayed. Home pregnancy tests are available at drugstores and pharmacies, or you can visit a health center and take a pregnancy test there.
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Have A Cervical Screening Test
If you are aged between 25 and 49 you should have a cervical screening test every three years. Its best to get tested before you get pregnant because pregnancy can make the results of your test harder to interpret.
If youre planning a pregnancy contact your GP surgery to find out if your screening is due now or within the next year.
Get Some Serious Shut
Enjoy the luxury of shut-eye now and you wont have any regrets later! Alternatively, if you are more of a forward planner, it might be a good idea to start resetting your sleep cycle and get used to early mornings. Try sleeping with the blinds open so that your body wakes up naturally with the sun.
Above all, get mentally prepared for the idea of a 24-hour day, as opposed to 16 hours of awake time, eight hours of asleep time. You may still get eight hours, but it will just be scattered across a 24-hour period, not in one block.
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Ask About All Your Options
More couples are waiting to start families after age 35. If you’re concerned about your future fertility options, talk to your doctor about them now. Fertility does decline as you get older, but not everyone will have difficulty conceiving.
If you are single or otherwise not in a position to start trying to have a family, this is also an important topic to discuss with your health care provider. You might choose to consider egg freezingthough it is expensive and is not without risk. Ask your doctor if egg freezing would be an option for you, given your specific situation.
What Are Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant
If youre wondering what your odds are of getting pregnant, your chances are pretty good when youre younger. In fact, an average healthy couple in their 20s and early 30s has about a 25 to 30 percent chance of getting pregnant during any one menstrual cycle, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists .
Though that number may seem low, over the span of a year it means your chances of conceiving are about 75 to 85 percent. Just keep in mind that those odds drop with age, which may be a factor if youre finding that its difficult for you to get pregnant.
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Try To Maintain A Healthy Weight
Your BMI is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. The ideal BMI before conception is between 18.5 and 24.9.
Having a high BMI can reduce your fertility and increases the risk of complications in pregnancy. Being overweight can also contribute to fertility problems in men .
If you have a very high BMI you may feel like it is an impossible task to reach the healthy range and you may have been struggling with your weight your whole life. Try not to lose heart, bringing your BMI a few points down the scale can make a big difference.There is professional support available if you need it.
If your BMI is in the underweight range it may affect your fertility and cause health problems during pregnancy. It may help to put on weight gradually with a healthy diet. There are many reasons why a person may be underweight. You GP can give you help and advice.
Should I Be Taking Prenatal Vitamins
Your provider will almost certainly answer this question with an emphatic yes. If youre thinking about getting pregnant, you should go ahead and start taking an over-the counter prenatal vitamin withfolic acid now as you dont know when youll actually conceive. Folic acid can help reduce the chances of neural tube defects . According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , you should start taking a prenatal vitamin containing at least 400 micrograms of folic acid one month before getting pregnant and continue taking it through at least the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy. Some women may need to take even more folic acid, if theyre atelevated risk for having a baby with a neural tube defect.
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Start Taking Folic Acid Before Conceiving
Start taking a prenatal vitamin supplement with folic acid and Omega-3 at least 1-2 months before pregnancy. Folic acid intake in the mother prior to and during pregnancy has been shown to reduce the risk of birth defects involving the brain and spinal cord.
The United States Public Health Service recommends folic acid for all women of child-bearing capacity. Studies have shown that if folic acid is begun at least 4 weeks prior to conception, the risk of birth defects of the spinal cord and skull can be reduced by more than 70%.
In women with or even without a history of having infants with birth defects of the spinal cord or skull, folic acid should be taken one month before conception and continued through the 12th week of pregnancy. In fact, continuing prenatal vitamins through pregnancy and even though nursing is probably wise. These prenatal vitamins are available over-the-counter. If a particular brand makes you feel nauseated, simply switch to another brand or try taking the vitamin at night.
When Should I Have My Next Baby
A recent study showed that mothers should wait for 12 to 18 months after giving birth before getting pregnant again. This is because shorter gaps between pregnancies raise the risk of premature birth and smaller babies. This increase applies to women of all ages, but the risk is highest among women aged 20-34.
For women over the age of 35, becoming pregnant less than 12 months after giving birth also increases the chance of serious complications for the mother. For women under 35, having babies close together does not increase the risks to their health.
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You Should Know How Your Age Can Affect Your Fertility
“Ultimately, a lot of the issues surrounding fertility relate to the eggs,” Dr. Copperman said.
“A woman is born with all the eggs she’s ever going to have in her lifetime and by the time she’s in her 40s, nearly 90% of eggs are unhealthy. So if a woman is in her mid to late 30s or early 40s or has a family history of early menopause or has had endometriosis or surgery on her ovaries, then she’ll want to take seriously evaluating her ovarian reserve and maybe intervening sooner rather than later in her family planning goals.”
As far as age goes, Dr. Copperman said being proactive is the best option.
“A woman who is single and 34 maybe would consider freezing her eggs so that the normal age-related decline doesn’t compromise her ability to get pregnant when she wants to.”
Day : Start A Multivitamin
Pregnancy is taxing on the bodys nutritional stores. Give yourself a boost by taking a multivitamin to bridge any gaps. Better yet, prenatal vitamins are specifically formulated to give your body what it needs during pregnancy.
Starting a prenatal now will help you avoid any nutritional deficiencies during early pregnancy. Youll also have time to try out a few brands to see what works for your body.
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Reach And Maintain A Healthy Weight
People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk for many serious conditions, including complications during pregnancy, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers .1 People who are underweight are also at risk for serious health problems.2
The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight isnt about short-term dietary changes. Its about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating and regular physical activity.
If you are underweight, overweight, or obese, talk with your doctor about ways to reach and maintain a healthy weight before you get pregnant.
Bring A List Of Your Meds
Some medications are not considered safe to take during pregnancy. For some medications, you might need to stop taking them before you start trying to conceive, while others might be fine to take up until you actually get pregnant. Your provider might also switch you to a different medication.
There are also medications that can interfere with fertility. This is another reason to tell your health care provider about all the medications you are takingeven if it’s “only” an over-the-counter product or supplement.
Do not stop taking any medication without discussing it with your provider. Some drugs, like antidepressants, may need to be slowly reduced over time .
Your provider might decide that the risks of stopping your medication are greater for you than those associated with continuing to take it while you are trying to conceive.
Make sure that your provider knows about any health conditions you have. There are several chronic medical conditions that can affect pregnancy, and it’s best that they are optimally managed before you get pregnant.
Ask your provider if there are any travel precautions, testing, and immunizations that you need before you become pregnant.
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Can I Get Pregnant If I Have Uterine Fibroids
Yes. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, only 5-10% of infertile women have fibroids. In other words, it’s not a primary cause of infertility, and having fibroids doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have trouble getting pregnant.
But it is important to note that fibroids can interfere with both conception and implantation, per a 2016 study in Current Obstetrics and Gynecology Reports, which outlines a variety of ways uterine fibroids can prevent a pregnancy from happening. This includes anatomical abnormalities that block the passage of sperm, changes to normal uterine contractions, anti-inflammatory responses, and changes to the uterine lining.
The good news, though, is that the link between fibroids and miscarriage is no longer as widely accepted as it used to be. A 2017 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found no evidence of an increase in miscarriage associated with fibroids. Researchers flagged the evidence behind the prior fibroid-miscarriage connection as “potentially biased,” finding that once other factors were considered , the miscarriage rate was the same between women who had fibroids and those who didn’t, reports the National Institutes of Health.
Do I Need To Worry About Anemia
Iron-deficientanemia develops when you dont have enough healthy red blood cells to deliver oxygen all over your body. Its very common for pregnant women todevelop mild anemia due to the increase in blood volume that comes along with pregnancy, according to the American Society of Hematology. Your provider can advise you about what to do. For example, eating foods that are rich in iron and taking aniron supplement can usually bring your iron levels up to the appropriate levels. But if you already have anemia or had moderate to severe anemia during a previous pregnancy, let your provider know. If you have pre-existing anemia, you may want to take the prenatal vitamin with iron, Dr. Hauschka says.
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Ask About Supplements And Lifestyle Changes
Vitamins aren’t only for people who are pregnant. Some supplements, like folic acid , should be taken before you even start trying to conceive. How much folic acid you should take is a matter of debate and may depend on your medical history.
Most prenatal vitamins contain sufficient amounts of folic acid for most people who are, or will be trying, to get pregnant.
It’s also a good idea to ask your provider if there are any lifestyle changes you could make. Examples of questions you might ask include:
- Am I at a healthy weight for pregnancy?
- Are there any products that I use on my body or in my home that should be replaced?
- Can I have a glass of wine with dinner when I am trying to conceive?
- Do I need to kick my coffee habit?
- Is my diet adequate? Am I meeting the recommended amounts of nutrients?
- Should I quit smoking or using other substances?