Keep To A Healthy Weight
If you’re overweight, you may have problems getting pregnant and fertility treatment is less likely to work.
Before you get pregnant you can use the BMI healthy weight calculator to find out your BMI. But this may not be accurate once you’re pregnant, so consult your midwife or doctor.
Having a healthy diet and doing moderate exercise are advised in pregnancy, and it’s important not to gain too much weight.
Have A Sexual Health Check
Sexually transmitted infections can affect your fertility, as well as any future pregnancy and baby.
If there is any reason to think you or your reproductive partner may have a STI, its important that you both get tested. The best places to go are a GUM clinic, sexual health clinic, your own doctor or a young peoples clinic.
Make A Plan And Take Action
Whether or not youve written them down, youve probably thought about your goals for having or not having children, and how to achieve those goals. For example, when you didnt want to have a baby, you used effective birth control methods to achieve your goals. Now that youre thinking about getting pregnant, its really important to take steps to achieve your goal pdf icongetting pregnant and having a healthy baby!
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Get To Know Your Cycle
How much do you know about your menstrual cycle? Really understanding helps you know when you’re most fertile, says Hillard.Ovulationis the best time to get pregnant. “This is the time to focus on having sex,” Hillard says.
It helps to become aware of the signs of ovulation, such as a change in your cervical mucus. It usually becomes thin and slippery when you are most fertile. Some women may also feel a one-sided twinge of pain.
Ovulation prediction kits can also help you predict the best time to get pregnant, says James Goldfarb, MD, director of the infertility service at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland. Not only can they help assure you that you are ovulating, “if you are having infrequent intercourse, this tells you when to have it to increase your chances of getting pregnant,” he says.
Here’s how it works: The first day of your menstrual period is considered day one. “Start testing on day nine and keep going until you get a positive,” advises Joanne Piscitelli, MD, an associate professor of gynecology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. Women with a 28-day cycle tend to ovulate on day 14. But many women have longer or shorter cycles, so casting a wide net can help you be sure.
How Much Physical Activity Do You Need Each Day
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get 2½ hours a week of moderate-intensity activity, like fast walking, and strength-training 2 days a week. These recommendations change depending on the intensity of your workouts. And you dont have to do all 2½ hours at once. Do a little bit each day to break it up throughout the week.;
If youre already physically active, keep it up! If youre starting or re-starting exercise, take it slowly. Talk to your provider before you start any physical activity if:
- You have heart disease or are at risk for heart disease.
- Youve had a stroke or are at risk for having a stroke.
- You have diabetes or are at risk for having diabetes.
- Youre obese. If you’re obese, you have an excess amount of body fat and your body mass index is 30 or higher. BMI is a measure of body fat based on your height and weight.
- It can help you find out if you need to gain or lose weight..
- Youve had surgery or you have an injury or disability.
- Youve had eye surgery or laser treatment on your eyes, or you have a bleeding or detached retina. The retina is the nerve tissue that lines the back of the eye.
Physical activity can help reduce your risk of having certain health conditions that can cause problems for you and your baby during pregnancy, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart conditions. It also can help you manage stress, sleep better and quit smoking.
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Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Research shows that consuming too much caffeine while you are trying to conceive can increase the risk of miscarriage. The research shows that this applies to both women and men.;Too much caffeine in pregnancy has also been shown to be harmful to the developing baby.
If youre planning to conceive, you and your partner should consider ;;limiting your caffeine intake to 200mg a day.
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.
Counseling And Support Groups
If you’ve been having problems getting pregnant, you know how frustrating it can feel. Not being able to get pregnant can be one of the most stressful experiences a couple has. Both counseling and support groups can help you and your partner talk about your feelings and help you meet other couples struggling with the same issues. You will learn that anger, grief, blame, guilt, and depression are all normal. Couples do survive infertility, and can become closer and stronger in the process. Ask your doctor for the names of counselors or therapists with an interest in fertility.
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Wait Until You Miss Your Period To Stop Drinking
If the thought of getting pregnant has passed through your mind, even for just a second, experts say you should give up happy hour;now.
Consider this: Half of all pregnancies are unplanned. So you could be enjoying a night out on the town with a few cocktails and not know you’re already pregnant.
If you’re drinking, your baby is, too. The alcohol that’s making you feel relaxed could interfere with your baby’s brain and nervous system growth. Alcohol affects your baby at every stage of pregnancy, especially in the early weeks.
Need more reasons why you and your partner should back away from the bar?
- There’s no safe level of prepregnancy alcohol drinking. Also, there’s no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy.
- If you’re getting fertility treatments, like IVF, having four or more drinks a week lowers your chances of having a baby.
- Your guy should put down the glass, too. Alcohol can lower levels of the sex hormone testosterone and cause erectile dysfunction. You probably won’t get pregnant if that happens.
Common Misconceptions About Increasing Your Fertility
When people find out you are trying to conceive or are having problems getting pregnant, you may get a lot of advice. People have good intentions but may have limited medical knowledge. It can get confusing sorting through all the health blogs, fertility forums, and more. It can also be painful when people think they have an easy solution to something that is so private and personal. Here are some common myths about getting pregnant and increasing fertility:
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Get Flu And Whooping Cough Vaccinations
Some infections, such as rubella , can harm your baby if you catch them during pregnancy.
Most people in the UK are immune to rubella, thanks to the uptake of the;measles, mumps and rubella vaccination.
If;you have not had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine, or you’re not sure if you have, ask your GP surgery to check your vaccination history.
If you have not had both doses or there’s no record available, you can have the vaccinations at your GP surgery.
You should avoid getting pregnant for 1 month after having the MMR vaccination, which means you’ll need a reliable method of contraception.
Should A Person Get The Vaccine If Theyre Trying To Get Pregnant Or Having Fertility Treatment
A person who is considering pregnancy or undergoing fertility treatment should definitely be vaccinated. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends; the vaccine for patients planning to get pregnant soon. The vaccine is not a live virus and there is no reason to delay pregnancy attempts because you have received the vaccine or if you plan to get the vaccine. Since pregnant women are at high risk of severe disease from COVID-19 and at risk for associated pregnancy complications, women contemplating pregnancy or undergoing fertility treatment should be vaccinated.;
The COVID-19 vaccine does not increase miscarriages, even if a woman gets the vaccine early in pregnancy. About 30% of the pregnant women in the CDCs v-safe post-vaccination health checker received the vaccine in early pregnancy. Miscarriage rates among these women were low and the same as miscarriage rates in the general population.;
There has been spread of dangerous incorrect information on social media stating that COVID-19 vaccines will cause women to not be able to become pregnant. This is not true and this myth has been disproven. One part of the myth is that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein made by the vaccine will lead your body to create antibodies against any future placenta because of similarity between the spike protein and a placenta protein. Laboratory studies have shown that the spike protein antibody made by the vaccine DOES NOT react with the placenta protein.
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Eat Fewer Refined Carbs
Speaking of carbs: Its not just the amount of carbs thats important, but also the type.
These carbs are absorbed very quickly, causing spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Refined carbs also have a high glycemic index . The GI tells you if a carbohydrate-dense food will raise your blood sugar significantly.
Insulin is chemically similar to ovarian hormones. These hormones help our eggs mature. Consistent elevated insulin can cause the body to produce fewer reproductive hormones because it thinks it doesnt need it. This can contribute to a lack of egg maturation and ovulation.
Given that PCOS is associated with high insulin levels, refined carbs can make it even worse.
Should I Get The Vaccine If I’m Trying To Get Pregnant
Dr Krishan says:
‘Yes, there are no concerns or safety issues with the Covid-19 vaccines and fertility. You can get the vaccine at any time during efforts to conceive.’
The JVCI says the vaccine has shown to reduce serious illness from Covid-19 and reduce hospital admission.
One in five pregnant women with Covid-19 have had premature births which can be prevented by the vaccine, so it’s best to get it when its made available to you if you have no contraindications against it.’
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Common Tests For Fertility
In addition to checking blood work, your OBGYN will also evaluate your uterus to make sure there isnt anything about your uterine anatomy that makes it difficult to get pregnant.
At Madison Womens Health, we can do a Saline Infusion Sonohysterogram, often called an SIS. After injecting saline fluid in the uterus, we use ultrasound equipment to evaluate the uterine cavity.
Its also important to know if your fallopian tubes are open so a sperm and egg can meet. The hysterosalpingogram, or HSP, is like an SIS but uses an x-ray machine to view your uterus and test if your fallopian tubes are patent .
Have Sex Every Other Day During The Fertile Window
The “fertile window” spans a six-day interval the five days prior to ovulation and the day of it, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Every month, a woman is most fertile on these days.
Many women are turning to new technology tools, such as fertility-tracking apps and websites, to help them keep tabs on when they may be more likely to conceive, but a 2020 review in the journal BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health suggests that there is limited independent research on their accuracy. In a study published in 2016 in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, scientists analyzed 50 popular fertility-tracking websites and apps with a hypothetical woman, and found that the results varied wildly, with many mistakenly tagging days outside of the fertility window, Live Science reported.
When a woman has identified that fertility window, should they have sex every day? Research has shown that there hasn’t been a big difference in pregnancy rates between couples who had sex every day during the “fertile window” compared with couples who did it every other day , Pavone said. “And having sex every other day might be easier for a couple to pull off,” she added.;
- Glow Ovulation, Period Tracker
- Fertility Friend FF App
- Clue: Health & Period Tracker
But she said there are some water-based vaginal lubricants that can decrease the movement of sperm, so Pavone recommended using Pre-Seed rather than Astroglide or K-Y Jelly when lubrication is needed.
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Optimize Vaginal Health Use A Sperm
Vaginal dryness is more common than we may think. In a study across 11 countries involving over 6,500 women, up to 18% of women aged 1834 years reported always or usually experiencing vaginal dryness4. This can be worse when trying to conceive as there is a tendency to have lots of baby-making sex. Some of the most commonly available lubricants can be harmful to sperm so be sure to use a sperm-friendly lubricant.If you have any abnormal vaginal discharge, it is worth speaking to your doctor. Common vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis or thrush, can be treated easily and make trying for a baby easier.
Get A General Health Check
Planning a pregnancy is a good chance for both parents to get a full health check. If your doctor plans to prescribe you new medications or antibiotics, remind them that you are planning a pregnancy.
If there is a family history of medical conditions on either side, such as cystic fibrosis or diabetes, let your doctor know. You may need genetic counselling with a trained specialist or referral for diabetic specialist preparation to pregnancy.
Some sexually transmitted infections can be passed on to your baby during pregnancy, so make sure you have both been treated for any infections before planning to conceive.
If the mother has a medical condition such as diabetes or epilepsy, or is being treated for depression or other mental illness, medications for these will need to be checked before;conceiving to make sure they will not affect the baby.
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