What To Expect At Your Appointment
During your first visit with a fertility specialist, your doctor will ask a lot of questions about your history, to try to understand factors that may be making it harder to become pregnant. They may order some blood tests to try to understand any irregularities that might be keeping you from getting pregnant, and to make sure you are in the best possible health to become pregnant. Theyll also order a on your partner though this wont be performed on the day of your initial appointment. Depending on your medical history, you might also plan an ultrasound and additional imaging to further explore. If you arent ovulating, your doctor may prescribe medications, including ones that can help induce ovulation. The best choice is very personal and your doctor will help you understand all of your options.
Wherever you are on your fertility journey, remember that approximately 85% of healthy women will get pregnant within a year of trying. For those who struggle to conceive, you can increase your chances by mixing love with science and seeing a doctor who specializes in fertility.
We want our patients to feel as comfortable as possible during this emotional and sometimes stressful time. Our team is committed to providing the most caring, compassionate, and leading-edge fertility care available.
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 getting pregnant and having a healthy baby!
Start Taking Folate Supplements
Also known as vitamin B9, folic acid is incredibly important if you are trying to conceive. Folic acid supports the neural tube formation of your baby, ensuring proper brain development.
Doctors recommend taking at least 400 micrograms of folic acid a day leading up to conception and for the following 12 weeks after conception.
Why should you start taking folic acid before youre pregnant? The neural tube begins to develop quite soon after conception and is usually complete just four weeks into your pregnancy. Therefore, it might start to develop before you know youre pregnant.
Start taking a prenatal vitamin with folate as soon as you start trying for a baby. You can also get folate from eating beans, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains like brown rice.
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Avoid These Animal Products If Youre Trying To Get Pregnant
While meat and fish are a good source of protein and can be part of a healthy diet, if youre trying to get pregnant, there are some foods that you should avoid, according to registered dietitian Suzanne Fisher. For one, she told Glamour magazine that its not a good idea to eat deli meats, as they are vulnerable to listeria but if you just cant miss out on your turkey sandwich, heat it up until its steaming. Fisher also recommends abstaining from raw meats and seafood, as well as eggs, as they can contain bacteria that can infect the fetus via the placenta. So save the sushi for later.
If youre not a meat eater to begin with, theres some good news for you! According to a study in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, replacing some of your meat, fish, and eggs with plant-based proteins is linked to reduced infertility risk. Talk to your doctor about making any dietary changes, of course, but it looks like science sided with vegetarians here.
If You Still Have A Negative Result
Sometimes, life doesnt go according to plan. You might try to get pregnant for a long time and keep getting disappointing results from pregnancy tests. You might wonder whether youre trying the right sex positions for conception, or if it just isnt meant to be.
Many people have to try for several months before getting a positive pregnancy test result.
If you think your partner may have some fertility issues or health concerns, you still have several options for growing your family.
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Counseling And Support Groups
If youve 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.
Talk To Your Gynecologist
Before you start trying to get pregnant, visit your gynecologist. Its ideal to schedule a preconception visit three to six months before your planned pregnancy. This gives you enough time to make any health improvements and lifestyle adjustments and complete any testing that may be recommended.
Here is a list of preconception tests a health care provider may suggest:
Your health care provider will also ask about your general lifestyle. They may suggest making a few changes to ensure a healthy pregnancy. This is the perfect time to ask any questions you might have about fertility and getting pregnant.
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Don’t Worry About The Best Positions For Getting Pregnant
Myths abound about the best positions for getting pregnant, but they are just that — myths. There is really no scientific evidence saying that the missionary position is better than the woman being on top when it comes to maximizing your chances of making a baby.
“Very rarely, a woman’s cervix is in an unusual position where certain positions can make a difference,” Goldfarb tells WebMD.
Figure Out Your Living Situation
Do you need to move for more space, a better location, or any other reason? If so, our advice is to do it soon. Getting settledideally, somewhere you want to be for at least a couple of yearsand feeling good about your home may help you feel more prepared for pregnancy. You certainly won’t want to deal with movers, renovations, lawyers, landlords, or closings once you’re pregnant
On the other hand, if you’re happy where live, don’t feel like you have to move now that you’re family-planning you don’t need a big, multi-bedroom house in suburbia to raise a baby. Remember that many infants sleep in their parents’ bedroom for the first few months, and a baby won’t be any happier just because they have their own nursery and playroom. You’ll have plenty of time to make the big move later on if you end up needing or wanting more space in the future.
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Dont Be Ashamed To Get Help
Your end goal in this process is to conceive and have a baby. Theres nothing to be ashamed about if you require additional help to make that possible. Its likely a doctor will run some tests and do some imaging to determine if theres an easy answer to your difficulty.
Its possible there may even be more than one reason youre experiencing difficulty conceiving. Both you and your partner should be thoroughly evaluated to determine the cause and to create a treatment plan.
If youre over 35, youll want to seek help after trying unsuccessfully to conceive for six months. If youre under 35, you should plan on trying for a full year before seeing your doctor.
Your doctor can help you through this process or refer you to a specialist if needed. You arent alone in struggling to conceive. Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there to help you.
Learn Your Family History
Collecting your familys health history can be important for your childs health. You might not realize that your sisters heart defect or your cousins sickle cell disease could affect your child, but sharing this family history information with your doctor can be important.
Other reasons people go for genetic counseling include having had several miscarriages, infant deaths, trouble getting pregnant , or a genetic condition or birth defect that occurred during a previous pregnancy.
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The Best Time To Get Pregnant
You are most likely to conceive if you have sex within a day or so of ovulation. This is usually about 14 days after the first day of your last period.
An egg lives for about 12-24 hours after it is released. For you to become pregnant, the egg must be fertilised within this time. Sperm can live for up to seven days inside a womans body. So, if you have had sex in the seven days before ovulation, the sperm will have had time to travel up the fallopian tubes to wait for the egg to be released.
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.
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Stop Smoking Alcohol And Drugs Limit Caffeine
If you smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs, you should stop before you get pregnant. They can:
- Make it harder for you to get pregnant
- Increase the chance of miscarriage
If you need help quitting smoking, alcohol, or drugs, talk to your doctor or midwife.
Alcohol can harm a growing fetus , even in small amounts. Drinking alcohol while you are pregnant can cause long-term problems for your baby, such as intellectual disability, behavioral issues, learning disabilities, and facial and heart defects.
Smoking is bad for unborn babies and puts your child at greater risk of health problems later in life.
- Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have a baby with a lower birth weight.
- Smoking also makes it harder for you to recover from your pregnancy.
Drugs that are not prescribed by a doctor can be dangerous for you to take at any point in your life.
You should also cut down on caffeine when you are trying to get pregnant. Women who daily consume more than 2 cups of coffee or 5 cans of soda that contains caffeine may have a harder time getting pregnant and a greater chance of miscarriage.
Limit unnecessary medicines or supplements. Discuss with your provider about both prescribed and over-the-counter medicines and supplements you take before you try to conceive. Most medicines have some risks, but many have unknown risks and have not been thoroughly studied for safety. If medicines or supplements are not absolutely necessary, do not take them.
Everything You Need To Buy When Trying To Get Pregnant
In some ways, getting pregnant should be a no-brainer. After all, most of us spend years trying not to get pregnant, so youd think that when it came time to actually accomplish a pregnancy, all wed have to do is stop using birth control. While getting pregnant can be as simple as that for some couples, it takes most couples at least a few months to conceive and up to a year or more may be normal.
Along the way, it can be very helpful to have some resources and tools to increase your chances of getting pregnant. These products can help you learn how your reproductive system works, figure out when your fertile times are, discover when to have intercourse for optimal conception, and best prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy.
You may be feeling confused and overwhelmed by all the choices and products out there and the truth is, not all fertility products are necessary or useful. For example, most herbs and teas that promise to increase your fertility are no regulated by the FDA or recommended by doctors. However, there are some products that can make conceiving happen faster and more seamlessly. Here are our top 6 picks.
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What If You Have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic ovarian syndrome , a hormonal disorder, is one of the most common reasons for female infertility. It affects between 6% and 12% of American women of reproductive age.
There is no single test to identify PCOS, but a doctor will determine if a woman fulfills two of the following three criteria,the CDC said :
- Irregular periods or no periods, caused from lack of ovulation
- Higher than normal levels of male hormones that may result in excess hair on the face and body, acne or thinning scalp hair
- Multiple small cysts on the ovaries
It is not clear why some women develop this syndrome, although it is often diagnosed when they struggle to get pregnant.
There is a strong link between PCOS-related infertility and weight. About 40% to 60% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese, and healthy eating and exercise have been shown to improve reproductive problems in women with PCOS, according to a 2019 article in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Reproductive Health .
A number of prescribed medications may also induce ovulation and regulate insulin levels, such asletrozole and metformin. Such medications work because high levels of insulin push thepituitary gland to release large amounts of hormones thatdisrupt ovulation . Another medication commonly used for treatment of infertility, including when the cause is PCOS, is clomiphene.
Skip The Soda If Youre Trying To Get Pregnant
It might not seem obvious, but, if youre trying to conceive, you might want to ditch drinking soda either regular or diet as noted by registered dietitian Kendra Tolbert. We think its a combination of the inflammation and metabolic changes caused by too much blood-sugar-spiking sweeteners and gut-bacteria-changing artificial sweeteners, she explained in an interview with Glamour.
As if you needed more motivation to quit the fizzy drinks, many of them come in containers that contain BPA, which can increase your chances of having a miscarriage, according to CNN.
As far as sugar in general is concerned, which is found in many juices and sodas, youd be wise to cut back your consumption of the stuff when trying to get pregnant. As registered dietitian Lily Nichols told U.S. News & World Report, spiking your blood sugar . Plus sugar can cause weight gain, which may impact your fertility if youre not at a healthy weight.
Is Morning Or Evening Sex Better When Youre Trying To Conceive
Morning may be the best time to have sex for conception, at least as far as sperm are concerned. Some studies have suggested that sperm count and quality are slightly higher early in the morning, which may mean better odds of conception if theyre deposited right after a good nights sleep.
However, there isnt a clear medical consensus, so if you and your partner are in the mood, you shouldnt let the time of day stop you.
Begin Basic Fertility Testing
Basic fertility testing includes blood work and a . Depending on your symptoms, your ob/gyn may also suggest a hysterosalpingogram , vaginal ultrasound, or diagnostic laparoscopy. Your healthcare provider will also likely perform a basic pelvic exam and Pap smear, and some test for certain sexually transmitted infections or diseases.
Basic fertility tests may or may not lead to a diagnosis. Up to 30% of couples never find out why they can’t conceive, in which case they are diagnosed with unexplained infertility.
It’s normal to feel anxious and worried as you go through fertility testing. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. An in-person support group or an online fertility forum also can provide emotional support.
Trying For Pregnancy After 35
Many women try for a baby after 35. Almost one in four pregnant Australian women are aged 35 and over. But there are risks and challenges you need to know about.
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for six months or more, you should see a doctor to discuss your fertility.
It can be harder to get pregnant than when you were younger. You’re at your most fertile in your early 20s. In general, fertility starts to decline faster after the age of 30, and declines more significantly after the age of 35.
The older you are, and your partner is, the more likely it is to take a long time to conceive.
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.
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