How Ovulation Timing Helps
The goal for conception should be to time intercourse before ovulation occurs. Sperm is viable for roughly two or three days inside the fallopian tube, but the egg is viable for less than 24 hours, Dr. Humphrey notes.
You want the sperm there to greet the egg, she says.
Dr. Humphrey recommends that if youre trying to conceive, you should purchase an ovulation prediction kit. Most women ovulate between 12 to 16 days after their period begins, but a kit can offer more precision.
She also suggests that you eat healthfully, exercise regularly and try to avoid being exposed to infections and radiation. Its also helpful to have someone with whom you can talk with and confide in openly throughout this process, Dr. Humphrey says.
Once you decide to have a baby, your stress level goes up because either you get pregnant or you dont get pregnant, and both are stressful, Dr. Humphrey says. Ive seen people whove had multi-year journeys to achieve pregnancies, and having social support, an outlet for talking to someone, can make a big difference.
Reasons You May Want To See A Fertility Doctor
Planning for pregnancy can be challenging. If you are ready for a baby but seem to be having trouble getting pregnant, it might be time to explore your options.
Many people forget that infertility affects both men and women equally. In all couples, there’s a 50/50 chance that a man or woman will have fertility problems. Here are seven reasons you may want to see a fertility specialist.
Practical Tips To Prepare Your Body For Pregnancy
To start, there are a few basic things you should understand about conception. Your age, your state of healthin terms of exercise, weight and smoking, for exampleand your family history, can all affect your fertility.
Its important to understand that many couples dont conceive right away. In fact, of all couples trying to conceive:
- 30 percent get pregnant within the first cycle
- 60 percent get pregnant within three cycles
- 85 percent get pregnant within twelve cycles
At Moreland OB-GYN, we take pride in helping women understand pregnancy, from conception to birth. Below, our team of expert obstetricians shares three tips on how you can optimize your health and prepare your body for pregnancy. In addition, we offer some tried and true advice on fertility and minimally invasive options to help you get pregnant.
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The 1 Year/6 Month Appointment
If 1 year goes by and you are experiencing trouble getting pregnant, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor, who may refer you to a fertility specialist.
The direction of this appointment will depend in part on how thorough your preconception appointment was. For example, if you had no preconception appointment, your doctor will likely review your past medical issues, lifestyle habits, and possibly environmental factors. If this is the case, the questions recommended above for preconception appointments should be asked during this appointment.
However, if these sources had been thoroughly examined previously, your doctor may move on to more in-depth testing. Though fertility exams can seem daunting, its important to remain engaged and to ask questions during the process.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor When Trying To Conceive
When youre struggling to conceive, you may not know when it’s time to see a doctor about your fertility. Once you do reach out, you may find that youre not sure what questions you need to ask. Even if you feel unsure about meeting with a doctor, its important to check in with your physicians throughout your family planning journey.
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# What Tests Should I Do Before Planning A Pregnancy
Before you take the road to pregnancy, I recommend a general health check. This would include your blood group test, thyroid and sugar levels. Some specific tests that are advised as well, include- Rubella immune status and Thalassemia. Rubella is a viral infection that can cause disastrous defects in the baby. It is therefore essential to test your immunity towards the infection and if not go for Rubella vaccination.
Thalassemia is a condition where blood formation is hampered. It is important to check if you are a carrier of the gene that can be transferred to the baby.
Signs You Should See A Fertility Doctor
A fertility doctor has more specialized knowledge, skills and experience than a family doctor, gynecologist, or natural health practitioner. So, avoid spending too much time and money on medical health tests unless your gynecologist or health practitioner is a fertility specialist.
Unless your ob-gyn specializes in infertility, works closely with a urologist specializing in infertility, and has established that your diagnosis is straightforward and treatment is not complex, you run the risk of spending money on incomplete or inappropriate diagnostic tests and treatment, writes Constance Shapiro in When Youre Not Expecting: An Infertility Survival Guide. These fertility tests may deplete your finances before you are even referred to a fertility doctor who may require that both of you repeat the very same tests.
You should see a fertility doctor if
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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.
To Increase Your Odds Of A Healthy Pregnancy Ask These 11 Important Question At Your Preconception Visit
Deciding to have a baby is a momentous decision. And while you can technically hop under the sheets and start trying anytime, its a good idea to schedule a preconception visit beforehand. Id recommend visiting a healthcare provider a couple of months before trying to conceive or several months before if you have a pre-existing medical condition, says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the Yale University School of Medicine.
At this preconception visit, your doctor will assess your health history, evaluate any medical concerns, and give you advice for a forming a healthy pregnancy. Think of the appointment as an ask me anything session to pick your doctors brains. Here are 11 questions to consider asking your Ob-Gyn because before you know it, you may have a baby growing in your womb!
How long will it likely take me to get pregnant?
Of course, your doctor cant predict exactly when youll conceive. Some couples get pregnant on their first try, while others wont conceive after years of having regular unprotected sex. But your doctor may have some general predictions based on your age, health history, and past conception experience.
When should I stop birth control?
Will my health conditions affect my fertility?
How will my medications affect my fertility?
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You Have Previously Had Surgery On Or Near Your Genitals
If you have had an operation in the past on or near your genitals , then there is a chance that it is interfering with your fertility. Often there is no obvious sign that the surgery is causing you problems getting pregnant, so you will need to ask your doctor and if they think it appropriate they will send you for tests. You may also want to check out the section Surgical Causes of Female Infertility or Male Ejaculatory Duct Obstruction for more information.
Come To Your Prenatal Visit Prepared
If youre searching when should I go to a doctor for pregnancy, youre likely looking for information and support beyond a one-word answer.
Heres our advice: write down a list of all your questions and concerns you want to ask your doctor. Its easy to feel overwhelmed once you are at your appointment. If you have your questions prepared ahead of time, youll be able to address all of your concerns and not miss anything. Your doctor is there to support and guide you, so take advantage of that and ask away!
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What Else To Expect At The Preconception Visit
Besides a question and answer session, your preconception visit will likely include some tests. Youll recognize many of these screenings from your annual gynecologist exam: blood pressure reading, pap smear, and pelvic and breast exam. However, your healthcare provider may also test for issues that could interfere with fertility, such as uterine fibroids, cysts, or PCOS especially if youve having symptoms of these conditions.
A blood test can also shed some light on your vitamin levels, thyroid health, STD status, and immunization to certain illnesses . Your doctor may also conduct urine tests or mental health screenings.
Write A List Of Your Questions
Making a list of your concerns, symptoms, and questions before your appointment can be a big help. Good reasons to write it down include:
- Having your questions in front of you as a prompt can be easier than trying to gather your thoughts or come up with your questions off the top of your head.
- If you are anxious about verbalizing your concerns or questions, it might be easier to hand your provider a list to read instead .
- You’re less likely to forget what you wanted to say or ask.
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Dont Put Off These Appointments
If youre a little hesitant to schedule an appointment to discuss your fertility, we understand completely: speaking with a doctor about your fertility can be an intimidating and frustrating process. At the same time, it can also provide relief and you the answers to questions you want to ask but are afraid to mention to friends or family.
Most importantly, the help that doctors provide can be extremely effective. As a result of todays advanced medical testing, 6 out of 7 couples who seek medical help conceiving receive a diagnosis and real tips on how to overcome their fertility issues!
We encourage you to schedule any appointments you may need ASAP and also encourage you to remain calm, open, and honest while meeting with your doctors. Doing this, while also engaging in your appointments with questions such as the ones weve listed here, will help make the entire process of conceiving much easier on you – and may help you achieve your family planning goals that much sooner.
Speak Up About Embarrassing Symptoms
Unwanted facial hair, seemingly unusual vaginal discharge, erectile dysfunction some symptoms can be embarrassing to talk about, but you need to mention them. Whether they are related to your fertility or your general health, it’s important that you tell your provider about any symptoms you are having. They can’t make a diagnosis or recommend treatment unless they have all the pertinent information.
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Where Can I Go For A Prenatal Care Visit
Make an appointment with a doctor, midwife, or nurse for your care during pregnancy. Some people just go to their regular family doctor or obstetrician. Others choose to see a midwife or nurse practitioner who specializes in prenatal care. You can also get prenatal care at some Planned Parenthood health centers.
How Do You Find A Fertility Doctor
Before locating a fertility specialist who can address your particular needs, you may need to do some groundwork. Here are a few ways to get started:
- Ask your primary-care physician, ob-gyn, or urologist for a recommendation.
- Check with your local medical society for names of specialists in your area.
- Contact the directors of private fertility clinics as well as those at nearby medical schools or hospitals.
- Ask a friend for a recommendation .
- Look in the phone book for doctors who limit their practice to fertility services.
- Contact the American Society for Reproductive Medicine or RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association for referrals to specialists in your area.
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Your Personal Care Coordinator For Pregnancy
If youre struggling to conceive, remember youre never alone our specialists are here to guide you and offer unparalleled compassion throughout this journey. At AdventHealth for Women, you have a partner by your side, coordinating your care every step of the way.
Our Womens Health Navigator, Doreen Forsythe BSN, RN, is an experienced health care advocate who can answer your questions, plan out your appointments and offer guidance and support as you embark on your pregnancy journey.
Learn more about personal health care coordination in pregnancy and beyond or give her a call at for more information.
You Have Not Been Vaccinated Against Rubella
Rubella, also known as German Measles, is a relatively common illness that most people typically get when they are children, but if you get it during pregnancy, the disease can have severe effects on the developing baby. Most people are vaccinated against this as a child, but if you havent been vaccinated or you are unsure if you have, you should speak to your doctor so they can check your vaccination records. You cannot have the vaccine whilst pregnant and so I advise you get it done at least one month before you start trying to get pregnant.
For more information on what to consider before trying to get pregnant, check out my Pre-Pregnancy Checklist for couples.
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When To Seek Fertility Help From Your Doctor
If it is taking you a long time to get pregnant, it is natural to start worrying that there may be something wrong and you may start thinking about needing to see your doctor. But how long should you wait before you seek fertility help?
This depends upon both how long you have been trying to get pregnant and your medical history. Ill explain what your doctor is looking for and when you should go to see them.
Please note that it is best for couples to see their doctor together for fertility help, so unless I say otherwise, the following applies to both men and women.
When You Should Call A Doctor
If you are having trouble with your menstrual cycles or conception, it is always a good idea to seek out the advice of a board certified obstetrician. If anything, meeting with a doctor can help put your mind at ease as you embark on your journey into motherhood.If you are having trouble getting pregnant or are 35 years of age or older, you may be considered a high-risk pregnancy patient, but dont let that worry you. Our team of trusted physicians are trained to manage advanced maternal aged pregnancies, and we are here to help.If you have concerns about conception or fertility, talk to your doctor. I am always happy to talk through questions with my patients and help them understand the difficulties they may face as older, or higher risk patients. We can work together to make a plan that fits your needs so you feel prepared and positive about pregnancy and delivery. – Allison M. Nelson, M.D.
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Other Appointments To Make Before Getting Pregnant
Smile you’re about to make a baby! And while you’re smiling, make an appointment with your dentist.
Though you probably wouldn’t normally associate your pearly whites with baby making, you’ll definitely want to schedule a dental checkup and teeth cleaning before you start trying. That’s because gum disease is associated with pregnancy complications such as preterm labor, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
Gum disease also tends to get worse during pregnancy, so getting your mouth in shape now is a smart idea especially since treating gum disease before pregnancy can help reduce the risk of those complications.
If you need any work done x-rays, fillings, crowns or gum surgery, for instance schedule it soon so you won’t have to deal with it during pregnancy. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get it all finished up before you begin trying to get pregnant.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
Youll Have A Physical Exam At Your Prenatal Appointment
Your midwife or doctor will measure your progress in pregnancy by gathering baseline information, such as your pre-pregnancy weight, current weight, height and blood pressure. A full physical may not happen at your first prenatal visit due to time constraints, but during the first few appointments, youll have a head-to-toe physical, where theyll check your head, neck, thyroid, heart, lungs, skin and breasts and do a Pap test if you are due for one.
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When To See Your Doctor
You should talk to your doctor about your fertility if:
- You are younger than 35 and have not been able to conceive after one year of frequent sex without birth control.
- You are age 35 or older and have not been able to conceive after six months of frequent sex without birth control.
- You believe you or your partner might have fertility problems in the future .
- You or your partner has a problem with sexual function or libido.
Happily, doctors are able to help many infertile couples go on to have babies.