Questions to ask your doctor if you want to get pregnant soon.
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich
Once a couple decides to conceive, ensuring a healthy pregnancy and baby becomes their number one priority. After all, bringing a new life into this world is a big decision. It’s important that couples do everything in their power to ensure their little one is off to a great start. The thing is, many of them aren’t exactly sure about the steps they need to take to make it happen.
If you and your partner are planning on having a baby, your gynecologist’s office is a great place to start gathering valuable information on pregnancy. Below, five questions to ask your doctor during a preconception visit if you want to get pregnant soon.
Which lifestyle changes should I make before conceiving?
We’re all aware that certain lifestyle choices many of us make aren’t exactly what we’d define as healthy. But once the couple decides to conceive, it’d be best to ditch any bad habits you have. And it’s not only the expectant mothers that need to make certain lifestyle changes. Smoking and drinking alcohol affects male fertility as well, along with poor dietary choices.
To increase the chances of producing a healthy offspring, it is vital that both parents make positive lifestyle changes. Kicking bad habits before conceiving has shown to be an effective solution to the future child’s potential long-term health problems, ensuring their optimal start at life.
Will my weight influence my chances of getting pregnant?
Eating right plays an important role in the quality of life. This is especially true when it comes to women who will soon be ‘eating for two’. Certainly, diet isn’t the only factor when it comes to weight. There’s also genetics, existing medical conditions, everyday habits, exercise – or lack thereof, and physical activity in general. But a well-balanced diet is vital to ensuring women stay at a healthy weight.
If you’re underweight (have a BMI of 18.5 or under), it may take longer for you to get pregnant. Being overweight can also reduce a woman’s fertility due to hormonal balance disruption. To increase chances of getting pregnant, your doctor may recommend you try to get to an optimal weight – or as close to it as possible.
Will any health conditions I have affect my fertility?
It’s no secret that certain medications affect women’s fertility. Whether you’re suffering from diabetes, epilepsy, or some other chronic health condition, the good news is that it is possible for your physician to run some tests and adjust the medications you’re taking.
What’s important is that your doctor is acquainted with your medical history. If there are any concerns you may have regarding your reproductive health, your regular gynecological health exam would be the right time to mention this. From period irregularities to STIs to abnormal PAP smears, now’s the time to ask your doctor and address them. It’s also important that you acquaint your gynecologist with any gynecological surgeries you’ve had (if any), and let them know about any terminations, ectopic pregnancies, and the like.
When should I stop using birth control?
Contraception can be a great way to avoid unwanted pregnancy while also offering certain health benefits. However, it is something you should use carefully. Coming off of hormonal birth control pills doesn’t mean you’ll be able to get pregnant immediately. Once you stop using them, it may take months for your menstrual cycle to get back to normal. The same goes for certain vaginal rings and contraceptive patches. Similarly, birth control shots may take up to 8 months and sometimes even a year to get out of your system.
Every woman is different, and depending on the method you’re using, you may need to stop using birth control sooner to help increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Are there any vitamins or supplements I should start taking?
If you do some research online, you’ll find that many doctors recommend that soon-to-be-mothers take supplements containing folic acid. Not only is this vital for lowering the risk of certain birth defects, but folic acid intake is associated with reduced risk of neural tube defects as well. Ideally, you should start taking folic acid at least three months before conceiving.
Your doctor will also run tests to look for any vitamin deficiencies. Depending on the results, they may recommend using prenatal vitamins to address them and help ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Trying to conceive is an exciting time for couples, but it’s also a period full of questions and uncertainty. If you and your partner are planning a family together, your safest bet would be to schedule a preconception appointment.
By doing so, you can ask your doctor about any concerns you may have, ensuring a peace of mind as you embark on your shared journey to parenthood.
Starting a family is a big decision, but there are some questions that you can ask your doctor and help make this process easier and smoother.