What Steps do I Take if I am Thinking About Becoming Pregnant?

>> Thursday, March 12, 2015

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The most important thing prior to trying to become pregnant is making an appointment with your Ob/Gyn for a check-up, pap smear, vaginal cultures, blood tests and to get all your questions answered. Usually you will be started on prenatal vitamins with folic acid. It is important to be on prenatal vitamins for 2-3 months prior to conception to help prevent birth defects.

Blood tests can screen for anemia, diabetes, thyroid disease and liver or kidney disease that could interfere with your ability to conceive or impact your pregnancy. The pap and vaginal cultures can identify concerns that can be addressed ahead of time or identify bacterial infections that may interfere with conception.

Sometimes couples will try to conceive for months, only to find out that the sperm is dying within the upper part of the vagina before it even has a chance to enter the cervix. This can be caused by certain bacteria in the vagina, but also can be due to the consistency of the discharge. If it's too thick, the sperm may be unable to move through it. If it is due to an infection, this can be detected and cleared. If the later is the case, a post-coital test may need to be done, where a sample of cervical discharge is taken and examined under the microscope right after intercourse to determine the number of living sperm.

It is important to keep track of your cycles monthly on a calendar by noting what day they start. By doing this, you can begin to predict when you are ovulating. There are ovulation predictor kits available at drug stores that are similar to pregnancy tests. They have strips in them that are used to dip in your urine and when a color change is noted, it can indicate ovulation. This can be useful for knowing when the egg is available for fertilization - the best time to have sex.

If your periods are not regular and do not come monthly, ovulation can be impossible to predict. In fact, ovulation may not be happening at all or rarely. In these cases, it may be necessary to seek out help from a fertility specialist.

Also your doctor may want to send you for an ultrasound to make sure there are no ovarian or uterine abnormalities that could interfere with a healthy pregnancy. If you have suffered with endometriosis, you may also need an HSG (hystosalpinogram), which will determine whether your fallopian tubes are patent (open) and able to catch the egg and allow it to travel down the tube to meet the sperm to be fertilized.

It seems that many women, who have had either a miscarriage or an elective termination of an earlier pregnancy, can have worries and doubts in their minds about whether they can get even get pregnant now that they want to. If you are one of these women, what you should know is that if you did not have an infection afterward and if your periods have been normal since that time, you should have no trouble getting pregnant and having a baby now.

It is so important to try to be as healthy as you can be. Women should lose weight and stop smoking (or cut down). Men should stop or reduce tobacco, marijuana and caffeine use also, as nicotine, caffeine and THC can dramatically affect sperm count. Some of the prenatal vitamin companies are coming out with a vitamin for dads-to-be, but any complete vitamin for men will do. There are also some great diets for dads-to-be that can be looked up on the Internet. These diets can help increase sperm count. Some of which have been known to actually triple sperm count.

Getting pregnant shouldn't be so complicated, and it's not- the 'getting' part is fun! But when you try and try and it doesn't happen, it can be heartbreaking. Just don't lose hope and keep in touch with your doctor. If you feel like your doctor is not communicating properly with you, search until you find the right one.

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