Deciding to start a family is a big decision, and like any other life-altering decision, there are some things that you should do to make sure that you are prepared – and that you have taken necessary steps to increase your chances of conception. Even with the best preparation, after a year of trying to conceive you might want seek help from an expert reproductive services the CHA Medical Group. In the meantime, here are some things that you can do to help improve your chances for conception.
Talk with your Mom and Your Partner
Some experiences related to pregnancy and conception (as well as menopause) tend to run in families, so it is a good idea to talk to your mom, your sisters and your aunts about their experiences getting pregnant. You may get some advance notice about a family tendency. Now is also the time to find out about another other health issues that run in the family. Before you are expecting is also a good time to talk to your partner about anxieties, hopes and concerns related to pregnancy and family. Establish some basic shared expectations about who will take primary responsibility for childcare, who might take a leave from work, and how you plan to parent. Worrying about these issues can cause stress which make conception more difficult.
Have a Realistic Understanding of Your Chances
You should take many things into account in order to get a realistic idea about your odds of conceiving. The most important factor will be your age – after 40, the odds of conceiving without intervention are much lower than they are in your 30s. If you have been on birth control medication, it is possible to conceive immediately upon stopping, but it might take a bit of time before normal ovulation resumes. And, that talk with your mom might have alerted you to a family pattern of difficult conception. None of these things need to be deal breakers – it is really about understanding your odds so that you can anticipate some delays without anxiety.
Get Your Timing Sorted Out, Within Reason
Especially as you get older and conception odds begin to fall, it is important to understand when chances of conception are highest. This involves paying attention to the menstrual cycle, and more particularly, learning to recognize the 1-2 window of opportunity before ovulation when the odds of conception are the highest. Ovulation tests are easily available that can help. At the same time, don’t get too hung up on dates or windows – not only does this create the possibility that sex becomes a stressful chore (with implications potentially for your relationship and for your chances of conception) but it also potentially closes a window of opportunity if the cycle is off by a few days.
Plan a visit to your doctor for a pre-conception checkup to evaluate your health. Have your blood work, blood pressure, and general health evaluated. Discuss any family diseases and learn about whether you should seek genetic counseling. Get an HIV test, along with being tested for other STDs, some of which can harm a baby. Tell your doctor about any medications or supplements you are taking. Now is also the time to quit drinking and smoking and to reduce your intake of caffeine which can trigger miscarriages.
Preparing to start a family, especially if you are trying for your first child, can be an exhilarating and stressful time. Above all, be patient and kind to yourself and with each, and increase your odds of conceiving naturally with a bit of advance preparation.