Planning ahead and getting good medical advice will put you in the best possible position to fall pregnant.
The decisions to try to fall pregnant is a momentous one for any couple. It’s the beginning of an exciting journey together, and usually a sign of mutual commitment, respect and love.
But the road to parenthood isn’t always smooth. As many as one in six couples in Australia will struggle to fall pregnant in the first year of trying, with some never able to fulfil their dreams of bringing a new life into the world. A wide range of conditions and issues can contribute to reduced fertility.
If you’re hoping to conceive, you can give yourself the best chance possible by taking good care of your health, investigating any potential fertility problems, and becoming better acquainted with your ovulation cycle. Give thought to following the three steps below.
Get a general check up
One of the first things to do once you’ve made the decision to fall pregnant is to check your overall health and wellbeing with your general practitioner (GP). Your GP is likely to have treated hundreds of pregnant women and should be able to provide advice across a broad range of relevant issues, from nutrition to genetic screening. They should also be able to check that your immunisations are up to date and review any medication you might be on. Your GP will also be able to give you advice on fertility and pregnancy nutrition, including the use of supplements and what foods to avoid should you fall pregnant. Finally, your GP is likely to stress the benefits of moderate exercise, managing your stress levels, and of course avoiding smoking and heavy drinking while trying to conceive. You can read more about your pre-pregnancy health at Pregnancy Birth Baby.
Have a fertility test
While some couples seem to fall pregnant almost immediately, others face a longer wait. Factors including low-sperm count in men and advanced maternal age in women can affect your chances of conception. If you have concerns that you will have problems once you start, you should both seek additional medical advice. As a woman, you may choose to see a gynaecologist to have a basic fertility health check. Your gynaecologist can also assess any potential issues relating to complications such as endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome. They may then refer you to a fertility specialist for additional testing, including ultrasound tests and internal exams of your reproductive organs, to look for any underlying issues that could require treatment to correct. As both partners can contribute to infertility, it’s crucial that both undergo testing until the likely cause has been identified and a potential course of action agreed on. Sub fertility and infertility is very common in Australia, however there is good news. With modern medicine and science, overcoming infertility has become much easier and much more effective.
Monitor your ovulation
A woman can only get pregnant during the ‘fertile window’ of her menstrual cycle. This fertility window varies from person to person, based on their cycle and when they ovulate. There are a range of ways you can identify your most fertile times of the month, including online ovulation calculators, ovulation apps for smart phones and ovulation kits available through pharmacists and supermarkets. The main take-away is that having sex as close to the time of ovulation as possible increases your chance of becoming pregnant. Your Fertility has really helpful information on ovulation and timing that can help you plan accordingly.
When it comes to trying to fall pregnant, don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t happen immediately. Have a plan in place so you’ve got an understanding of next steps should ongoing difficulties arise, and remember that there are always plenty of options.