Whether you’re just starting to try to get pregnant, or you’ve been at it for a few months and want some guidance, here are tips to help.
By Dr. Nazaneen Homaifar, Chief Medical Advisor, Natalist
Getting pregnant may seem straightforward in theory, but when you’re actually trying, it can feel a little like a black box. Luckily, science and medicine have a lot to say about the best ways to get started and how to troubleshoot if things aren’t going as expected.
The Preconception Visit
Before you’ve even started trying to conceive on your own, experts recommend checking in with an OB/GYN or your primary care provider a couple of months prior, just to get the lay of the land. They’ll be able to compassionately help you make a game plan that keeps several factors in mind, like any potential health risks, and any lifestyle changes you (and/or a partner, if applicable) may need to begin making.
For women, your doctor will likely also run through any medications you take to see whether or not any drugs in your regimen could impact embryo development or cause birth defects further down the line. They’ll want to know about prescription medication and birth control, of course, but herbal supplements and vitamins count, too! So come prepared to talk about it all.
During this conversation, it’s also especially important to make sure your doctor knows if you have conditions that can directly impact fertility, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis, but it’s equally as important to discuss other chronic conditions like diabetes or thyroid disease. While these issues may come less immediately to mind when considering reproductive health, many health conditions can have far-reaching effects. Management of these chronic conditions has implications for the pregnancy and outcomes that may affect delivery planning.
Putting TLC into TTC
There’s no need to sacrifice all of your guilty pleasures in order to conceive, but, in general, maintaining a balanced and conscientious diet can make all the difference in how long it takes to get pregnant.
Given the glut of nutritional advice online, it can be tough to tell fact from fiction when it comes to what it means to eat…