Do I need a medical checkup before trying to conceive
- Although no specific check-up is necessary it is a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure that your cervical smear tests are up to date and normal, any treatment for abdominal smears should be carried out before pregnancy. Your doctor will also establish whether you are immune to rubella(German measles), if not you can be protected by an injection before conception. More thorough medical investigation are usually not necessary unless you have had problems with previous pregnancies or have a long-standing or serious medical condition.
What can I do to improve my chances of conceiving
- You can ensure that you and your partner are in the best of health by improving your diet and your lifestyle. Ideally, you should both cut out(or at least cut down on) cigarettes, alcohol, and street drugs six months before conception and reduce your stress levels at home and at work. You should also try to make love around the time that you ovulate when you are most fertile. Doctors recommend that you take folic acid supplements for three months before conceiving and during your pregnancy because this can reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
Why should we give up smoking, street drugs, and alcohol
- Healthy parents usually have healthier babies, so if you both smoke(even as few as five to ten cigarettes daily), regularly drink alcohol, or take street drugs, you may reduce your chances of conception. Once pregnant, you also risk having a smaller and possibly a less healthy baby who will need specialist care at birth.
I take drugs for a medical condition, should I stop
- No, do not stop taking your medication unless advised by your doctor. If you have epilepsy, high blood pressure, diabetes or other conditions that need long-term medication, your medication may need to be adapted once you are pregnant. Do not take any drugs you can buy over the counter unless you have consulted a doctor or pharmacist.
Should I take vitamins to ensure a healthier baby
- If you eat a balanced diet, you are probably getting adequate vitamins, with the possible exception of folic acid. Doctors used to prescribe iron tablets routinely for all pregnant women but it is now only thought to be necessary if you are anemic. Women on restricted diets, such as vegetarians and especially vegans, may need to take iron and vitamin B12 Supplements if their diet provides insufficient amounts. Ask your doctor or midwife about this.
Are there any risks involved in taking folic acid supplements
- No there are not, but if you don’t want to take supplements, you should make sure that your diet includes certain foods, such as dark green, leafy vegetables, that are high in folic acid. It is always a good idea to discuss issues like this with your doctor.
How soon after stopping contraception can I conceive
- Ideally, you should stop taking the pill a few months before you consider pregnancy. This allows time for your normal period cycle to become re-established and for your pregnancy to be accurately dated.If you have a coil, it is quite safe to conceive as soon as it is removed. If you have progesterone injections, you should wait at least three months before trying to conceive.
When is the best time to Get Pregnant
The ideal age
- There is no ideal time to get pregnant, the advantage and disadvantages at any age will depend on your state of health, work situation, and relationship. Young women may not be as psychologically and emotionally prepared for pregnancy and the demands of childcare, while more mature women, that is, mothers over 35, are at greater risk of developing complications such as high blood pressure, and there is a higher risk of their children having chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down’s syndrome.
After a miscarriage
- Although it is possible for you to conceive as soon as you have your next period, sometimes it takes a little longer to be ready emotionally. If you have had several miscarriages, specific tests may be carried out to determine the cause and it is probably best to wait for the results of these before trying again.
After rubella (German measles) injection
- The injection contains a small amount of inactivated live virus that your body recognizes as foreign and to which it builds up an immunity. It takes three months to build up this immunity and during this time it is unwise to risk exposing a developing baby to the rubella virus.
Spacing between pregnancies
- This depends on virus issues such as personal relationships and works commitments, but from a medical viewpoint, a year between pregnancies is recommended to ensure your recovery. If you become pregnant while you are looking after and possibly breastfeeding a very young baby, this may take a toll on your physical and mental reserves and your health could suffer as your body tries to cope with these demands.
After a Caesarean
- A Caesarean involves abdominal surgery that can take many months to heal, so you will probably need much longer to recover than if you have had a normal delivery.