The short answer would be, yes. However, there is more to it than just that. Preconception planning can help you and your partner understand how to boost your chances of having a healthy pregnancy. You may feel ready to conceive, but is your body ready? Here are some tips that can help you to boost your fertility.
What has been your birth control method?
If you have been using specific types of long-term birth control, like progestin injections, returning to fertility may be somewhat of a challenge. However, 50% of women who discontinue progestin injections are able to conceive within 10 months after the last injection.
Taking birth control pills, whether it be a conventional or extended cycle, your period is expected to return within 30 days after discontinuing the use of the pill. You do not necessarily need to take a pill-free break before attempting to conceive. It is, however, somewhat easier to estimate when you are ovulating and when to project when your baby will be due – once you have had one period before trying to conceive. If you do not want to get pregnant right away, be sure to use condoms while your menstrual cycle returns to normal.
Do you currently have any chronic medical conditions?
Having a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure – You are going to want to ensure you have it under control prior to conceiving. Be sure to consult with your health care provider to see if they have recommendations on adjusting your medications and other treatments before you get pregnant. There may be special care options you might need to follow during pregnancy.
Take into consideration what medications and supplements you are taking.
When you consult with your physician make sure you provide them with any of the medications, herbs, and supplements that you are currently taking. Depending on the product you are taking they may recommend adjusting the doses, replacing it with a different medication, or stopping it altogether.
You will also want to begin taking folic acid. Ideally, you will want to start taking folic acid three months prior to conceiving. The reason being, the baby’s neural tube, which will become the brain and spinal cord, starts to develop during the first month of pregnancy. This generally happens before you even realize you are pregnant.
Will your current lifestyle support a healthy pregnancy?
Making healthy lifestyle choices during pregnancy is essential to having a healthy pregnancy. For example:
- Your health care provider will discuss the importance of a healthy diet, making sure you are staying physically active, and how to manage stress.
- Are you underweight or overweight? If so, it may be recommended to address any issues before conceiving.
- Avoid all use of alcohol and illegal or illicit drugs.
- If you smoke, your health care provider can share some resources with you to help you quit.
- Do you have a stressful work environment or travel frequently? Stress can take a toll on you during pregnancy. You may also be asked to identify any potentially harmful exposures in your home. Such as mercury, lead or pesticides.
Ask if your partner can attend the preconception visit with you. Your partner’s health and lifestyle are also important in your pregnancy. It can affect both you and the baby before and after delivery.
At OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, we provide a variety of services. No matter your age or medical history, we are here to help you feel comfortable and answer all of your reproductive health-related questions. Call us today to schedule an appointment.