Preparing For A Major Life Stage
Pregnancy can be an exciting time in a woman’s life. But the period also represents a significant change. And while getting pregnant is a common occurrence, the scenario can come with complications. Beyond trying to mentally prepare for a transitional stage that represents shifting into a new stage of life, women should also consult an OB/GYN to discuss a few essential topics before trying to conceive.
1. When is the best time to get pregnant?
Not every woman realizes that the ovulation phase during a menstrual cycle is when pregnancy is most likely to occur. To help reduce some of the stress associated with trying to conceive, talk with an OB/GYN about when a woman is most likely to get pregnant. Understanding what days offer the best chances of conception can help a couple time sex accordingly to increase the chances of getting a big fat positive (BFP).
2. Will any prescription medications interact with the pregnancy?
For women with pre-existing conditions, a discussion should be had regarding any prescription medications and how those drugs could impact a pregnancy. Not all drugs are approved for use in pregnant women. Meanwhile, some medications can impact fertility. To avoid complications, women should bring a list of all medications currently being taken, including over-the-counter (OTC) medications or supplements, and discuss concerns with an OB/GYN. In some cases, alternative medications that are safe to take during pregnancy may be prescribed.
3. How does age impact fertility?
Even though women can and do get pregnant and successfully carry to full term well beyond age 30, the fact remains that a correlation exists between age and fertility. A 30-year-old woman has a 20% chance of successfully conceiving for every month that a couple tries to get pregnant. But by age 40, the figure drops to a five percent chance for every month of trying. Speaking with an OB/GYN can help couples understand potential hurdles as well as provide more realistic time frames such as how long to wait or how many consecutive unsuccessful conception attempts should pass before speaking with a fertility specialist.
4. What’s the relationship between weight and conceiving?
Gaining weight is inevitable when a woman is pregnant. But being over or under weight can make successfully conceiving more difficult. In some cases, being overweight or obese can impact ovulation which makes successfully timing sex with the event more difficult. Likewise, fertility treatments may not be as effective. Underweight women may also struggle to conceive as ovulation can be impacted when a woman’s BMI isn’t in the normal range.
5. How can lifestyle impact pregnancy?
Just like with medications and pre-pregnancy weight, lifestyle choices will also impact a couple’s chances of conceiving. Women who currently use tobacco, drugs, or drink frequently should focus on stopping the use of tobacco and drugs or curbing alcohol consumption to improve the chances of getting pregnant. Additionally, a discussion about dietary choices can also help some women improve food choices by swapping out junk foods for healthier alternatives when possible.
Staying informed and taking control.
Pregnancy can feel like a rollercoaster that lasts nine months. But the time leading up to a BFP shouldn’t be filled with doubt and confusion. Taking the time to make a preconception appointment with an OB/GYN can help women get informed and feel confident about embracing a new life stage.