Approximately 1 in 6 couples have difficulty conceiving – so if you’re concerned, you’re not alone. We recommend bringing up desires for fertility at your annual examination simply to discuss preventative measures such as vitamins and prenatal rubella and/or cystic fibrosis testing that may be helpful when trying to conceive. However, if you are having difficulty becoming pregnant, these are some helpful thoughts for preparation.
1. Don’t stress
If you are under the age of 35, infertility cannot be diagnosed until there have been 12 months of active attempts to become pregnant. For women over 35, infertility may be diagnosed as early as 6 months. These rules do not apply if there is known abnormality in male or female genital tract or previously diagnosed disease which may cause infertility and workup may start much sooner or immediately.
2. Track your ovulation
Getting pregnant isn’t always easy. At Baptist Health, we recommend that women keep track of their menstrual cycle and bring this information to your doctor’s visit with you. Timing is everything when you’re trying to conceive. We know that ovulation occurs 14 days before menstruation, but cannot know how many days after your period ovulation will occur. The most fertile days are those prior to ovulation, and therefore, good record keeping will help you and your physician in fertility planning.
3. Change your exercise and nutritional habits
Research has shown that women who are overweight or underweight have an increased chance of infertility. It is recommended that if you are not in the normal BMI range and trying to get pregnant, you take steps to change your exercise habits and nutritional habits to increase your chances of fertility. Even a 5-10% decrease in body weight can trigger ovulation that otherwise may not be occurring as frequently or at all, limiting chances of fertility if ovulation is the problem. You can read more about infertility here.
4. Make an appointment with your obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN)
An appointment with your OB/GYN is a great way to identify reasons that you may be having difficulty conceiving. Your doctor can make recommendations related to weight loss or weight gain, or identify reasons that you are having trouble due to your history. It’s important to know this earlier in the process so you can take recommended courses of action to increase chances of fertility.