Ready, Set, Get Pregnant!

The Decision Is Made

You and your partner have decided to plan your pregnancy.  So many things are to be considered, not the least of which is your physical condition at present and what condition is optimal for you when you do conceive.  Being fit and healthy goes a long way to increasing the chances of a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.  By the time a woman has missed her first menstrual cycle, she's already two weeks pregnant, so it is definitely beneficial to get things moving toward a healthy lifestyle long before that time.

Trying To Conceive

The use of contraception to prohibit pregnancy often alters the normal fertility cycles.  However, a woman's body will resume normal fertility afterward.  In some cases, the return is very quick - such as in the use of barrier contraceptives like condoms and diaphragms.  Other forms of contraception can mean a waiting period before things return to normal.  When a woman has used contraceptive depot injections, for instance, the return to normal ovulation can take anywhere from a few months to nearly a year.  Rather than timing sexual activity with ovulation, many couples have found that simply having sex every two or three days has been the best way to conceive.  Regular intercourse without the use of contraception has occurred in eight out of ten couples in the period of one year of trying to conceive. If, after one year of trying a couple has not conceived, then it is advisable to seek medical help.

Butt Out

There are some basic health considerations for both of the parents-to-be which, if addressed early, can help to ensure a healthy pregnancy.  Smoking is a known hazard for people, but more especially for those trying to conceive.  Smoking has been shown to reduce fertility by both affecting ovulation in women and reducing sperm count and sperm mobility in men.  Smoking also puts the unborn baby at risk through possible premature birth, low birth weight and SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome.  Kicking the habit is best.

Say No To Alcohol

Too much alcohol has been proven to affect fertility in men.  Women who drink heavily put their babies at risk by causing poor growth in the womb and mental and physical defects such as fetal alcohol syndrome.  While the total effects of alcohol are not fully known, doctors do know that the alcohol does cross the placenta and can potentially affect the baby's developing brain.  The best tact is to avoid alcohol entirely, especially while trying to conceive and also in the first three months of pregnancy when major organs are forming.  If a woman chooses to drink alcohol anyway, then limiting intake to one or two servings per week is best.  Getting drunk is a very dangerous practice for all concerned.

Check Those Meds

If a woman is on medication, it is advisable to consult with the health care professional before trying to conceive.  Find out if the medication poses any threat to pregnancy and seek advice for alternate treatment if taking regular medications.  It is best to consult with the physician before stopping any medications.

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