You've decided to try to fall pregnant
While many women conceive quickly and easily, for some couples, the process can be frustratingly slow. I recommend that both you and your partner come and see me if it’s taking a long time (over six months) for you to conceive. Together, we’ll make sure all the conditions are in your favour.
How You May Feel
At this point, it’s ideal to stay as healthy as possible to maximise your chances to conceive. See below for a checklist of things you can do to keep healthy and positive.
You may feel nervous, overwhelmed or anxious, especially if you’ve been trying for some time.
What You Can Expect From Me
This is where I thoroughly investigate and help you plan, in order to optimise your physical and emotional wellbeing prior to conceiving.
Some medical conditions will impact on pregnancy and similarly pregnancy will impact on some medical conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition, it’s very important that we discuss it to ensure it’s well managed prior to conceiving. In you have a medical condition like epilepsy, thyroid disease, depression or high blood pressure, I’ll review your medications and ensure your treatments are optimal. I also make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
If you’ve been having trouble getting pregnant, there are some simple first tests to do initially, and if necessary arrange a referral to an IVF specialist.
Questions You May Have
How long does it usually take to get pregnant?
All couples are different. Some conceive in their first month of trying, while others take months or years. Research indicates approximately 80% of couples will conceive in the first six months while 85% of couples will conceive after 12 months.
How do I know when I am ovulating?
Some women have no obvious signs of ovulation, while others can experience:
- pelvic pain mid cycle
- changes in body temperature
- change in the cervical mucous
- a positive result when using an ovulation detection kit
What can I do if my periods are irregular?
Initially it’s good to keep a diary of your periods. If they are irregular, make an appointment to see a GP.
Can I still take my antidepressants in pregnancy?
Depression and anxiety can happen at any time. It can be experienced commonly during pregnancy and following the birth of a baby. It’s very important if you take antidepressants to seek professional advice before changing your medication pre, during and post pregnancy. For more information and advice, visit: Mothersafe: http://www.mothersafe.org.au/ and Beyond Blue: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/pregnancy-and-early-parenthood
Is it safe to take anti-epileptic medications in pregnancy?
It is very important to let your GP and Neurologist know that you are planning to get pregnant. For more information and advice, visit: Mothersafe: http://www.mothersafe.org.au/
What if I have diabetes?
See your endocrinologist and GP prior to conceiving as it’s very important to ensure your blood sugar levels are well controlled. For more information, visit Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society: http://www.adips.org/
Things To Do and Checklists
Here are some simple steps to help you prepare to conceive and a checklist of things to bring to your first appointment.
What to do:
- Start tracking your menstrual cycle so you know your average cycle length. The fertile interval in each cycle is approximately six days and includes the five days prior to ovulation plus the day of ovulation.
- Make sure you’re within a healthy weight range. The Heart Foundation of Australia has a good BMI calculator: http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/healthy-eating/Pages/bmi-calculator.aspx
- Stop drinking alcohol.
- Stop smoking.
- Start taking prenatal vitamins such as Elevit and Blackmore’s pregnancy and breastfeeding tablets.
- Make sure your pap smear is up to date.
- Limit caffeine intake (only 1- 2 cups of coffee a day).
What to bring:
- Any recent investigations including blood tests and ultrasounds.
- A list of your current medications and the dosages.
- Any letters or referrals from other specialists.
- Your partner (if possible)
- A list of questions you need to ask me
With so many public forums online, it’s easy to get opinion confused with verifiable fact. I think the best places to go for information (apart from calling me) are: