If you are planning to become pregnant, it is a good idea to have a preconception care checkup. During this visit, your obstetrician will ask about your diet and lifestyle, medical and family history, medications you take and past pregnancy history. They can then advise on steps you can take to increase the chances of having a healthy pregnancy.
What should I do if I’m thinking of starting a family?
Besides discussing pre-existing medical conditions – such as diabetes and autoimmune disorders – and genetic disorders that can cause problems during pregnancy, your doctor may test for commonly inherited diseases among Southeast Asian ethnic groups.
It is a good idea to start taking a prenatal vitamin supplement, such as ones that contain folic acid to help prevent neural tube defects, which can happen even before you know you’re pregnant. This is particularly important for those with restrictive diets like vegetarians.
What can be done to naturally boost fertility?
Having a normal body mass index encompassing a healthy diet and an active, low-stress lifestyle is the best way to naturally boost fertility.
Being overweight, excessive exercise, moderate to heavy alcohol consumption, smoking and drug use are all associated with infertility. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may also affect your ability to become pregnant by scarring and obstructing the fallopian tubes. If you think you or your partner may have STIs, get tested and treated right away.
Any fertility apps to recommend?
More than 80 per cent of fertility apps provide inaccurate or misleading information. However, some apps can still be used as menstrual calendars to chart your cycles for review.
What should I do if I have an irregular cycle?
A proper evaluation by an obstetrician gynaecologist is advisable for women with irregular periods who are trying to get pregnant, so as to rule out various conditions.
Best way to calculate or predict your fertile window
If you have regular cycles between 26 days and 32 days long, the Standard Days Method considers Days 8 to 19 to be the most fertile days. To promote pregnancy, you should try to have intercourse between Day 8 and Day 19, either every day or every other day.
An increased libido and a more fluid consistency in cervical secretions or variations in basal body temperature (the body’s normal temperature at rest) are signs of ovulation. Using assistive aids such as ovulation prediction kits found in most pharmacies may help couples predict their fertile period. These kits measure the luteinising hormone in the urine, which typically surges 24 to 36 hours prior to ovulation. A positive result indicates that there is a high chance of ovulation within the next 48 hours.
TLC Gynaecology Practice