Thinking About Pregnancy?

Choosing to get pregnant and becoming a mother is a big decision. These days, women are busier than ever, so you may want to start your planning with a pre-conception visit to your doctor.

This visit, especially recommended for women over 30, is so you can discuss any nutritional needs or health concerns you may have before becoming pregnant. Your doctor will probably recommend getting more folic acid, so you may want to start eating more leafy green vegetables and kidney beans. It is also recommended that you refrain from taking oral contraceptives for at least 3 months, since the elevated hormone levels may result in adverse affects in babies.

While planning your pregnancy, you may choose natural planning methods such as the ovulation method (intercourse takes place just before or after ovulation) or the symptothermal method (evaluating fertility based on your daily temperature). Remember: women are more likely to become pregnant if intercourse takes place just before or just after ovulation, as the unfertilized egg can live for only 12-24 hours in your body.

Some couples may experience difficulty becoming pregnant or experience infertility (inability to become pregnant after trying for 1 year). There are approximately 2.1 million married couples in the United States experiencing infertility, and approximately 9 million women have used fertility treatments. It is also important to note that only 20% of women who are trying to get pregnant are successful on the first attempt, so don't lose hope.

If you think that you or your partner may be infertile, you can discuss this with a health care provider who can recommend treatments such as drugs, surgery, or assisted reproductive technology.

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