10 Jan Planning for a Baby in 2022?
Is this the year you planning to have a baby? If so, we recommend taking a few steps to optimize your fertility chances as much as possible.
Fertility Focus: Schedule a Preconception Appointment
While most women know they should observe annual wellness visits, including a woman’s wellness appointment with an OB/GYN, most aren’t aware that gynecologists offer preconception appointments. These appointments allow you and your physician to take hyperfocus on your reproductive tract, giving you the chance to report any oddities that haven’t come up in the past.
For example, your physician needs to know if:
- You experience irregular periods (there are never normal and mean you’re not ovulating regularly)
- Pain during your period that seems more extreme or intense than it is for your friends (you could have endometriosis)
- You’ve had a sexually transmitted disease or pelvic inflammatory disease in the past (this may warrant a hysterosalpingogram to determine if your fallopian tubes are open)
Your regular Ob/Gyn will also give you more information on preparing your body for pregnancy and may recommend using a fertility app if you haven’t done so already.
Start Using a Fertility App
It’s time to get a clear understanding of your menstrual cycles rhythm. This is how you learn to better predict ovulation, which gives you a better chance of conceiving at home. Read verywellfamily.com’s post, The 7 Best Fertility Apps of 2022, and choose the one that feels right to you. Then, input the information from January and February’s cycles, and you’re on your way to learning how to sync sexual intercourse for optimal chances of conception.
Learn to Time Intercourse Correctly
By now, your app is gleaning the information it needs to start predicting your most fertile window. So, we recommend timing sex for every day or every other day starting a few days before you ovulate and on ovulation day itself (and the day after) to make sure there are as many sperm as possible waiting to meet the lucky egg.
Focus on Healthy Eating
Focus on healthy eating with a well-balanced diet (there is no special “fertility diet” that has any true scientific data behind it) and regular exercise for both mind and body health. If you have not already, you should be minimizing caffeine (ideally no more than 1 8 oz cup of regular coffee daily or the caffeine equivalent), quitting smoking (the most important lifestyle change you can do), and minimizing alcohol. This is also the time to make sure that your partner is on board too if you are entering this journey with a partner.
Is it Time to See a Specialist?
If you are still not pregnant after trying for 6 months, this may be the time to seek an evaluation with a doctor depending on your age and health history. If you are 35 years old or older, this is the time to seek a fertility evaluation either by your regular Ob/Gyn provider or a Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility specialist like we have here at Virginia Fertility & IVF.
If you are less than 35 years old, it is normal to take up to 12 months of trying to conceive before pregnancy if you are having regular periods and do not have other health problems that could impact your fertility, so there is no need to panic at this point. Remember, stress management, good support from friends and family, and focusing on your relationship with your partner are all important as you try to have a baby.
Our team wishes you all the best as you plan for your baby in 2022. Contact us to schedule an appointment.