Is 2022 the year you’ll become parents? The answer to that question depends mainly on your physical health and well-being and that of your partner.
5 Ways to Increase Your Chances of a Healthy Pregnancy
Here are five tips to help you prepare for a healthy pregnancy this next year.
1. Get in touch with your natural menstrual cycle
If you’re using hormonal birth control, such as the pills, Depo-Provera shot, IUD, or patch, stop using it altogether for at least a cycle or two. If, however, you’re using hormonal birth control to regulate acne, endometriosis, or another reproductive factor, speak to your doctor about other solutions or treatment options.
In the meantime, use a fertility app to track your natural symptoms and cycle. This is the best way to determine whether you’re ovulating regularly or if your natural cycle shows signs indicating an infertility factor. Visit our post about our favorite fertility apps, and then download the one that appeals to you. The information you glean will help your GYN or a fertility specialist when you make an appointment.
2. Schedule a preconception appointment with your OB/GYN
Let your OB/GYN know you’re planning to conceive by scheduling a preconception appointment. You’ll have more truthful information to report now that you’re off birth control.
- Did your periods or PMS go on overdrive when you stopped taking birth control pills?
- Have you had a previous pregnancy, miscarriage, or abortion that your OB/GYN doesn’t know about?
- Have you skipped having a period or had irregular periods that you never thought to mention in the past?
Your preconception appointment gives physicians the chance to look deeper into your reproductive health and provide important information about diet, lifestyle changes, and supplements that support a healthy pregnancy and baby.
3. Learn how to time intercourse to optimize conception
The media projects the idea that once a woman ovulates, she needs to have sex ASAP to conceive. In fact, the story is more complex than that. Sperm live quite a bit longer than eggs. Healthy sperm can live anywhere between three and seven days! The egg only lives for about 12 to 24 hours before its fertilized or reabsorbed by the body.
Read When is the Best Time for Sex: Timing Intercourse for Conception to learn more.
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices
Healthy bodies are better able to support a full-term healthy pregnancy and produce a healthy baby. Our top tips along these lines are:
- Observe an anti-inflammatory or Mediterranean-type diet
- Get at least 30 minutes of mild to moderate exercise, no less than five days per week
- Maintain a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 (being under- or overweight threatens fertility)
- Stop drinking and smoking (and that includes the use of cannabis products)
- Establish healthy sleep habits
- Practice stress management daily
Read our post, Get Your Body Healthy for Baby, for more information on that topic.
5. Get your partner on board
Your partner’s health is every bit as important as yours. His eating habits, lifestyle habits, and weight determine sperm quality and quantity. He should live an equally clean life as you both prepare to become parents. Read 7 Tips for Boosting Male Fertility, and you’ll notice that all of the tenets that apply to preparing your body for pregnancy are equally as important for him.
BONUS TIP: See a fertility specialist sooner rather than later
If you’re struggling to conceive, check in with your OB/GYN or schedule an appointment with a fertility specialist sooner rather than later.
- If you’re 35 or younger: Seek fertility health after 12 consecutive months
- 36 to 39: Make an appointment after six straight months
- 40 and up: Visit a fertility specialist after three months of failed pregnancy tests.
- If you have a known infertility factor (endometriosis, PCOS, thyroid issues, diabetes, etc.), seek support after three months
Visit The Difference Between a Fertility Specialist or OB/GYN to learn more about when to skip your GYN and head directly to a fertility specialist.
The team at the Reproductive Resource Center wishes you the best of luck as you prepare to get pregnant in 2022. Are you not getting pregnant as soon as you hoped? We’re here to help. Schedule an appointment, and we’ll determine what’s going on so you can create a personalized fertility treatment plan.