Maybe Baby

Help Falling Pregnant

Planning Your Pregnancy

Planning for pregnancy, can be an exciting time. For some people however, there is a delay between making the decision to have a baby and actually getting pregnant. Difficulties in conception can be due to either male or female problems. A woman’s fertility largely depends on her age, with men having a less obvious age-related decrease in fertility. A woman is most fertile between the ages of 17 and 25, with a gradual decline into her 30s and a sharp decrease in fertility after the age of 35. Even for a couple in their 20s it is normal to take up to a year to conceive. Seek professional advice early if you are concerned that you may have a fertility problem.

The following information will help men and women to improve their fertility.

Lifestyle Choices

  • Stop smoking and limit alcohol intake
    Male and female smokers take longer to conceive than non smokers.
    Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption has been shown to lower sperm health.

  • Manage stress
    Try to cut out as much stress as possible from your daily life, making time to relax and try to get eight hours of sleep a night.
    Stress can also affect a couples libido and reduce how often you have sex. 

Diet and Exercise

  • Exercise regularly, eat a healthy balance diet and take folate
    Women who are a healthy weight often find it easier to conceive and have fewer problems during pregnancy. Male fertility can also be improved through regular exercise. Having a healthy diet can help improve fertility for men and women. A balanced diet includes foods rich in calcium, iron, folate such as dairy foods, fruit and vegetables, wholegrain bread and cereals.
    Folate is important for a baby’s developing brain and spinal cord. In addition to eating well, it is recommended that women who are planning a pregnancy take a supplement such as FABFOL 4-6 weeks before conception.

Women’s Health

  • Check you are up to date with Pap smears, sexual health and dental checks
    If your Pap smear is due it is advisable to have it done and know the results before trying to get pregnant, as changes to the cervix can be difficult to treat during pregnancy. Women can also get tested for sexually transmissible infections (STIs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea at the same time. As many people with an STI have no symptoms, it is possible to have one and not know it. For this reason it is a good idea for both partners to consider testing before trying to conceive.
    If you are planning a pregnancy, see a dentist for a check-up, as fillings and x-rays are best done before you conceive

Other Health and Lifestyle Issues

  • Talk to a doctor about any ongoing health problems 
    Women with diabetes should talk to a health professional before trying to get pregnant, as special medical attention to control blood sugar levels is required to reduce the risk of harm to the baby. If you are taking any medication or health supplements on a regular basis, tell a doctor or pharmacist that you are planning a pregnancy, as some can affect fertility and cause problems during pregnancy.
    Women planning a pregnancy and pregnant women should avoid exposure to pesticides and industrial chemicals.

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