Elena Mozgovaya, obstetrician-gynecologist, reproductologist – leading Ukrainian specialist in global infertility treatment programs.
Today, most spouses prefer to consciously approach the appearance of new members in the family and sooner or later begin to think about children as a necessary “component” of the family. In this case, the woman becomes more confident in her actions, and the chances of a successful completion of the pregnancy are significantly increased.
“Well, what could be easier than conceiving a child?” – almost everyone thinks so. In any case, we more or less know how this is done. However, oddly enough, certain conditions are necessary for the onset of pregnancy. Lack of knowledge in the field of physiology is not always a big obstacle, but having it will help you to quickly cope with the task. Firstly, the correct maturation of the egg and further good work of the corpus luteum of the ovary to maintain the early stages of pregnancy. Secondly, a sufficient number of sperm, their ability to penetrate the fallopian tubes and fertilize an egg. Thirdly, the free passage of the egg and embryo in the “pipelines”. And the last is the willingness of the uterus to accept the embryo.
Planning a pregnancy is a good thing, although it is worth clearly defining what we mean. Often when people say “we are planning a pregnancy,” they mean that they regularly have sex on “dangerous” days. But where is the planning here? These are just attempts to get pregnant. In fact, planning a pregnancy involves deciding whether to conceive soon and taking certain steps to increase your chances of success, as well as having a healthy baby.
Pregnancy is an unusual condition for a woman. Only a trained woman can bear and give birth to a healthy child. Therefore, the first thing to find out is the state of health today, and then – to do any changes with your own hands.
It’s time to pay close attention to nutrition and lifestyle, in which case – urgently change them (for example, stop smoking and drinking). It’s no secret that problems with conception can arise if a woman smokes. So, in the UK, a study was conducted of 17 thousand women aged 25 to 39 years. Smokers became pregnant 22% less often compared to those women who did not have a bad habit. In addition, studies have shown that women who smoke have a higher miscarriage rate.
Try to exclude from your life as much as possible everything that can adversely affect both your health and the health of the unborn baby. The laying of the main organs of the fetus occurs during the first four weeks of pregnancy, therefore, six months before the expected conception, it is necessary to stop taking antibiotics, two to three months – to exclude hormonal contraceptives.
If friendship with sports, even as a banal morning exercise, did not work out, so maybe it’s time to sign up for the gym? Some fitness centers already have a special course for planning, pregnant and new mothers. For example, doctors teach breathing exercises, which can save energy during labor and ensure the delivery of oxygen to the baby.
In order to avoid various surprises, it is necessary to undergo an examination with a certain emphasis on the possibility of conception, and not just on the general state of health. A visit to the doctor can resolve many doubts. Moreover, you should consult a doctor before trying to conceive, in order to find out about your physical condition, the level of nutrients in the body, a lack of which can lead to birth defects in your child. The doctor may even offer to do an analysis to determine possible hereditary diseases.
Since in half of the cases, the causes of infertility are diseases in both men and women, it is most correct to see both a gynecologist and an andrologist. The gynecologist will assess the work of the ovaries and uterus, conduct a study for genital infections, check the patency of the fallopian tubes and the possibility of immunological incompatibility between husband and wife. The male doctor – andrologist – examines the male body in terms of its fertility. In modern clinics there is a specialist in infertility – a reproductologist. An integrated approach to the problem allows you to outline a general survey plan, a sequence of procedures without losing precious time. In some situations, it may be necessary to consult an endocrinologist, therapist, sex therapist, and other “narrow” specialists.
The female reproductive age is fleeting! Do not rely on “suddenly blows through.” Sexually transmitted infections can also affect successful conception, which often go unnoticed, without symptoms for several years, and when transmitted to the embryo are difficult to transfer. Fortunately, of the myriad of germs that can cause illness in adults, only a few can be passed on to a child.
Scientists have noticed that violations can occur both in the primary disease and in the activation of a microbe that is in a person in a “dormant” state for the time being. The consequences of an infectious disease suffered by a woman during pregnancy can be different. From the almost complete absence of a negative effect to miscarriage, the development of fetal defects and its death. According to statistics, about 2% of children become infected during pregnancy, and almost 10% during childbirth.
The increased susceptibility of the mother to infections during pregnancy increases due to the weakening of the immune system, during this period the microbes become more dangerous. Although the development of the immune system of the fetus begins at the moment of conception, the main source of immunity for it is still the protective antibodies of the mother, which are transmitted through the placenta. If a woman, for some reason, does not form such protective antibodies, the child will definitely get sick. Therefore, the susceptibility of the fetus to infections directly depends on the state of the mother’s body and the prevention of intrauterine infections should be started even before the planned pregnancy.
The reasons that can interfere with successful conception are often hormonal shifts due to stress and improper lifestyle, as well as general and gynecological diseases.
Besides, the general state of health is also important for the “pregnant organism”. There are few people with severe chronic diseases at the age of 30. However, it is at this age that latent disturbances in the work of some organs can be detected. As an example, we can cite clearly unexpressed gastritis, cholecystitis, varicose veins. Therefore, a woman should know the general state of her health, take preventive measures to prevent the development of pathology. Simple and quick tests (in Soviet times it was called prophylactic medical examination) will show problem areas.
Thus, the main goal of all the above measures is to create optimal conditions for the development of eggs, and then the embryo. This is the preparation of a woman’s body for pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.
To get pregnant, first of all, you should calculate when you are at your most fertile period. The likelihood of conception is higher on certain days of the menstrual cycle, corresponding to ovulation. They can be identified by the calendar. According to a 1995 study by the National Institute of Women’s Health (USA), it lasts 6 days: five days before ovulation and one day after it. Ovulation occurs every month around the middle of the menstrual cycle.
However, you should not treat the sacrament of the act of love down to earth. This will put too much pressure on the whole pleasant, romantic, non-violent process of conception. It is best to just enjoy making love a little ahead of time before ovulation is expected for a few months. When you realize that for some reason you cannot get pregnant, consult a doctor who will recommend how and when you can more accurately determine the day of ovulation.
For a long time, it was believed that a man should abstain from sex for several days in order for him to accumulate more seminal fluid until a woman’s most fertile period. This is partly true. Studies show that the more often a man ejaculates, the less semen he has. However, as it turned out, this is not the main thing. In fact, the more often you have sex, the faster you will achieve the desired result, as the more likely you are not to miss the favorable days of your cycle.
Popular rumor says that in order to conceive a child, you must abandon certain sexual positions. This is not true. Sperm are like “salmon that love to swim upstream,” says Mark Sauer, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University, USA. Couples don’t have to worry about their posture
What if you’re having trouble getting pregnant as soon as you thought or hoped? Don’t panic after the first unsuccessful attempt. A healthy couple has an average of 35% chance of conceiving a child per attempt during their menstrual cycle. Not every act leads to pregnancy.
First of all, it should be remembered that after stopping the use of oral contraceptives, at least a month must pass for the body to return to normal, and sometimes it may take from six months to a year until your ovulation returns to normal.
You can really talk about infertility only after a year of active sexual activity without protection. If a year of trying has not yet passed, then it is better to try to get pregnant without the help of doctors.
For women under 30 years old, experts recommend not to worry about the absence of pregnancy during the year. If you are older, the difficulties in trying to get pregnant increase, so you should not delay with a medical consultation. This is the scheme that experts recommend to adhere to: women aged 30 to 35 years should visit a doctor 6-9 months after unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant, 35-40-year-old women are better off seeking advice after 6 months of unsuccessful efforts, and women after 40 years – after three months of unprotected sex.
Fore more information regarding pregnancy issues as well as telemedical infertility treatment please visit contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org