If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, you probably have some questions (in fact, we here at Proov would be surprised if you didn’t)! You might be wondering all sorts of things, like how long does it take to get pregnant, is there anything I’m not thinking about that I should be, and how do I even know if I’m ready?
These (and all other questions) are so normal that our medical advisors hear them all the time. So we’ve rounded up the answers to some of the most common questions doctors get about getting pregnant, just for you! Read on to learn more.
1. Is it safe to get pregnant?
One of the biggest questions you might be wondering about is safety in pregnancy and childbirth, particularly if you’ve never been pregnant before. Good news – pregnancy is relatively safe especially if you aren’t high risk (more on that later).
It is important to keep in mind though that pregnancy is not without risk, and even people who are healthy before pregnancy may develop complications such as hyperemesis gravidarum (a severe form of morning sickness), gestational diabetes, or pre-eclampsia. If you’re planning to get pregnant, it’s important that you have a plan for prenatal health care, which will include testing and monitoring for common pregnancy complications.
What if you have a pre-existing condition? In some cases, a pregnancy may be considered high risk. These include some autoimmune conditions, high blood pressure, or even being 35 years old or older at your first pregnancy. That doesn’t mean pregnancy is impossible or necessarily unsafe, though!
If you’re at all concerned about your particular health situation or whether or not it’s safe for you to become pregnant, talk to your physician. They can provide individual guidance and help you assess your risk status.
2. How do I know if I'm ready to get pregnant?
What it means to be ready for pregnancy is different for every person and family, but there might be some common metrics you can use to open up the discussion with your partner or support system and determine your readiness for pregnancy.
One place to start is your health – are any health conditions you or your partner have well-managed, are you at a healthy age to get pregnant (ideally, your 20s or early 30s, although having a baby after 35 is definitely possible), and are you getting enough sleep and eating a nutritious diet?
Another thing to think about is financial readiness. Are you prepared to address expenses for baby care, hospital bills, or even infertility treatments or testing? What will you do for childcare, and how will having a baby affect your current employment? Becoming informed on the family leave laws and policies in your area may be helpful during this time.
Finally, think about the fun things too! Are you excited to become parents? Are you ready for your routine to change, to exchange sleep for baby cuddles, and to ultimately raise children and teenagers? If the answer is yes, you might be ready to get pregnant.
3. What can I do to increase my chances of getting pregnant?
To increase your chances of getting pregnant, first you’ll want to make sure you’re ovulating and ovulating successfully. If you don’t know how to track ovulation yet or find when you’re fertile, start here. Timing intercourse correctly may not seem like a big deal, but mistiming is actually a primary cause of infertility!
Remember that it takes both an egg and a sperm to make a healthy baby, so male fertility testing can also be important especially if you’ve been trying for a little while with no success. It can take 75-90 days for new sperm to mature, so making lifestyle changes and sperm quality improvements early can be to your advantage in boosting fertility!
4. Is there anything that may contribute to difficulty in conceiving?
Sometimes, through no fault of your own, it may be more challenging than you expect to get pregnant. If you’ve been trying for a few months with no success, it may be time to consider some fertility testing and get at any underlying reasons you’re having difficulty conceiving.
These can include reproductive health conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, male factor infertility, or genetic conditions like congenital adrenal hyperplasia. You can also have structural or anatomical challenges such as blocked fallopian tubes or uterine fibroids, so it can be good to loop in your medical provider to get their opinion.
5. Are there other considerations when trying to conceive?
While the above questions cover most of the “big stuff,” there are other little things you may not have in mind just yet. Some other things you might want to keep in mind when trying to conceive are:
- Alcohol use: It can be helpful to reduce your alcohol consumption, both to improve your fertility and prevent accidentally drinking in early pregnancy. This applies to sperm quality, too!
- Lubrication: Believe it or not, some sexual lubricants aren’t good for sperm! Look for products that contain hydroxyethyl-cellulose for optimal sperm survival.
- Make sure you’re actually ovulating: Many common methods of ovulation tracking, like basal body temperature, and LH tests, don’t actually tell you anything about how well you’re ovulating! It’s important that progesterone be elevated and sustained throughout the second half of your cycle. Learn more here!
- Your cycles don’t have to be regular (although it helps): In many cases, you may not have regular cycles, but that doesn’t mean it’s all over! You can still use fertility testing and tracking with irregular cycles, and the important thing is that when ovulation happens, it’s successful!
Have other questions about getting pregnant? Our team is here to help! Talk to a real Proov expert 7 days a week.