Get Smart About Getting Pregnant

Get Smart About Getting Pregnant Get Smart About Getting Pregnant

Getting pregnant does not always come as easy as we hope. To boost your fertility and get pregnant fast, you have to educate yourself on male and female fertility and you must be proactive about your health.

Track your cycles
It's important to know whether you are ovulating and when. To identify your own ovulation patterns and track your cycles, you can check out our helpful guide to fertility tracking. If your cycles seem irregular or you have trouble tracking them, help is available! 

Age affects fertility
Your age has a great deal to do with your fertility. Female fertility declines once we enter our mid-20s. At 37, this decline steepens, and fertility problems begin to increase dramatically. To increase your chances of getting pregnant, don't wait. Start trying to get pregnant as soon as you are ready.

Diet, lifestyle and fertility
If you are trying to get pregnant, make sure you cut out the following habits that could hurt your fertility or affect your pregnancy. Avoid the following:

  • Eating foods high in mercury, like certain types of seafood
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Drinking more than two alcoholic drinks per day
  • Drinking large amounts of caffeine, either from coffee, tea, or energy drinks
  • Illicit drug use

Along with eliminating exposure to toxins, take a daily multivitamin containing folic acid. This can protect your baby from several serious health problems, like neural tube defects. A fertility diet won't hurt either. Focus on eating whole foods and avoiding processed foods high in trans fats and simple carbohydrates. In addition, try to maintain a healthy fertility weight.

Seek help early on
One in eight couples experiences infertility. If you haven't had a preconception appointment yet, schedule a visit with an obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyn) or nurse midwife. This will get you started on the healthiest path possible towards pregnancy.

If you need help finding an ob-gyn or midwife, ask friends, family members, or co-workers for recommendations. Find a practitioner that supports your philosophies and approaches to pregnancy and childbirth. Once you find someone that you like you can achieve the following:

  • Address any health concerns and ask how to manage your health during pregnancy
  • Undergo all preconception testing
  • Discuss any concerns you may have your fertility and getting pregnant

Here are some tests that you can expect during this preconception appointment:

  • Pap smear and pelvic exam
  • Breast exam
  • Screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STD)
  • Screening and treatment for other medical conditions
  • Blood tests

Doctors often screen women for STDs before and during pregnancy. This is important because STDs can cause serious problems affecting your fertility, health, or pregnancy.

If you have a family history of inherited health problems, your doctor may also recommend genetic counseling at this time.

When fertility problems arise

If you are over 35 and still can't get pregnant after six months, or if you are under 35 and haven't conceived within a year, talk to your ob-gyn or primary care physician as it may be time to see a fertility specialist for further testing.

Find a local fertility clinic

Reviewed March 2011 by Dr. Karl Hansen at OU Physicians Reproductive Health.