Planning for a baby? Before you start dreaming about your baby’s name or plan your babymoon trips, you should think about what to ask the doctor before getting pregnant by scheduling a chat with your health care provider to ensure that your pregnancy falls on the right track.
Part of the pre-pregnancy preparation is asking your ob-gyn (obstetrician-gynecologist) a few questions related to pregnancy. Many couples also feel that they should see a doctor before trying to get pregnant. A preconception check helps you ascertain that you are healthy while you plan your pregnancy.
In this article, we cover you with details on why a checkup before pregnancy is important and on what to ask the doctor before getting pregnant.
Your Pre-Pregnancy Check-Up – Why It Is Important?
Booking a pre-pregnancy check-up is the first path for a healthy and happy pregnancy. You might have a lot of things running in your mind on what to ask the doctor before getting pregnant. Booking a preconception consultation with a doctor helps to clear off all those doubts. You could also take your partner along with you so that it would give you an idea about what kind of lifestyle you both need to fit in for a happy pregnancy.
You can also plan your preconception check-up with the doctor whom you wish to consult during pregnancy. Not only that, you can get a preconception checkup at any time. This will help you prepare your mind for the pregnancy phase.
Also, medical conditions such as depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, and weight issues can affect your pregnancy and one should be aware about your most fertile signs. Hence, setting up a meeting with the doctor will enable them to analyze your overall health and make way for a healthy baby to be born.
Related Reading: 12 Relevant Things To Know Before Choosing A Gynaecologist
What Happens At The Checkup?
A prenatal checkup ensures that you are healthy to get pregnant which is crucial for you and your baby. Your doctor might discuss your existing health conditions and screen you for potential illnesses that are unknown. During your visit, you will also get to know about how your health condition affects your pregnancy and what things will make it worse.
Your doctor might also discuss your genetic health conditions and enquire about your family and partners’ family history to look at genetic risk factors. Also, planning for pregnancy is crucial as it affects you — as a couple as well as individually. When things don’t probably work for a long time, your partner might also need fertility testing to ward off suspected fertility problems.
10 Things To Ask The Doctor Before Getting Pregnant
If you have any fertility questions to ask the doctor, a preconception check-up is the best time for it. Though these kinds of check-ups are not happening much here, it helps the doctor to analyze your overall health and find out any pregnancy threats that could occur for you and your baby. It is also advised to go for a preconception check-up even if it is your second or third pregnancy as your health would have changed during the interim.
For ladies who already have a history such as a premature baby, a baby with a birth defect, a miscarriage or stillbirth, a check-up with the doctor before pregnancy could help them on what to anticipate during this pregnancy. At your checkup, your doctor would check your overall health to make sure your body is ready for pregnancy.
Here are a few things that you can discuss and ask your doctor if you have no idea about what to ask the doctor before getting pregnant.
1.How long will it take me to get pregnant naturally?
Pregnancy planning is crucial especially when you have decided to get pregnant naturally. You might ask your doctor about how much time it could take for you to get conceived naturally. Though your doctor might not have an accurate answer, your doctor could analyze certain details such as your age and your partner’s, your existing health conditions, etc. to give you an approximate idea. However, the ideal answer is the longer you try, the chances of getting pregnant increase.
2.What can I do to get pregnant faster?
Probably you might have a lot of questions to ask an ob-gyn about infertility, in case you have been trying for a long time to become pregnant and are unsuccessful with it. So now that you are keen on having a baby, your doctor could suggest a few tips to speed up the process. This could include things such as knowing your ovulation time and having sex every 1 to 2 days during your fertile days.
3. Does age play a role in getting pregnant?
Age plays a crucial factor while you plan to get pregnant. It is believed that the chances of women getting pregnant decline up to 50% after the age of 35. Similarly, a man’s sperm quality lowers during his mid-40s. Hence, while you plan on what to ask the doctor before getting pregnant, make sure you have this on your mind as age affects the fertility of both men and women.
Related Reading: How To Prepare Body For Pregnancy After 30
4. How frequently should we have sex?
Having sex during your fertile days increases the chance of getting pregnant early. Hence, make sure you have sex about two to three times a week during your fertile window. Try to have unprotected sex during your ovulation period for better results. Having cleared this doubt, you can mark your calendar accordingly.
5. Do previous health issues matter?
This is one of the most important things to know while you prepare your checklist on what to ask the doctor before getting pregnant. It helps to rule out the chances of pregnancy complications if any. Since the existing medical conditions play an important role in the chance of conceiving, it is advised to be honest with your doctor on your health issues. Conditions such as STDs, PCOS, and even your partner’s sperm count matter.
Related Reading: 13 Tips To Get Pregnant With PCOS
6. Recommended prenatal vitamins, if any
A few nutrients such as folic, vitamin B 6, iron, and calcium play an important role in increasing the chances of getting pregnant. Hence your doctor might examine you and suggest a few prenatal vitamins to increase your chance of conceiving and delivering a healthy baby.
7. When should I take a pregnancy test?
Seeing those two lines during a pregnancy test could be a life-changer. However, there is a specified period to take the test to get accurate test results. The purpose of a pregnancy test is to check for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Ideally, this hormone needs to be on a detectable level to know your pregnancy status. Since the body needs time to develop this hormone, it is advised you wait for about 7-10 days after a missed period to take a home pregnancy test.
8. What should I eat and what not eat?
Being and eating healthy is always a good option and thinking about it even before getting pregnant is much welcomed. You might be wondering if there are any foods and beverages to avoid while you plan your pregnancy. In general, experts advise eating a healthy and balanced nutrient diet. It is also advised to skip uncooked or undercooked foods to ensure there are no chances of transmitting toxoplasmosis.
9. When to stop taking birth control pills?
Birth control pills can disrupt your hormone cycle as contraceptive pills have a few lesser-known side effects. For most women, ovulation will start within a few weeks or months once you stop the intake of pills. Hence, it is not possible to get pregnant immediately after stopping the birth control pills. Also, some over-the-counter and prescription drugs can harm the baby once you get pregnant. If you use an IUD, it is better to check with your doctor if it needs to be removed.
10. Should I change my diet, exercise routine, or lifestyle habits?
Being overweight or underweight could increase pregnancy complications and lead to conditions such as miscarriage, high blood pressure, and gestational diabetes. Habits such as excessive workouts, consuming alcohol, or smoking can also hurt your pregnancy. Talk to your doctor regarding your workout routine, your change of diet, and your lifestyle for they would encourage you on what to do and what not to.
Since pregnancy is an important phase in every woman’s life, it comes with a lot of physical, emotional, and mental changes. By setting up a meeting with a doctor your lifestyle and habits could also be discussed in detail. Your health care provider will recommend taking folic acid a few months before conception.
There is no time restriction for what to ask the doctor before getting pregnant. You can ask your doctor anytime before you plan to get pregnant. Your reasons to meet the obgyn could be anything from a routine check-up or probably you have been trying for a year to get conceived and it is not working out.
Even if you do not intend to get pregnant soon, you may also have thoughts about family planning, etc. Talking to your doctor about this and even asking them about reproductive topics or sensitive questions to ward off your doubts will give you a clear mindset.