If you plan to get pregnant in the New Year, Dr. Jim Douglas with IVF Plano offers these tips as you count down the days to becoming a parent:
- Take Your Folic Acid. Women need 400 micrograms of the B vitamin folic acid before and during pregnancy. A prenatal vitamin provides this nutrient, but so does a daily bowl of fortified cereal with 100 percent daily allowance of folic acid. New findings show that folic acid benefits both partners, so men should take a supplement as well.
- Quit Smoking. Cigarette smoke negatively impacts the reproductive health of both men and women. Studies show that smoking affects sperm motility, density and morphology. In women, smoking causes harm to ovarian function. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine reports that smokers have a 54 percent higher chance of conception taking longer than 12 months.
- Maintain a Healthful Weight. A body mass index that is too high or too low may interrupt ovulation in women. Further, overweight men may have associated problems with sperm production.
- Pinpoint your Peak Fertility. An over-the-counter ovulation predictor kit, or basal body thermometer and chart can help you determine when you ovulate each month. Plan to have sex 2-3 days before ovulation and 12-24 hours after.
- See a Fertility Specialist. If you have tried for 12 months to get pregnant with negative results, it’s time to see a reproductive endocrinologist. Women over age 35 should seek help after six months of failed cycles.
Check out Dr. Douglas’ tips on Getting Pregnant: What You Need to Know. If you are ready to consult with a fertility specialist, IVF Plano is located in the Plano Presbyterian Hospital complex. Contact us here for an appointment. Happy New Year!
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