Becoming Pregnant FAQs

Becoming Pregnant FAQs

Male infertility is the primary cause or a contributing factor for about 40 percent of infertile couples. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) can be helpful if a man has mild to moderately low sperm counts or motility (the ability of the sperm to swim effectively). If IUI doesn’t work or a man has more severe problems, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can be helpful. ICSI involves injecting a single sperm into a mature egg in the embryology lab. ICSI is also used if there is a concern about a genetic disease or if eggs have been previously preserved using the vitrification process.

In vitro fertilization is probably the most well-known fertility treatment. IVF treatment involves combining retrieved eggs with sperm in the controlled environment of an embryology laboratory. The resulting embryos are then placed in the woman’s uterus. IVF treatment is often recommended if you have one of the following problems:

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Fallopian tube damage or blockages
  • Disorders that affect ovulation
  • Premature ovarian failure
  • Problems with sperm quality or quantity

IVF can also ensure that embryos aren’t affected by genetic diseases and preserve your fertility if you are undergoing cancer therapy or want to delay parenthood for other reasons.

Artificial insemination (also called IUI or intrauterine insemination) is a procedure that involves washing sperm, then introducing the healthiest specimens into the woman’s uterus with a catheter. It is often recommended if a man has erectile dysfunction, a low sperm count, or low sperm motility. IUI can help you get pregnant if your cervical mucus doesn’t allow sperm to pass through easily or if you have endometriosis, cervical scarring, a semen allergy, or unexplained fertility problems.nn

Your reproductive medicine specialist may recommend one or more tests to identify the source of your problem. Common fertility tests include:

  • Blood tests to check hormone levels
  • Imaging and ultrasound tests and minor surgical procedures that provide valuable information on the condition of your ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes
  • Sperm analysis
  • Ovarian reserve testing is used to determine the number of eggs your ovaries can produce

Fertility doctors receive special training in reproductive issues and are uniquely qualified to assess and treat various problems that can affect your ability to become or remain pregnant. During your first visit, your doctor will perform a physical exam, review your medical history and lab work, and ask questions about your lifestyle, work, family medical history, and chronic diseases. In most cases, your doctor will recommend one or more tests to help him or her identify problems that impact your fertility. After discussing the test results with you and your partner, your fertility doctor will suggest a treatment plan to address your fertility issues.

Folic acid has been proven to reduce a baby’s risk of neural-tube birth defects (ex., spina bifida), and it can lower your chances of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and diabetes. Before getting pregnant, women should take 400 mcg of folic acid for about a month. Once you become pregnant, you must take 600 mcg throughout your pregnancy.

  • High-mercury fish such as tuna, halibut, and swordfish
  • Fruit juice and sodas
  • Alcohol
  • Unpasteurized soft cheeses such as brie and gorgonzola
  • Deli meat and hot dogs

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends that a woman should consult her healthcare provider if she is:

  • Under 35 years old and has been trying to conceive for more than 12 months
  • Over 35 years old and has been trying to conceive for over 6 months

If you have a regular and predictable cycle, then you are ovulating. Ovulation typically occurs between day 11 through day 21 of a woman’s cycle. Once ovulation occurs, and the egg is released, you may feel the effects of progesterone (a hormone in your body that is released which plays an important role in the menstrual cycle and in maintaining the early stages of pregnancy). You may feel some tenderness in your breasts.

All women with a naturally strong ovulatory and regular cycle should be ovulating within 1-2 cycles.

Birth control pills do not affect your fertility. Within 1 to 2 months of stopping pills, A woman’s menstrual cycle returns to what is considered normal within 1-2 months of stopping your birth control.

Yes. Caffeine intake of 200mg or more per day can affect fertility. You should reduce your caffeine intake if you are having trouble conceiving.

Consult your doctor if you are unsure whether a medication or supplement is safe. Ibuprofen is not considered safe during pregnancy, and Aspirin should be avoided (unless directed by your doctor). Some herbal supplements such as Echinacea, Ginkgo Biloba, and St. John’s Wort can interfere with conception. It is best to consult with your doctor about all medications you are on while trying to conceive.

Prenatal vitamins contain important nutrients you may not get enough of in your diet, such as folic acid, vitamin B6, and zinc. Zinc may also improve fertility. Prenatal vitamins should be taken in place of your normal daily vitamin supplements.

  • Use an ovulation calculator to predict fertile periods.
  • Keep your weight under control. (Weight gain can affect fertility in both men and women.)
  • Limit or eliminate caffeinated beverages and alcohol.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Exercise, but don’t overdo it. (Very strenuous exercise can decrease fertility.)
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • See your dentist. (Untreated gum disease may affect your fertility.)
  • Take advantage of preconception counseling to identify any issues that could affect your ability to become pregnant.
  • Low sperm count
  • Low motility (the swimming ability of sperm
  • Poor sperm quality

Fertility in women can be affected by the following:

  • Age (fertility gradually declines in your 30s and drops significantly by the time you are 40)
  • Egg quality and quantity
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Scarred, damaged, or blocked fallopian tubes
  • Cervical mucus quality
  • Menstrual cycle irregularities
  • Excess weight
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Infections
  • Birth defects
  • Scarring or adhesions caused by pelvic or reproductive system surgery
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Thyroid gland problems

Fertility calendars help you anticipate when ovulation will occur. Keeping track of the changes in your cervical mucus can also be helpful. Several days before ovulation, mucus becomes clear and stretchy and resembles egg whites. When this occurs, it’s much easier for sperm to reach the egg. If a pregnancy doesn’t occur, contact us for an appointment so we can help determine if there are any underlying issues preventing pregnancy.

Evaluating Your Fertility

Evaluating your fertility

Evaluation of Your Fertility & Diagnostic Testing

A fertility evaluation is the first step on one’s fertility journey and may include a medical history, physical exam, specialized fertility tests, lab work, and ultrasounds.

Preconception Counseling

Evaluation & Preconception Counseling

Whether you’ve conceived before or this is your first time, getting started in the right direction with a preconception counseling session will help ensure you’re on the best path for successful conception.

Operative Hysteroscopy

Fertility Tests: Operative Hysteroscopy

Operative hysteroscopy allows the evaluation and treatment of different intrauterine conditions, such as abnormal uterine bleeding, uterine polyps, endometrial ablation, and more.

Operative Laparoscopy

Fertility Tests: Operative Laparoscopy

Operative laparoscopy can help identify certain conditions that hinder a woman’s ability to become pregnant so a path to treatment can be formed.

recurrent miscarriage

Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

Coping with the loss of a pregnancy is one of the most challenging and heart-wrenching ordeals a woman or couple can ever experience — but the good news is that you don’t have to deal with it alone.

Complete Reproductive Wellness for Patients- small

Reproductive Wellness for Patients

Reproduction is a complicated and multifaceted process that requires an all-encompassing approach. Our treatment addresses all our  patients’ needs, including causes of infertility and the stress that can accompany it. We refer patients to wellness services, including therapy, acupuncture, nutrition, and bodywork, to holistically care for those trying to get pregnant.

Preconception Counseling FAQs

Preconception Counseling FAQs