Do’s and don’ts of conception
Most couples who make a decision to start a family, stop using all methods of birth control immediately. Some couples are able to conceive shortly after they start trying, while for many couples, conceiving might not be as simple and may take a longer duration of time.
Although the time a couple may take to conceive a child depends on a lot of factors, there are some basic do’s and don’ts applicable to each couple who is trying to have a baby.
Do’s of conception
There are some things that should be kept in mind by a couple who wants to have a child. These things are not medical guidelines but simple lifestyle changes that have a significant effect on the fertility of both women as well as men. The do’s of conception are as follows-
- Visit a doctor before attempting to conceive– A consultation with an OB/GYN should be a top priority for every couple. A woman should get any medical condition treated before trying to conceive. Also, if the couple has any dilemma or any questions, they should get them cleared before conception.
- Pre-natal vitamins– Though it may seem like an odd idea, a woman who is trying to conceive should start taking prenatal vitamins which also have folic acid. They help guard the fetus against congenital defects like spina bifida.
- Close monitoring of ovulation cycle– A woman should know her ovulation cycle so as to know the peak fertility days in it. Having intercourse during this period increases the chance of conceiving. These days, ovulation prediction kits are easily available, which help women to accurately know the days when they are at peak of fertility. Such kits detect elevated levels of LH just before ovulation.
- Intake of fertility supplements-Some prescription and over the counter fertility supplements can also be taken as they are known to boost fertility and also stimulate the cycle of ovulation.
- Regular intercourse– Having sex everyday is not mandatory but regular intercourse at the interval of two to three days can increase the possibility of conceiving.
Don’ts of conception
A couple trying to conceive has to bear in mind, some very important things that have a direct impact on the fertility levels of both the partners. The things that should be avoided while trying to conceive are-
- Caffeine– Caffeine has been shown to affect the fertility levels in both males and females. A couple wanting to conceive should reduce the caffeine intake and switch to healthier substitutes.
- Smoking– Smoking is a complete no-no for couples trying to conceive. Women who smoke may have changes in cervix, problems in fallopian tubes, and damage to eggs as well. Smoking has also been linked to miscarriage as well. Smoking in passive form is also harmful and hampers the level of fertility. Men, who smoke around women not only endanger the woman’s reproductive health but also, compromise their own. Smoking has been proven to cause erectile dysfunction, change in hormones, decreased motility of sperm and decrease in sperm count also.
- Drinking– Excessive alcohol may lead to damage to reproductive organs in both men and women. Especially during pregnancy, women should completely eliminate alcohol from their system.
- Stress– Stress has been known to alter ovulation cycles in women. It can also affect the sperm health of a man. Conceiving a baby can be a long and sometimes stressful journey for a couple. Therefore, it is important that the couple tries to remain as stress free as they can.
- Maintain ideal body weight– Women trying to conceive should refrain from going ahead with any crash or fad diets. For the body to be ready to conceive, it has to be at the ideal weight. Underweight women experience difficulty in conceiving, therefore the ideal weight should be the goal of every woman planning to have a child. In males, weight has a direct effect on the sperm health; therefore men also should make an effort to maintain ideal Body Mass Index (BMI).
- Prescription drugs– Some prescription drugs might interfere in the process of conceiving. So, a doctor should be consulted on whether or not a prescription medicine can be continually taken.
- Water based lubricants– Some water based lubricants might contain spermicides and can also have an effect on the motility of sperm. Care should be taken to avoid the use of such lubricants.
Trying to start a family can be often stressful for couples who don’t succeed shortly after they start trying. Partners end up blaming each other if they experience delay in conception. It is not healthy for both and the couple should ideally openly communicate to each other about their feelings. Also, intercourse should not become a chore or an obligation and the intimacy of the relationship should not be compromised because of the stress.