If you want to start a family, it is always best to consult with your obstetric gynecologist before you start trying to conceive. Preparing your body for conception can reduce risks to both you and your unborn child, and increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy.
Have Regular Gynecological Screenings
Although routine gynecological screenings are important for overall reproductive health, they are also important if you anticipate starting a family. Screening guidelines have changed in recent years and based on your past test results, you may not need to have a PAP test and pelvic exam every year. PAP tests are important for detecting any abnormalities that can indicate cervical cancer. Women who had abnormal cells and treatments, such as a cone biopsy, may have certain risks associated with pregnancy since removal of cervical tissue can weaken the cervix. Other tests performed during gynecological screenings, such as those for HPV or STIs are important to prevent the transmission of infections to an unborn child.
Address Menstrual Concerns
Menstrual irregularities are sometimes associated with an underlying condition, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which can make conception harder. Lifestyle changes may be enough to encourage regular ovulation in women with PCOS and make it possible to conceive without additional medical intervention. Significant menstrual pain and bleeding during your period or at other times of the month should also be cause for concern. Fibroids are a concern in women with heavy bleeding, and the condition can complicate starting a family. An ultrasound is necessary to determine if there are abnormal growths within the uterus. Some smaller fibroids may be removed without complicating the ability to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term.
Discuss Nutrition And Health
Your gynecologist will want you to address any nutrition concerns well before you start trying to become pregnant. It is common for women to take prenatal vitamins instead of a traditional multivitamin to be certain they are consuming adequate folic acid to minimize the chance of congenital abnormalities. Weight management will be another concern your gynecologist will want to address. Both being under or overweight carry their own risks associated with conception, pregnancy, and delivery. If you have a chronic disease, such as diabetes or hypertension, it is best to discuss pregnancy-related risks before becoming pregnant. Both conditions can warrant being classified as a high-risk pregnancy and extra monitoring can be necessary if you conceive.
Addressing any reproductive and overall health concerns in advance can help you identify problems that might complicate conception or pose risks during pregnancy.