If you and your partner are considering pregnancy here are some preconception considerations:

1) Start taking a prenatal vitamin daily. This will help ensure that enough folic acid (minimum of 400 mcg of folic acid) is present to help prevent neural tube defects. Your partner could also start a multivitamin if desired.

2) Consider getting Counsyl testing done. This is a genetic carrier screening test, done by collecting a blood sample from the mother, that is tested for a wide range of genetically inheritable traits such as Cystic Fibrosis, Fragile X Syndrome and Tay Sachs. If two people test positive as carriers for the same condition, there’s a one in four chance or 25% chance their children could develop the disease. This test is separate from early pregnancy genetic testing.

3) Continue to follow a healthy diet and exercise routine.

4) Track your cycles. Remember day 1 is the first day you experience bleeding. The last day of your cycle is the day before you start bleeding. To know when you ovulate, calculate 14 days prior to your last cycle day. For example in a 30-day cycle, ovulation approximately occurs at day 16 of the cycle – which is 16 days from when you started bleeding (day 1). You may also be interested in purchasing ovulation kits to use at home to help determine when you are ovulating.

Eggs may live inside the fallopian tube for 24-72 hours. Sperm can live inside the reproductive tract for 4-7 days. You’ll want to increase odds of conception by having intercourse beginning approximately 2 days prior to ovulation and through 2 days after ovulation. Having intercourse every other day through this time period should optimize rates of conception for most families.

If you are unable to get pregnant after actively trying for 1 year and are under the age of 35 you are welcome to schedule an appointment with a provider at Arlington Women’s Center to discuss possible testing and treatment to assist in getting pregnant. If you are unable to get pregnant after actively trying for 1 year and are over the age of 35 we suggest getting an evaluation with local infertility providers for assistance.

5) We recommend no alcohol, smoking or recreational drug use while trying to get pregnant or during pregnancy.

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