Pregnancy planning is one of the most important moments for a couple, and in many occasions it implies a certain stress for the future parents, who usually have many doubts at this time.
Nowadays, it is recommended to plan the pregnancy, because apart from making it come at the best psycho-social time for the couple (which helps responsible parenthood), some measures can be carried out within the medical field itself that will help the pregnancy to pass normally, avoiding unnecessary risks. These measures are:
- Health examination
- Every woman who wishes to become pregnant should first talk to her family doctor and her trusted gynecologist to have an examination done to rule out any unknown pathology. Pregnancy is a situation of overload that can aggravate basic pathologies generating health problems in the pregnant woman, which can even have repercussions on the health of the future baby. The identification and treatment of these possible pathologies, which may be asymptomatic, are very important to prevent risks in pregnancy and childbirth. Diseases such as hypertension, viral infections, heart disease and many others can be detected and treated after these tests.
- Start of folic acid intake
- The cadence of this water-soluble vitamin is related to neural tube defects (spina bifida, myelomeningocele). The Mediterranean diet usually provides enough vitamins for women to have correct levels of folic acid, for reasons of efficiency and universality of the recommended measures, it is said that since the woman is preparing her pregnancy, and if possible a few months earlier, she should start taking folic acid. Nowadays, the administration of this vitamin is usually recommended until the end of the pregnancy, since it seems to have other benefits during the pregnancy.
- Decreasing stress
- Although some scientific studies suggest that stress may be a cause of decreased fertility, apart from that we should avoid stress in women because it is simply unnecessary. Most women who wish to have a child compare themselves to their acquaintances in a sort of competition of time to pregnancy. In reality, the probability of pregnancy is subject to certain natural laws, and is rarely achieved immediately. The WHO defines sterility as the absence of pregnancy despite full unprotected intercourse after 1.5 years. Spanish scientific societies, however, put this time at 1 year. In a young couple, worrying before this year is unnecessary, as taking months to achieve pregnancy is absolutely normal.
- Valuing the age of the woman
- Although what was said before is true, we must be clear that the age of the mother-to-be is a factor that is clearly associated with the probability of pregnancy and abortion. From the age of 38-39 years the probability of pregnancy is clearly diminished and will decline rapidly as time passes. That is why above these ages it is recommended not to wait too long when seeking specialized assistance (it is recommended to start at 6 months when trying for pregnancy).
Of course, if a baby does not come within the above-mentioned time frame, the best option is to go to a specialized center, which will perform a detailed study of the couple, a diagnosis and propose the appropriate treatment.
Read the full article on: What Are Family Planning Methods? – Your Reproductive Health Options ( 83).
Read the full article on: Recommendations for starting assisted reproduction treatment ( 78).
Sergio Rogel Cayetano
Bachelor's Degree in Medicine from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche. Specialist in Obstetrics & Gynecology via M. I. R. at Hospital General de Alicante. He become an expert in Reproductive Medicine by working at different clinics of Alicante and Murcia, in Spain, until he joined the medical team of IVF Spain back in 2011.