The mere concept of even maybe considering to begin trying to get pregnant brings with it an onslaught of questions. Whether it’s what vitamins to take to increase fertility or the best sex positions for helping your eggs to meet his swimmers, the list is seemingly never ending. But what if a professional could tell you which questions are most important when visiting your healthcare provider? Prepare to be thrilled because an expert is about to answer, what questions should you ask your doctor before trying to get pregnant?
Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, a clinical professor of OB-GYN at Yale University tells Romper in an email interview that the following list is important:
- Does the ovulation cycle vary? How can I track it?
- How much will my age really affect my chances?
- How soon can I take a pregnancy test?
- How long should it take for me to get pregnant?
- Is there a time frame for conception after going off birth control?
- Can I use a lubricant?
- What should I be looking for in prenatal/post-natal vitamins? Prescription or over-the-counter?
Minkin says her own “baby-making prescription” includes beginning to consistently track your cycle. She recommends First Response Digital Ovulation Test, which identifies your two most fertile days of the month. On average, however, Minkin says if your periods are regular and 28 days apart, you will be ovulating on about the 14th day after your period begins. She also recommends having sex every one to two days, “starting soon after menstruation and continuing at least three times a week.”
The question about lubrication, Minkin says, is related to the fact that vaginal dryness is twice as common in women who are trying to conceive “generally due to the stressors of sex on demand.” But traditional lubes can be toxic to sperm, so she recommends trying a fertility-friendly lubricant, like Pre-Seed. “It's pH balanced to match fertile cervical mucus and the pH of sperm and won’t harm sperm motility,” she says.
Questions about age fall into the mix because, even though it’s just a number, it can affect fertility. Minkin recommends that if you are under 35 and have been trying for over a year, then you should see your doctor for a fertility evaluation. But if you are 35 and older, then you should see your provider after six months of trying.
As for prenatal vitamins, she notes that a new study found that, compared to nonprescription prenatal vitamins, prescription prenatal vitamins contained significantly fewer key nutrients, like vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium. “Just because a vitamin is a prescription, doesn’t mean that it is superior — over-the-counter vitamins may very well be cheaper and better,” Minkin says.
Overall, she says, try to have patience. “Making a baby takes time. Be patient and have fun on your baby-making journey.” You'll probably come up with more questions to ask your doctor over the course of this journey, but knowing the most important ones can help you feel prepared and ready to get started.