Two steps to take before you begin trying to conceive

Posted on: 20 June 2017

If you are hoping to get pregnant in the coming months, it is important to ensure that you are in excellent health, so that your body is prepared for the physical challenges of carrying a baby. Here are two steps you should take before you start trying to conceive.

Get tested for STIs

There are several common STIs (sexually transmitted infections) which could not only make it harder for your to conceive but could also increase the chance of complications arising if you do end up becoming pregnant.

For example, both chlamydia and gonorrhoea can cause PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) if they are left untreated for long periods of time; this, in turn, can result in infertility.

Additionally, even if a woman does manage to fall pregnant whilst she has chlamydia or gonorrhoea, both she and her baby could be at greater risk of health problems. Chlamydia, for instance, can increase a pregnant woman's chances of miscarrying, or of having a stillbirth, whilst gonorrhoea can increase the risk of an amniotic sac infection and of the woman going into premature labour.

As such, it is sensible to get tested for STIs before you and your partner start attempting to conceive. You can speak to your GP about getting tested or, alternatively, if you don't feel comfortable discussing this particular subject with them, you can pop into the sexual health clinic in your local area instead.

Stock up on supplements

Whilst many women conceive and have healthy pregnancies without the aid of supplements, it is still worth including these in your daily diet, to increase your chances of having a healthy baby.

The most important one to take when trying to conceive is vitamin B9 (otherwise known as folic acid). Research has shown that this supplement can lower the chances of a baby developing Spina Bifida and other neural tube defects.

Vitamin D is another supplement which you might want to consider taking, particularly if you don't get a lot of sun exposure because you work indoors, or because you live in a region which does not receive a lot of sunshine (the sun's rays help the skin to generate Vitamin D). Low levels of this vitamin are thought to have a negative impact on the development and growth of a foetus. If you're unsure about your current levels of Vitamin D, it may be a good idea to have your doctor, one like Travellers Medical Services, take a blood test to check them before you begin supplementation.

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