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Some women fall pregnant very easily, for others it is impossible. When planning your family, there are a few basic requirements that need to be present. This can be female (producing eggs, fallopian tubes patent) and male factors (able to get an erection and produce quality sperm). Couples need to be having regular unprotected vaginal intercourse. Lifestyle factors can be a hindrance to falling pregnant, so smoking, excessive alcohol intake and drug use (prescription or recreational) should be avoided. Conversely, it is good to be physically fit, managing stress appropriately, getting regular exercise and having a healthy diet. It is recommended that all women planning to fall pregnant should take folic acid and iodine supplementation to reduce the risk of birth defects.

Pregnancy may be planned or unplanned. Ideally, the timing of starting or continuing your family should be considered so that optimal care is already in place, such as immunity to common infectious diseases (rubella and chickenpox), pap test up to date, pre pregnancy supplements being taken, and the ceasing of harmful medication. If unplanned, but welcome, some of these items will need to be delayed until after baby is born.

Most healthy couples who have regular unprotected sex will fall pregnant within one year. If that hasn't happened, it may be that you need a work up. Work up will include detailed history taking and examination, some basic blood tests and possibly a pelvic ultrasound scan. Men can provide a semen analysis to check on sperm quality. Come and have a consultation with us prior to attending an expensive IVF clinic; we will give you the best advice, depending on what is best for you. As we don't provide any IVF treatments ourselves, we have no conflict of interest. However, if you do need to be referred to an IVF clinic, we will happily do this for you.

If you would like to come to discuss timing of your family, pre pregnancy counseling or any aspect of subfertility or infertility work up, please make an enquiry to discuss your concerns and expectations with one of our doctors.

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