Are you planning for a baby? If you are, here are some must-knows and common questions from couples that we got a gynae to share. Dr Tho Chin Keong, an experienced Obstetrician and Gynaecologist from Astra Women’s Specialist Clinic at Jurong, shares his top 5 tips if you are trying to conceive.
1. Stop Contraception
If you are trying to get pregnant, the first thing you need to do is stop contraception. Depending on the type of contraception you are using, the duration between when you stop contraception and when you start trying for pregnancy will differ.
If you are using the oral contraceptive pill or the copper IUD, you need to stop using them for about 1 month before trying to conceive. As for the hormonal IUD, implant or the injection, you need to stop using them for at least 3 months before you can try to conceive. For these 1 to 3 months where you have stopped using the contraceptives mentioned above, it is recommended that you use condoms until the effects of the contraception fully wear off. Your gynaecologist will be able to give you detailed advice on the stopping of contraception when you consult them during a pre-conception check.
2. Lifestyle Changes
You should stop smoking and drinking alcohol if you are planning for a baby. It is also important to maintain a healthy body weight. Your body mass index (BMI) should be between 18 to 23. If you are trying to lose weight, you should do so gradually, aiming for 0.5-1kg decrease per month.
3. Supplementation to Prepare for Pregnancy
It is essential to take some supplements, in particular, folic acid for about 2-3 months before conception. Folic acid helps to reduce the risk of defects in the baby’s brain and spine. It can be purchased from any clinic or pharmacy. Plain folic acid is sufficient, and not all multi-vitamins are recommended as some may contain high levels of Vitamin A.
4. Consider a Pre-conception Check
A pre-conception or pre-pregnancy check is recommended for first-time parents. This can be done at the gynaecologist’s clinic. Your gynae will go through your family history to see if there are any medical issues that need to be looked into. He or she would also do a scan to ensure the cervix, womb and ovaries are all normal. Sperm tests are usually not a compulsory element in a pre-conception check, so it is alright to consult the gynaecologist alone if your husband is not able to come along with you.
5. Manage Your Expectations
It is important for couples to have realistic expectations when it comes to the timeframe it takes to get pregnant. Most couples will take about a year, to achieve a pregnancy. However, about 10% of couples might not be pregnant at the end of 1 year. For circumstances like this, it is recommended to seek a gynaecologist’s opinion to check if there are any underlying fertility issues.
If you are above 35 and have not been able to get pregnant within 6-9 months of trying, then it is best to see a gynaecologist earlier.
Book an appointment with our doctors for a pre-conception check now.
Dr Tho’s Place of Practice
Blk 253 Jurong East Street 24
Tel: +65 6561 1322