If you’re feeling a little lost and don’t know where to begin on your way to becoming a parent, check out the following steps to kickstart the process. Whether you’re just curious or really serious about getting pregnant as soon as possible, we hope we can help you navigate your own personal journey with this list.
Step 1: Talk to your doctor.
It may seem obvious, but reaching out to your doctor or a healthcare professional can give you a better understanding of what to do, as well as your personal medical history. You might need genetic testing or screening, for example, if you have a family history of cystic fibrosis or other conditions. Your doctor can also help you transition off of your birth control.
Keep in mind that for many women of a reproductive age, the time it takes to get pregnant depends on various factors, including age. Women who are 25 to 35 years old that are having regular unprotected sex have about a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant each cycle, Dr. Albert Yuzpe, a Reproductive Endocrinologist and co-founder and co-director of the Olive Fertility Centre, told Today’s Parent.
Step 2: Get your body ready.
There are small changes you can make that will have a huge impact on conception. One of those changes is to quit smoking and avoid consuming large amounts of alcohol.
"There are so many things you don't have the ability to change to maximize your chances of having a healthy baby. Smoking is one thing you can change," says Arlene Cullum of the Sutter Medical Center told Parents.
Another way to prepare your body is to start taking prenatal vitamins. Ideally you should start taking a prenatal vitamin three months before you’d like to start trying.
"You’re giving your body the nutrients it needs to get ready. Ideally, a woman’s reproductive years are when she’s working on reaching optimal health. It’s best to go into pregnancy without any nutrient deficiencies," Ryann Kipping, the owner and founder of The Prenatal Nutritionist, told Woman’s Day.
This is another reason to consult your doctor to see what works best for you.
Step 3: Stay on track.
Tracking ovulation can be a great indicator of your most fertile window, usually about 12 to 14 days before your next period. This can be done using an app, but a test is even more accurate. It’s best to keep the right supplies at the ready. By that, we mean having ovulation tests easily available (like the ones we have at Ovry, which are a fraction of the price of store-bought tests and that get delivered right to your door).
It can take up to a year of trying for 85 percent of heterosexual couples (having sex two to three times a week without contraception) to conceive. That means having many pregnancy tests on hand is also handy and will take away the stress of always having to run to the store.
Step 4: Practice self-care.
Trying to conceive can be a beautiful but challenging experience. It’s important to take care of your mental health as well as your body. Try making regular self-care habits (meditation, taking a calming bath or doing an activity you enjoy) or joining a group where you can speak openly about your trials and triumphs.
Although there are many other steps involved when it comes to conception, we hope this guide was a helpful way to ease you into it. Each person’s experience is different, but these steps are meant to highlight how you can get started. For more resources, you can see what is recommended by the Government of Canada, or visit www.pregnancyinfo.ca, an initiative by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.