Preparing for pregnancy. Reprinted from the NHS

Preparing for pregnancy

There are lots of things you can do to improve your chances of getting pregnant:

  • Stop smoking. Smokers take longer to conceive than non-smokers and are more likely to have fertility problems. Find information on smoking and how to quit.
  • Cut out or cut down your alcohol. Heavy drinking can affect fertility, increasing the length of time it takes to get pregnant and reducing the chances of having a healthy baby. Find out how to manage your drinking
  • Stop using illegal drugs. Illegal drugs like marijuana and cocaine can seriously affect fertility and your chances of a healthy pregnancy. For more information on illegal drugs
  • Manage your weight. Being overweight or underweight (especially significantly so) can affect your chances of getting pregnant. Healthy eating and regular exercise can boost your fertility but you shouldn’t try and lose weight during pregnancy. Learn how to manage your weight
  • Take folic acid. This helps to prevent a birth defect called spina bifida. You should take a 400mcg tablet daily as soon as you’ve decided you want to start trying for a baby and continue until you are at least 12 weeks pregnant
  • Start a diary of your menstrual cycle. This will make it easier to predict when you’re ovulating (releasing an egg) and how long your cycle is. Make a note of your first day of your period (when you start to bleed).  Your full cycle begins on this day until the next day you start to bleed
  • Relax. Stress is another factor contributing to infertility. When we get stressed, we release a hormone called adrenalin. This signals to our body that conditions are not ideal for conception

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