There are myriad health questions and other practical matters to consider when planning a pregnancy, says obstetrician and gynecologist Debra Shapiro, M.D.
Many women come to her
office to discuss preconceptual care.
"It's a good idea for women who are thinking about getting pregnant to see their OB/GYN beforehand," Dr. Shapiro
"An evaluation of a woman's family history and lab screens can identify genetic disorders.
A health screening may also reveal a clotting disorder or other health issue."
Dr. Shapiro encourages prospective parents to talk to their obstetrician about their ethnic heritage, which could put them at risk for different anemias or conditions such as cystic fibrosis among Caucasians or Tay-Sachs in Jews of European descent.
Once a couple has decided they're ready to try getting pregnant, Dr. Shapiro
says it's important to know when the woman will ovulate.
Typically, a woman ovulates 12 to 14 days before her
ovulates, the egg will survive for 12 to 24 hours.
Sperm survives in the reproductive tract for approximately 48 to 72 hours.
For this reason, having sex twice a week helps about 80 percent of healthy couples conceive within one year without using an expensive fertility monitor.
For couples, whatever method they use for bringing a child into the family, it's important to come to a general consensus on parenting.
"It's important that you agree on enough points about sharing responsibilities, the financial burden and changes, the chores and division of labor and childrearing ideas," Dr. Shapiro
"Really try to talk things out before becoming parents."
Dr. Debra Shapiro
Debra Shapiro, M.D.