Once a couple ties the knot, the next thing the family and the society at large expect is a baby’s cry after nine months. Hence, many couples who have not achieved pregnancy within this society tagged nine months come under intense pressure both from within the family and outside from the society. And if things are not handled properly, it could lead to unhappiness in the marriage.
However, just as we have advised before, achieving pregnancy is a couple’s issue, not the woman’s or man’s sole challenge. Once a couple settles down after marriage, many things need to be done the right way for the woman to conceive; and this takes the combined efforts of the couple. Getting pregnant is actually a big project that requires a lot of planning by the couple not just to achieve this pregnancy but also to ensure the pregnancy is a healthy one that results in a healthy baby.
If you’re a couple, especially a newly married one, trying to conceive, incorporate the following strategies into your efforts:
- Seek a Preconception Care
Preconception care is not very common in this part of the world, but it is a very important step every couple needs to take if they’re planning to get pregnant.
Preconception care is a specialised care given to women of reproductive age, together with their husbands, before they get pregnant aimed at detecting, treating and counselling these women and their partners on the medical and social conditions they are predisposed to and which can negatively affect the safety of their pregnancy and delivery of a healthy baby. Preconception care is available at obstetrics and gynaecology clinics of teaching hospitals and very good private hospitals
It is advisable every couple planning to get pregnant attend a preconception care clinic especially if;
- the woman is above 35 years
- the woman has lost a previous pregnancy
- the couple has a history of drug abuse, smoking and excessive alcohol intake
- the couple has a history of diabetes, hypertension, bleeding disorders or epilepsy
During preconception care, the gynaecologist will take a detailed history from the couple spanning their past medical history, social lifestyle, previous attempts at getting pregnant, any drug abuse; the doctor then carries out a comprehensive physical examination and relevant medical tests. After this, he will discuss his findings with the couple, counsel them and administer the relevant treatment for their condition.
Preconception care results in the couple successfully conceiving, the woman having a healthy pregnancy and giving birth to a healthy baby.
- Stop Extreme Exercise
If a woman is an athlete, it is advisable to significantly cut down on her exercise activities to mild or moderate if she is planning to get pregnant. Extreme exercise, like those engaged in by top female athletes, suppresses ovulation in the woman leading to infertility. However, it is good for a woman planning to get pregnant to exercise moderately in order to maintain a healthy weight (a body mass index between 18 and 24) suitable for a healthy pregnancy.
- Have Regular Sexual Intercourse
Many couples trying to conceive make this mistake of living apart. It will be difficult for the woman to get pregnant if her husband only visits on weekends or, even worse, visits once a month. To increase the chances of pregnancy occurring, couples are strongly advised to live together and have an unprotected penetrative vaginal sexual intercourse at least 3 times a week.
- Monitor your Menstrual Cycle
The Kangpe app (please download it if you are yet to get it) has an inbuilt cycle monitor to enable a woman and her husband track her menstrual cycle with the aim of understanding her time of ovulation. Having sexual intercourse around the time of ovulation increases the chances of the woman getting pregnant. Once the couple understands how long it takes (between 21 and 35 days) before the woman sees her period again, they should subtract 14 days from this number. Whatever number is left is the number of days it will take for the woman to ovulate starting from the first day she sees her menses. Having sex every day from two days before to two days after the day of ovulation will likely result in pregnancy.
- Men should avoid wearing tight boxers
The testis has a slightly lower temperature than the rest of the body and this is optimum for healthy sperm production. Anything that raises this temperature, like very tight boxers, will affect sperm production, and this may reduce the chances of fertilisation of the woman’s egg when the sperm is ejaculated during sexual intercourse.
- Healthy Lifestyle
Couples trying to conceive should avoid things like smoking and taking drugs without a doctor’s prescription if they did so initially. Also, they should cut down or stop alcohol intake. It is also important such couples eating very healthy, take enough water and eat a lot of fruits.
- Take time off
Couples trying to conceive are under intense pressure and taking time off work to spend quality time together will help ease this intension. If they can afford it, going for a few days vacation towards the time of the woman’s ovulation will enable the couple have enough time to have sex, go on a date, rekindle the glowing love they had for each other. Doing this regularly will reduce any tension and stress between the couple, make their bond stronger and could pave way to the woman becoming pregnant.
Even when nothing is wrong with the man and the woman, the chance of them getting pregnant after 6 months of regular, unprotected, penetrative vaginal sexual intercourse is 60% meaning 6 out of every 10 normal couples will conceive within 6 months. However, 8 out of every 10 normal couples will conceive after 12 months. So if you are still 6 months into marriage and are yet to see any sign of pregnancy and there is nothing unusual about you or your partner, don’t be scared. Just ensure you apply the above tips as you keep trying to conceive. If by one year, nothing happens as regards pregnancy, the couple should seek expert medical attention from a gynaecologist in a teaching hospital as it could now be a case of infertility.
For more advice and help, feel free to ask a Doctor via The Reliance Care App.