How to Get Ready for Pregnancy - Before Pregnancy Tips
Intercourse Timing :
In general, intercourse every other day through the mid-cycle (days 12-18 for most women) will hit one of the days of the best fertility potential.
About Vitamins for the female :
There is medical evidence that supplemental folic acid prevents neural tube birth defects (spina bifida). To be effective, this treatment should begin before conception. We recommend that you take a multivitamin containing 0.4 mg (400 micrograms) of folic acid daily. This is available over the counter. The supplemental folic acid treatment will continue during pregnancy.
There is recent information that supplemental Vitamin A has taken in amounts that exceed the FDA recommended 100% requirement might cause birth defects. We caution you about this risk.
About Vitamins & Antioxidants for the male :
There is some evidence that male fertility may be improved by taking over the counter vitamins and antioxidants. A combination of these over-the-counter drugs that may improve male fertility includes: a multivitamin with zinc (without iron), Vitamin C 500 mg, Carnitine 1000 mg daily, and Coenzyme Q10 200 mg daily. Even men with “normal” sperm counts may benefit.
Another more complicated formulation for men is called “Fertile One.” It contains the above ingredients and more, including some amino acids (the building blocks of protein) that have long been thought to be responsible for improving sperm movement. Medical research on this product is incomplete at this time and it is costlier than the regimen above. Another product commercially available for men is Conception XR by Fertility Sciences.
Tobacco and Caffeine :
There is clear medical evidence that tobacco use, by either partner, reduces the chance for pregnancy. Tobacco use by the female reduces IVF pregnancy rates by as much as 50%. The degree of effect relates to the amount of tobacco use – the less you use the better – none is best. Tobacco use in the male may increase the risk of childhood cancer in offspring.
Caffeine also causes a decrease in fertility, again related to the amount. The equivalent of three 6-oz. cups of coffee, taken daily, has been shown to reduce fertility. One cup may cause a slight effect; moderation is the key. Remember that other things contain caffeine.
Prostaglandin Inhibitors :
Prostaglandin inhibitors (e.g. Motrin, Anaprox, Advil) are commonly used for menstrual pain. We caution you against using these drugs around the time of ovulation as they may interfere with egg release.
A recent publication suggests that alcohol ingestion, even in small amounts, by either partner significantly reduces in vitro fertilization pregnancy rates and increases pregnancy loss rates. It is reasonable to infer that alcohol consumption by either partner reduces fertility regarding all forms of infertility treatment. We suggest complete abstinence from alcohol (by both husband and wife) while trying to conceive.
We Think of Everything :
Many times sonograms are performed around mid-cycle (at ovulation). The lubricant gel we use for the scanner has been tested in our lab regarding its effects on sperm. Sperm are unaffected by our ultrasound gel.