Monitor your ovulation (see blog post on ovulation). Keep an eye out for physical symptoms and use a menstrual tracking app or ovulation sticks to help guide you in identifying your most fertile window.
Do a baseline check of your fertility hormones. The FertilityHQ test is a good place to start!
Stop your contraception. It may take a couple of months for your cycle to regulate or your menstrual cycle to return depending upon which type of contraception you were using. Once your cycle has returned use a menstrual tracking app to help guide you along your fertility journey.
Pencil in your preconception appointment with your GP. This is particularly important if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking medications as these may need adjusting if you fall pregnant. It is also an opportunity to talk about conception, fertility, pregnancy and how your medical history fits into all of it! General housekeeping such as checking if you are up to date with smears, breast examination education and an STI check are important to discuss.
Start a prenatal multivitamin. Starting a prenatal multivitamin at least 3 months pre-conceptually helps you build up your body’s level of key nutrients such as folic acid, Vitamin D, iron and iodine by the time conception happens. Women should take folic acid (0.4 mg) for at least 12 weeks before pregnancy, as this reduces the chance of spina bifida by 50–70%. Some women require a higher dose (5 mg) which their GP must prescribe.
Lifestyle – Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake. Stop smoking. Aim for a healthy BMI (19–25). Women outside of this range may stop ovulating and women with a BMI over 30 take longer to conceive. A balanced, healthy diet such as the Mediterranean diet, moderate exercise and limiting stress are also crucial in your preconception journey.
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