If you are planning to start a family you must, of course, cease contraception. If you are taking the pill you should change to a barrier method for a period of at least three months. This is to allow for the normal hormone levels and egg production cycle to re-establish itself.
If you smoke, both you and your partner should stop. A woman who smokes during pregnancy stands a 30% greater risk of miscarrying or losing the baby at birth due to a variety of complications.
You should also ensure that your alcohol consumption is kept to an absolute minimum if you are unable to abstain totally.
Both partners should give attention to their diet with particular regard to choosing fresh unrefined foods.
Ask your doctor to check if you are immune from rubella (German measles). If not, he will arrange immunisation. In such a case you should continue with a barrier method of birth control for a period of at least two months whilst the vaccine takes effect.
Unless you've had one during recent months it is advisable to arrange for a smear test to ensure you have a healthy cervix prior to becoming pregnant.
PROBLEMS IN CONCEIVING
One in ten couples experiences some degree of difficulty in conceiving. This difficulty may equally be caused by a problem concerning either partner. The causes of infertility are wide and varied but most can be helped with treatment. Good pre-conceptual care will lessen the need for such treatment.
111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It's fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals.
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