If you wish to get pregnant, there are a lot of things you should know before you start trying. Specifically, there are four steps you should take to maximize your chances of successful conception, especially if you are wanting to get pregnant sooner rather than later. After all, it can take even a healthy couple up to a year to get pregnant while actively trying.
1. Revisit Your Birth Control
If you're taking hormonal birth control pills, you'll certainly need to stop taking these. However, if you have another form of birth control in place, such as an IUD, you'll need to visit your OB's office to have it removed. From there, it can take a few weeks to a few months for your cycles to regulate again after going off hormonal birth control, so plan accordingly. Some women choose to go off their birth control a few months before they want to start trying to conceive to give their bodies time to come off the birth control; in the meantime, use a barrier method of contraception.
2. See Your Gynecologist
Many gynecologists also offer "pre-conception screenings," which can be a great opportunity for you to learn more about your fertility. During this appointment, your doctor will review some lifestyle factors that could affect your ability to get pregnant (such as your weight or being a smoker); during this appointment, you can also have a pelvic exam and blood draws done. Blood testing can reveal certain issues (such as high testosterone or prolactin) that could make getting or staying pregnant more difficult.
3. Consider a Physical
In addition to an exam with your gynecologist's office, this is also a good time to have a full physical exam done with your primary care physician. He or she can provide you with an overview of your health and give you tips that could improve your chances of conceiving.
4. Look Into Ovulation Tracking
The best way to improve your chances of becoming pregnant in as few cycles as possible is to know when you're ovulating so intercourse can be timed. Ovulation tests kits can be used, as can basal-body temperature tracking. Some women will use a combination of both to confirm ovulation and improve their chances.
These are just a few of the best steps you can follow to make your journey to parenthood go as smoothly as possible. From there, you can take charge of your conception.