Tips for healthy moms-to-be
If you're able to plan when you get pregnant, consider taking these steps at least 3 months beforehand.1
- It's recommended that women take folic acid every day, between 400 and 800 micrograms. Some prenatal vitamins may have more—talk to your doctor about your individual needs.
- Quit smoking. It can be a good idea to stop drinking alcohol as well.
- Take steps to control existing medical conditions.
- Review your medications and prescriptions with your doctor and ensure that vaccinations are up to date.
- Try to avoid toxic substances or anything that could cause a serious infection, for instance, dangerous cleaning solvents or changing your cat's litter box.
After a year of trying to conceive, or 6 months for women over age 35, with no results, it may be time to consult a doctor.2 There are many reasons couples may have trouble conceiving, including age or fertility problems on the part of either the man or the woman. Even stress can play a part in infertility.
Going to see a doctor sooner rather later can help you get to the bottom of it. Depending on the cause, there may be treatments or surgeries that can help. A further step could be using assisted reproductive technology (ART).3 These are procedures that rely on technology to help with conception and they include intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF).
- IUI is also known as artificial insemination. It involves implanting sperm in the uterus.
- IVF combines the sperm and eggs in a lab. After the egg is fertilized and the cells begin dividing, it becomes an embryo. The embryo, or more than 1, is then implanted into the uterus.
Fertility treatments can be very expensive. For instance, a single cycle of IVF may cost between $12,000 and $17,000, and more than one IVF cycle is often needed.4 Your health insurance may cover part of the cost and some employers even offer fertility benefits coverage. Once you've gotten a diagnosis and a recommendation for treatment, it can be a good idea to call your health insurance company to understand exactly what is covered.