You might be wondering if getting pregnant will be easy and you have a multitude of questions about what to look for when it comes to weight, supplements, and fertility tests. Dr. Stephanie Beall, M.D., Ph.D. of our Columbia, MD and Towson, MD offices hosted a live Q&A on the Glow app that addresses some of our users’ questions about factors that may impact your ability to get pregnant.
Can weight have a negative impact on getting pregnant?
Weight can definitely affect fertility. The risk of miscarriage and stillbirth is higher and pregnancy is more complicated as weight increases. This could be due to hormonal imbalances or ovulation problems due to an increase in insulin. At the same time, being underweight can also affect your fertility. Women with an underweight BMI are most likely not receiving the necessary amount of nutrients for healthy ovulation, and therefore face complications in getting pregnant.
Should I take fertility supplements if I want to get pregnant?
Supplements can be very helpful if the right one is chosen. When choosing a nutritional supplement, it’s important to consider factors such as ingredients, safety, quality, and price, which is why we recommend Theralogix to all of our patients. Theralogix offers safe, effective, evidence-based nutritional supplements designed specifically for women and men who are trying to conceive and for women to take throughout their pregnancy.
How do I know when it’s time to stop trying on my own and see a specialist?
If you’ve been having unprotected intercourse without conception for 1 year and you’re younger than 35, it’s time to see a specialist; if you’re 35 to 40, it’s time to see a specialist after 6 months; if you’re over 40, it’s time to see a specialist after 3 months. Two important items of note: firstly, you’ll notice that the definition of “trying to conceive” doesn’t mention frequency of intercourse or timing of intercourse, whether you’re using ovulation predictor kits, tracking your temperature, etc. It only mentions if you’re having unprotected intercourse. Therefore, for a couple who is having regular, unprotected intercourse, regardless of whether they are “trying” or not is effectively “trying to conceive.” Secondly, there are early warning signs that warrant the need for a woman to see a specialist sooner, such as irregular or absent menstrual cycles, two or more miscarriages, painful periods, history of pelvic surgery, or diagnosis of endometriosis.
How come my fertility evaluation came back normal and I still can’t get pregnant?
About 10 percent of couples with infertility have normal testing and never find out why. While frustrating, unexplained infertility can be treated with treatment usually starting with “low-tech” options like Clomid or intrauterine insemination (IUI). If unsuccessful, you may need to consider more advanced treatments like in-vitro fertilization (IVF). At SGF, we take a stepped-care approach to treatment starting with low-tech treatment first before we consider moving you to in vitro fertilization (IVF). In fact, more than 50 percent of the treatments performed at SGF are low-tech. IVF can be a very effective treatment for unexplained infertility.
Do genetics play a role in fertility?
Yes, genetics can definitely play a role. There are certain genetic factors that can be passed down from mother to daughter that can impact your ability to get pregnant. We recommend genetic screening when planning for pregnancy that test for more than 100 different diseases and syndromes. Even if you’re healthy and never had a family member with a known disease, you could still be a carrier of a genetic mutation that could make getting pregnant more difficult and put your future offspring at risk, which makes screening all the more important when you’re considering getting pregnant.
To participate in the next Glow Q&A, download the app, and visit our calendar of events to participate. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Stephanie Beall or any of our 34 physicians, please contact our New Patient Center at 877-971-7755.