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Pregnancy query

Tags: pregnancy

I married last year and this year we plan to have a baby. We have had unprotected sex for a month (mostly on her fertile periods) but she hasn't become pregnant. Do I have to go to the doctor? I am working in Dubai whilst my wife is living in another country.

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The answer

In order to achieve a successful and healthy pregnancy there are a few things that should be considered and these include practical and health related pointers. We will go through these as our answer progresses.

For both you and your wife it would be ideal to try and get your bodies into a ‘peak state of fitness’. By this we mean that ideally you should be within a healthy weight range, be eating a healthy balanced diet and ideally not smoking or drinking alcohol.

Exercise is also good to have as part of your lifestyle too. By implementing these basics it helps your bodies produce healthy eggs and sperm and also increases the likelihood of you conceiving and your wife carrying a baby successfully.

Your wife in particular could do with making sure that her diet is particularly rich in nutrients including Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc, Phosphorus, Folates and Vitamins. If your wife follows a Vegan or Vegetarian diet it may be a good idea to take supplements particularly those including Folic Acid. These nutrients are particularly essential for the development of a baby and can reduces the chances of deformities occurring.

In relation to conceiving it is recommended that you have sexual intercourse on a frequent basis throughout your wife’s menstrual cycle. If your wife has a regular cycle of between 28-30 days then ovulation usually occurs between days 14-16 of the cycle with day 1 being the first day of her ‘period’. The life cycle of the egg is 2-3 days whereas the sperm can live up to 7 days so if sexual intercourse is happening on a frequent basis throughout the month then conception is likely to occur over a period of time.

Ovulation can be predicted by means of ovulation tests but can also be monitored by your wife observing her menstrual cycle and looking for signs that ovulation may be occurring. Changes to the female body that can indicate that ovulation time is near include the thinning of the vaginal discharge, a subtle rise in body temperature and sometimes the presence of a sharp pain in the abdomen which can indicate the release of the egg.

The reason that you have not yet conceived can be for a number of factors –

Firstly it often takes a number of months with regular intercourse for pregnancy to be achieved- you say that you do not reside in the same country so it would be more ideal for you both to reside in the same place for a prolonged period if possible.

Secondly if contraceptives have been used which contain hormones then time is needed to allow the menstrual cycle to become regular again and this can take 6-12 months to happen.

Finally the presence of health issues and the presence of stress, particularly in the hope of becoming pregnant, can hinder your chances too. The key thing is to try to take the ‘baby making’ aspect out of intercourse and replace it with having loving times together that naturally progress into intercourse.

If after a number of months your wife has not conceived then that would be the time to start having investigations as to possible causes. These tests would need to be done by your GP and specialists and would involve blood tests and investigations - some intimate and surgical - to discover the possible causes for delays in conceiving. Your GP would be able to talk through the process if this in necessary.

Some useful websites which may provide you with further information include:

FPA

British Fertility Society

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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