Fertility 

If you and your partner are trying to get pregnant, there are a few things you can do – in addition to having regular unprotected sex (2 or 3 times each week) – to give yourself the best chance of conceiving:

  • understand your monthly cycle
  • making sure you and your partner are in the best health before getting pregnant, by both of you stopping smoking avoiding alcohol and not using any recreational drugs.
  • maintaining a healthy weight, being underweight or overweight can lower your chances of conceiving. One cause of infertility is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which is made worse by being overweight or obese.
  • consider your age, when it comes to fertility, age can make a difference as fertility declines over time.

If you have been trying to conceive for a year or more (or six months if you are a woman over the age of 35) you should visit your GP. Your GP will be able to do tests on both you and your partner to identify possible fertility problems and provide advice on the next steps.

Further information on fertility, what to do to improve your chances of conceiving and what to do if you can’t (including information on IVF), can be found on the NHS Choices website.

You can read more about your health during pregnancy on our maternal health page. You can also start taking folic acid and vitamin D supplements as soon as you start trying to conceive and make sure that the medicines you are taking are safe in case you become pregnant.

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