For couples who have made the decision to have a baby, this can be an exciting time but it can also raise many concerns. Aspiring parents tend to worry about what they're doing right or wrong when it comes to increasing the chances of pregnancy.
Gynaecologist Dr Christopher Ng has helped many women and couples who were trying to conceive. He shared tips with a DoctorxDentist reader regarding dos and don’ts when it comes to trying to conceive. Here are the key takeaways.
Three basic requirements if you are trying to conceive
If you are planning to have a child, make sure that your fallopian tubes are not blocked, that you are ovulating normally, and that your partner has reasonably healthy sperm. 
What tests can be performed?
Tubal patency can be formally assessed via a hysterosalpingography.
And if your spouse wants to test his sperm health, he should wait till three days of abstinence have passed before submitting a sperm sample. 
For optimal fertility, health and fitness are priorities
Exercising and staying healthy can greatly improve the likelihood of conceiving for women using assisted reproductive technology.
If you have a consistent and moderately intense workout routine, make sure you follow it. 
Do not overdo your exercise
Even though exercise is a great way to maintain fertility and overall physical health, if you overdo it to a point that you start missing your menses, this could indicate that you are not ovulating regularly. Irregular ovulation reduces your chances of conceiving.
Practice moderation and keep tabs on your ovulation
Be sure to keep a moderate exercise regimen and check whether your ovulation process is spontaneous or regular. If it is regular, then it is fine to continue exercising. For overweight women, losing weight through exercise can help with fertility.
If you are not ovulating at all, stop exercising altogether or at least cut down on exercise. See your gynaecologist as soon as possible to exclude other causes of infertility. 
Avoid alcohol during pregnancy at all costs!
To be absolutely safe during pregnancy, avoid all forms of alcohol. There is no safe amount of or time for alcohol consumption because alcohol in the mother can be passed to the baby through the umbilical cord.
Besides fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol use can also lead to miscarriage and stillbirth, along with other lifelong disabilities. 
Consider using ovulation test kits
Regular periods could be a sign of proper ovulation. But to be absolutely sure, use urine ovulation test kits during your fertile period for confirmation.
Pay attention to vaginal discharge
There are variations in vaginal discharge during normal menstrual cycles. If discharge is yellow and sticky, this might indicate infections or the possible damage of fallopian tubes, so you may wish to get this condition checked. 
There are many factors to consider when you are preparing to conceive a child. Be sure to consult your gynaecologist for extra advice, proper evaluation, or any other health concerns you might have.
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