Six Tips Every Woman Should Take to the Doctor for her Next Checkup
(Family Features) For women today, a yearly check-up with your healthcare provider is an essential part of maintaining your fertility health at every age. The maker of First Response™ the leading brand of pregnancy tests, has asked their panel of experts to share tips every woman should take to her doctor to maintain optimal fertility health at every age.
Tip #1: Understand Your Ovulation Cycle:
Understanding your ovulation cycle is a simple and basic step in maintaining good overall reproductive health, especially for women who are trying to get pregnant. A recent study conducted by the maker of First Response and researchers from Yale School of Medicine revealed that 40% of women were not aware of the timing of ovulation in relation to their period, and 60% incorrectly believed that intercourse should be timed after ovulation to maximize chance of conception. To alleviate the guesswork and stress around a woman’s cycle, First Response has introduced their new global smartphone app, the First Response Tracker, available for iPhone and Android users. The app not only keeps track of a woman’s period and ovulation cycles, but also calculates her most fertile days and, if pregnant, will estimate how far along she is and predict her due date.
Tip #2: Your Sexual History will Impact Your Fertility Future:
Knowing your sexual history and having an open line of communication with your doctor can help improve your ability to conceive. Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, clinical professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine says, “Whether or not you’re trying to get pregnant, it is important to know your body and to have a good relationship with your OB/GYN – you should never feel intimidated or embarrassed to talk about your sexual activity, menstrual cycle and health. If you are trying to get pregnant, knowing your history will help your doctor discuss a specific fertility plan, and help you make any lifestyle changes that will best condition your body and overall health for your pregnancy journey.”
Tip #3: Know the Risks Before You Begin Trying:
Be aware of potential risk factors and take action before you and your partner begin trying to get pregnant. Unless you and your partner are paying for lengthy medical tests and procedures, there is no way to know whether you will struggle to conceive. But before running to your doctor, be aware of a few important factors that may affect your ability to conceive. As Barbara Collura, President/CEO of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association explains, “The guidelines state that you should seek the advice of a fertility specialist if you are under 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for 12 months or over 35 and have been trying for 6 months, but factors such as being overweight or underweight, tobacco and alcohol use, and prior health issues such as surgeries can all impact your fertility and chances of conception.”
Tip #4: A Healthy Combination of Good Medical, Mental and Financial Health is the Cornerstone to a Positive Family Planning Experience:
When it comes to trying to get pregnant, being in good health is not just physical – it’s mental and financial too. “Planning to start your family is an important conversation for both partners to have so they can get on the same page about the major issues and responsibilities of raising a child. Seeking the counsel of your physician for preconception care and taking folic acid before you are pregnant are important early steps to take,” says Dr. Diane Ashton, VP for Health Equity and Deputy Medical Director of Medical Affairs at the March of Dimes. “In addition to going to the doctor and making important lifestyle changes, budgeting for baby, and making sure you are both emotionally ready to balance your careers and free time with having a family is also very important.”
Tip #5: Talk to your Healthcare Provider, at least Once a Year:
Your healthcare provider plays an important role in your journey, from pre-conception and through pregnancy and birth. Surprisingly, the Yale study revealed that 50% of women had never discussed their reproductive health with their medical provider, showcasing the need for more conversations between doctors and patients. Dr. Elizabeth Yepez, a board certified OB/GYN and Clinical Instructor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Medicine says that, “Our role as medical professionals is to provide an open forum for women to communicate and be engaged and informed about their health and lifestyle choices, and to ultimately empower them to make decisions about their health and well-being.”
Tip #6: Know Sooner:
When it comes to fertility and conception, it’s more important than ever to know the facts and the risks sooner for a less stressful conception journey. Confirming pregnancy as soon as possible is important for women to make lifestyle changes and initiate prenatal care as close to conception as possible. To best help women get the answers they need sooner there is , First Response Gold™ Digital Pregnancy Test and Early Result Pregnancy Tests, which were both cleared by the FDA to determine if a woman is pregnant up to six days sooner than her missed period and with over 99% accuracy.