Health and Lifestyle Considerations When Trying to Conceive

Dr. Anthony Cheung, MBBS, MPH, FRCSC, Fertility Specialist, discusses health issues to consider when trying to conceive.

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Dr. Anthony Cheung, MBBS, MPH, FRCSC, Fertility Specialist, discusses health issues to consider when trying to conceive.
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Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Anthony Cheung, MBBS, MPH, FRCSC     

Duration: 2 minutes, 31 seconds

For those who want to try to conceive there (are) a number of lifestyle factors that can be modified beforehand that can optimize your chance of getting pregnant and also enhance your chance of a better outcome in terms of the pregnancy and the baby.

For example the extreme spectrum of weights should be corrected first as much as possible. The couple should stop smoking, ideally eliminate alcohol use, substance abuse and so on. If they do have a medical condition make sure that it's under good control.

For example if you have diabetes, make sure that your blood sugar is under excellent control as that can have an impact on the chance of achieving pregnancy, as well as having a healthy pregnancy and baby.

During pregnancy or for those people who are trying to conceive, we like to optimize thyroid function as much as possible. It can have an impact on conceiving and also pregnancy success.

Since the use of antidepressants is quite common, the couple should talk to their family physician about whether or not the particular medication is appropriate and safe during pregnancy.

Immunization is also important for the woman. If not immune to rubella it would be advised that she be immunized prior to conception to avoid the chance of contracting the virus during the first trimester and thereby avoid the risk of congenital rubella.

Now there's another important issue that we tend to underestimate and that is the psychological stress that some of these couples, particularly the female. It's a life event and if pregnancy occurs very easily that's fine but if the couple is not prepared for an unsuccessful outcome the stress level, anxiety and depression can be as extreme and said to be as significant as being told you have a major illness such as HIV.

So if the couple is prepared that way and they go through it together then the experience may be an opportunity for personal growth and enhancing their relationship.

If you have trouble in achieving a pregnancy and if the woman's age is over 35 you should see your family doctor earlier so that you can be referred to see a fertility specialist sooner rather than later.

Presenter: Dr. Anthony Cheung, Fertility Specialist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Fertility Specialist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.