Deciding if, when, or how you’re going to start a family is a big deal – and a visit to your OB-GYN can be a valuable resource. In Queens and Nassau, our team at The Woman’s Health Pavilion specializes in helping women understand their options for family planning. We will provide insightful education and support to get you started on the right track. Here are the top 8 reasons to discuss family planning with your OB-GYN.
You want to get pregnant.
Your baby grows from a few microscopic cells which are implanted in the womb before your home pregnancy test even turns positive. Keeping healthy even before you know you are pregnant gives your baby the best start possible, and gives you the best chance for a smooth, worry-free pregnancy.
When you are ready to start or expand your family, schedule a preconception visit with your OB-GYN. During this appointment, we will review your medical history, family history, and lifestyle. We may also perform an exam if you aren’t up-to-date on your annual, and we may recommend other tests to detect potential issues. Usually, a vitamin containing folic acid will be recommended while you are trying to conceive, since this prevents certain types of birth defects.
Ideally, your preconception visit should be scheduled at least 3 months before you start trying to get pregnant. This will give you and your OB-GYN enough time to “tune up” your health and lifestyle so that your pregnancy gets off to a strong start.
You don’t want to get pregnant right now.
As OB-GYNs, our job is to help you get pregnant when you want to, and to help you avoid pregnancy when you don’t. So, if you aren’t ready to have a baby, talk to us about [link: https://www.ilovemygyn.com/treatments/birth-control-options/] contraception [/link]– such as the Pill or patch, intrauterine devices, barrier methods, natural methods, and emergency contraception. We can explain the pros and cons of each type of birth control, and steer you toward the best choice based on your history and your preferences.
You don’t want to get pregnant. Ever.
If you have completed your family or having a family isn’t right for you, talk to your OB-GYN about more permanent forms of birth control. Permanent birth control includes procedures like [link: https://www.ilovemygyn.com/treatments/tubal-sterilization/] tubal sterilization [/link] for women, or vasectomy for men. Although these options require a small procedure to be performed, they are extremely reliable and worry-free once completed.
If you are interested in long-term but not permanent contraception, you have other options: An intrauterine device (IUD) or contraceptive implant can give you worry-free security for years. If you decide that the time is right, an IUD or contraceptive implant can be removed at any time.
At your OB-GYN visit, we can discuss the pros and cons of each approach.
You’re single (or in a same-sex relationship) and want to get pregnant.
Many women who aren’t married or in a relationship choose to have children on their own. When you’ve decided to conceive as a single woman, talk to your OB-GYN. There are many steps in the path to single parenthood, and you’ll need help navigating the process – from ovulation tracking to insemination. Donor insemination is also an important option for same-sex couples who want to conceive.
You have a challenging or complex medical condition.
Women with chronic medical conditions require additional attention during pregnancy. Conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and other serious problems can pose a risk to you and your baby if not managed before and during pregnancy.
Your OB-GYN can help you minimize risk before you attempt to conceive. We can make sure your health is optimized and your medications are appropriate for pregnancy. Working with your medical specialists and/or specialists in high-risk pregnancy, we can offer you and your baby the safest course possible.
You’ve been trying to get pregnant for a while.
If you have been trying to conceive without success, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your OB-GYN. Traditionally, infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after 12 months of trying, but it’s sensible to be evaluated earlier, especially if you are over age 35.
For couples who have been trying to conceive, we can coordinate testing to pinpoint the cause of the delay. Fortunately, there are many types of fertility treatments available to help you conceive more readily. These include fertility drugs, intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), surgery, and other therapies. You can discuss each treatment option in depth with your OB-GYN, who will then recommend a comprehensive plan to give you the best chance for a successful pregnancy.
You, your partner, or a relative has a genetic condition.
If you or your partner have been diagnosed with an inherited condition, or you have a family member with a genetic condition, your OB-GYN needs to know. Genetic disorders can not only impact your health, but affect the course of your pregnancy and the health of your baby as well. Your OB-GYN may recommend genetic testing and consultation with a genetic counselor to identify the likelihood of passing on certain genetic conditions to your baby.
You’re 35 or older.
When it comes to your ovaries, age isn’t just a number: Women are born with all of their eggs, and egg quality starts to deteriorate as women age. It is significantly more difficult to get pregnant and stay pregnant after age 35 than it is in your 20s.
If you want to conceive after age 35, you should schedule a consultation with your OB-GYN. Appropriate, timely care can increase your chances for healthy, successful pregnancy after age 35.
You have control over your reproductive health, whether you are ready to conceive, looking to postpone a pregnancy, or you have already completed your family. The obstetrics and gynecology specialists at the Woman’s Health Pavilion in Queens and Nassau are qualified, experienced, and ready to partner with you to achieve your goals.