Motherhood is an exciting time, filled with many emotions for a woman. However, the nine-month wait to hold your little one in your arms can seem endless. If you’re struggling to conceive, the wait is even longer until you see your son or daughter open his or her eyes for the first time. These tips can help you conceive sooner.

Schedule a Preconception Exam

A gynecologist/obstetrician helps women during every step of their journeys through pregnancy, even before you conceive. A preconception exam determines if you’re healthy enough to carry a baby and can help identify any risks your little one will have.

Part of your preconception appointment consists of collecting information about your medical history. In addition to conditions like diabetes, a practitioner will also ask you if you have any STDs or a history of abnormal Pap smears. Through this information, a gynecologist can figure out if you have any medical conditions that could hinder your ability to get pregnant or carry a baby full term.

In addition to a medical history report, you’ll also need to undergo a physical. During this part of the examination, a gynecologist may conduct blood testing or a urinalysis to test for STDs and other issues that could affect your ability to conceive. You may also receive a Pap smear and vaginal examination.

If you’re currently taking birth control, a gynecologist will discuss how long you can expect before you may conceive after stopping your birth control.

A gynecologist will inquire about your previous pregnancies and if you’ve had any pregnancy losses.

For women under 35, unless you’ve had previous issues conceiving or certain gynecological issues, you’ll more than likely receive a recommendation to try for six months before seeking out assistance getting pregnant.

Track Your Fertility

A gynecologist can help you track your fertility, so you know when the ideal times are to try. Typically, you’re most fertile five days before you ovulate and when you ovulate. These are the best times to have sex if you want to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

At your preconception appointment, your gynecologist can help you track your most fertile days, either naturally or with a test that monitors ovulation. You may purchase the test at a pharmacy or a local store’s pharmaceutical section. The tests are available over-the-counter.

Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

As noted by the Mayo Clinic, consuming a high amount of caffeine on a regular basis may affect your fertility. If you want to improve your odds of conception, limit your caffeine consumption to less than 200 milligrams per day, which is about one to two six-to-eight-ounce servings of coffee daily.

Eat Healthier

Ultimately, consuming a well-balanced diet can heighten the likelihood of you conceiving. A diet high in trans-fat, animal proteins, and carbs may negatively affect your fertility. You want to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables for their high mineral and vitamin concentration.

Glutathione, a nutrient found in asparagus and watermelon, can improve the quality of your eggs. On the other hand, avocados contain quality fat that may optimize your chances of getting pregnant.

Studies have also shown that diets including high amounts of simple carbohydrates increase your insulin level, which in return, can affect your ability to ovulate. In other words, you should opt for complex carbs to better control your insulin levels and promote ovulation.

Restrict Alcohol and Tobacco

Both alcohol and tobacco can decrease your fertility. When you’re trying to get pregnant, you want to avoid these substances. Plus, it’ll help you prepare for pregnancy.

Before you try to conceive, you should schedule a preconception appointment to ensure you’re healthy enough to conceive. You’ll receive more insight about increasing your chances of conception. Additionally, changing your eating and lifestyle habits as mentioned above can help as well.

Contact Rappahannock Women’s Health Center, serving Fredricksburg, Stafford, and the nearby VA region, for a preconception appointment and to learn more about how you can enhance your fertility.