Jay Goldberg (Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) gives expert video advice on: What can I do now, to help me conceive when I'm ready later? and more...
What is "preconception"?
Preconception is the period of time before you conceive. So preconception is any time in your life before you actually conceive. Now you can think of the immediate time, when you've actually thought in your head "I'd like to conceive", from that point until the time you conceive can also be thought of as preconception
What can I do now, to help me conceive when I'm ready later?
Usually, when I see a woman in the office, even if she's 18 years old and isn't sexually active, I usually encourage one thing predominantly, and that's to take folic acid. Folic acid is a vitamin that can decrease the risk of neural tube defects in a baby, and it's simply taking 0.4 milligrams every day. So every reproductive-aged woman should be taking that. But it's just general health. So you should be exercising regularly, eating healthy, leading a good, healthy lifestyle, for the most part. Now, if you're a wild and crazy person and you like to kind of live on the edge, when you actually put that thought into your head that "I'm going to try and have a baby," then you need to moderate your lifestyle so that it is more healthy.
How can my health care provider help me conceive when I'm ready?
Your health care provider can inform you, preconception, of some beneficial things to do, to ease your ability to conceive. Your healthcare provider can supplement your diet with folic acid to decrease potential problems. There are a lot of screening tests that your healthcare provider can do on certain ethnic populations, like with African-Americans, you can test for sickle cell and in the Jewish population, there's a whole panel of recessive disorders. A lot of these things, healthcare providers don't actually check until you've conceived. Your healthcare provider can also provide you with vaccines against German measles which is rubella and chicken pox. Your healthcare provider can administer these before you try to conceive, if they're thinking way in advance; your healthcare provider can administer some of these vaccines several months in advance to decrease the chance of you getting one of these infections during your pregnancy which can be detrimental to pregnancy.