Dr Morton's - Help with Fertility
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How to get pregnant

Written by Dr Karen Morton
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

You’ve been trying to get pregnant for what feels like an eternity and nothing is happening. If you decide to call one of our medical specialists, we can:

"If only I could get pregnant..."

When you are trying to get pregnant, every period feels like a major disappointment, and when six months has gone by, you feel you are never going to have a baby. The truth of the situation is that 80% of couples who are trying to conceive will have done so within a year of stopping contraception and having sex around the time of ovulation.

So what if it hasn’t happened? Well now is the time to seek advice. There may be something really simple to be done.

If you read my article on how to make a baby it will be clear that now is the time to be thinking about the four things that you need to make a baby:

  1. Eggs
  2. Sperm
  3. Healthy tubes and uterus
  4. Factor x (luck or something we really haven’t identified yet)
Difficulty getting pregnant? Consider our fertility treatment

“Dr Morton's gynaecology specialist doctors will help you cross this hurdle with the same amount of care, compassion and professionalism that they show to both their NHS and private patients”

What's Included:
Telephone appointment with a Gynaecology Specialist Doctor
Fertility prescription (If appropriate*)
Progesterone test (If appropriate*)
Typical overall cost

*Note: If prescription and tests are not deemed appropriate the total cost will be just £50. Due to the cost to us of fertility medication, our partner pharmacy will not dispense until payment has cleared (typically 7 days).

The best time to get pregnant

If your menstrual cycle (that’s the number of days from the first day of one period to the first day of the next period) is regular and between 25 and 32 days long, then it is highly likely that you are ovulating 14 days before the next period. So with a 28 day cycle, ovulation occurs on day 14 and you should have sex on days 12, 14 and 16, to maximise your chance of conceiving. If your menstrual cycle is irregular or longer than 32 days, it may well be useful to take a course of fertility medication to try to drive your ovaries a little harder so that they predictably release an egg on day 14 of the cycle. If you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) this is usually associated with infrequent ovulation, and infrequent periods. This may be helped by treatment with a course of fertility medication, but it may be necessary to bring on a period using progesterone treatment first. Sometimes we will prescribe a specific treatment that's normally prescribed for diabetes, as your ability to regulate blood glucose may be affected by the PCOS.

If you are taking a course of fertility medication it is a good idea to do a proper ovulation test. A blood test to measure the level of progesterone on day 21 of the cycle is the most reliable method. The ovaries only make progesterone when you make an egg. If the progesterone level is low you will be advised to increase the dose of a course of fertility medication. Many women will get ovulation symptoms (lots of egg-white-like mucus and some lower tummy pain usually on one side or the other) but you shouldn’t rely on this to know if the course of fertility medication has worked.

It is really important not to be overweight from every point of view, when trying to conceive. Being overweight makes ovaries lazier and more difficult to stimulate with medication. Aim for a BMI of less than 25. Dr Morton’s gynaecologists will not prescribe a course of fertility medication for women with a BMI of greater than 35.

Other general health issues are important. Taking folic acid supplements for three months before conception significantly reduces the risk of spina bifida. Take regular exercise to prepare yourself for the physical demands of being pregnant and of looking after a baby and a family. Cut down on alcohol. Stopping smoking goes without saying. In fact it is a good time to look at your life-style in general.

Preconception counselling

If you have specific medical conditions (for example asthma, diabetes, or ulcerative colitis) you may want advice about how to optimise their treatment and to understand how they might be affected by pregnancy and vice versa.

It is also essential that our doctors speak with you so as to be able to ask all the questions necessary to give the very best advice, and prescribe if appropriate. In this situation an email consultation is not good enough although may be fine for follow-up questions. We will not prescribe without your permission to inform your GP about your treatment, and your GP details.

The gynaecologists at Dr Morton’s look forward to helping you.

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