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What are the essentials of planning a pregnancy?

Q: I was married two years ago and we are planning to have children. Please let me know how to plan for the pregnancy. Should I go and and consult a gynaecologist. Please advise me.

A:There is nothing you need to do/know except the fertility period. Fourteen days before your period is due, you release an egg i.e. in a 28 day cycle it would be the 14/15th day and in a 30 day cycle it would be a 16/17th day. By the way you did not write what family planning method were you using and/or did you not conceive for two years despite not using any method at all? This in no way means that you should have sex only on the right days. Please have regular sex and a normal married life, just be careful to have sex as far as possible on the days you are most likely to conceive (one or two days before you ovulate). If you have sex only on the days prescribed you will have more problems and sex will increasingly become a prescription and a chore rather than pleasure for you and your husband. A human egg lasts only a few hours in the body while the sperms last upto 3 days or even more so you have to have sex before the release of an egg. This means that you should start having sex daily from day 12 (in a 28 day cycle) or so, till the 18th day. If your cycles are shorter or longer you work out the days accordingly so that you have sex daily form about two day prior to an expected day of release of an egg. You can mark out your fertility days on a calendar and try and have sex on these days (from day 12 to day 18 of a 28 day cylce); by the way all dates have to be calculated from the day you see your first spot as DAY 1! Also please take Folic acid 2.5 mg daily (a vitamin B group vitamin) if you take this daily there is some evidence that you have a better chance of having a normal baby. If you have not had Rubella and your IgG against Rubella is negative (which can be checked in a blood test on you anytime) you can consider a Rubella vaccine. This should be done only if you can postpone a pregnancy by another 3-6 months. If you are eager to have a baby now do not get the vaccine but you can check your Rubella status. Rubella is a mild infection but if it affects early pregnancy it is disastrous. We check every ones Rubella status now before the pregnancy or in early pregnancy. If you do not have a gynaecological problem like infection or irregular periods you do not need to see a gynaecologist except for what is called pre-conceptional counseling which is essentially the kind of information I am giving you here. If you do go to a doctor he/she will be able to exclude any major disease you may have had in the past which may have a bearing on the pregnancy but if you have been healthy generally and do not have a history of abnormal babies in the family you do not need to see a doctor. The healthiest pregnancies are those which are conceived and carried without much medical interference. You can also seek information on the subject from the net including this site on pregnancy regarding food and nutrition lifestyle and care. I wish you all the best for a healthy and normal pregnancy.

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