People love to give advice. And when they think that it is 'time', they'll flood you with unsolicited advice on everything from conception to pregnancy. It can get overwhelming at times. But if you are informed and aware of at least the basic facts about conception, you'll be in a position to process all the information correctly – disregard the meaningless, and pay heed the sensible ones.
But who will equip you with the facts? Who better than your doctor? Before you get pregnant, zero in on the doctor you want to consult. Visiting the doctor and talking to her / him will not only clear all your doubts, but will also tell you whether this doctor is right for you. The more educated you are about the facts and the situation, the greater the chances of your having a healthy pregnancy.
Plan on visiting the doctor a few months before you want to get pregnant, so you have enough time to put into practice all the lifestyle changes she / he will recommend.
But what kind of questions should you ask your gynaecologist?
· Am I healthy? Am I fit? Is my weight okay?
· What supplements should I take?
· Here is a list of the medications I am taking for various reasons. Are these safe, or should I change them if I want to conceive?
· Here is a list of medications my husband is taking. Are they safe, or will they affect his fertility?
· Are there any medicines I should avoid?
· Here is a list of the problems and pregnancy complications [Link to 01] I have had before, or in my previous pregnancies (Endometriosis, infertility, multiple miscarriages, PCOS). Should I be worried about any of them? Will they affect my chances of conceiving?
· I am over 35 [Link to 05]; is there anything I should keep in mind before trying to conceive?
· When should I stop birth control?
· How long after I stop birth control should I start trying to conceive? [If you are fittedwith an Intra-uterine device, you will want to get it removed at this time]
· What are the days that I am most fertile, [Link to 03] and most likely to conceive?
· Are there any tests I should take before I start trying to conceive? What tests are these?
· Are there tests to find out if my husband and I are fertile? Which are these?
· Are there any foods I should avoid? Any foods that are recommended?
· Can you give me a diet chart that I can follow to fulfil my nutritional needs?
· My job involves these factors x,y,z. Will they affect my overall health and my chances of conceiving?
· Can I exercise? What exercises should I avoid? What are recommended?
· Are there any environmental factors I should avoid?
· Can you recommend books/websites that I can refer to keep myself informed about pregnancy and conception?
· What if I develop health problems into my pregnancy? [Link to Sample 01] What are the common problems, and are they avoidable?
Regarding the gynaecologist
· What are your methods of treatment, and delivery?
· Which hospital are you associated with?
· Where will I consult you, and where will my delivery be?
· How easy will it be for me to reach you in case of emergencies?
· Do you have associate doctors whom I can contact if you are not available for any reason?
It is essential that you are comfortable with your doctor. The doctor might be highly recommended, and experienced, but it is not necessary that you should feel comfortable with the doctor. In fact, there may be times when a doctor is not a good. There could be any reason for that - maybe she / he is not patient enough, or maybe she / he just doesn't agree with your general world-view. Since this is the personto whom you will be entrusting your well-being and that of your child, it is essential that you should be comfortable with her / him. Asking these questions will clarify your doubts / apprehensions, and if necessary, you will have time to change doctors!
When you visit a doctor and have lots of questions, it is always a good idea to write them all down, so that you won't forget to ask any of them. It is also likely that some of your questions appear 'silly' but that shouldn't stop you from asking those. It is your body, you are the one who’s going to have a baby – and so it is in your best interests to go and get all your questions answered!