When trying to conceive, most people think timing is everything, but there is actually a lot more to it.
"The first thing you need to think about is optimizing your health. See your doctor. Make sure if you have any pre-existing conditions, they are optimized," said Dr. Kecia Gaither, and OB/GYN at Brookdale University Hospital & Medical Center.
Yes, if you are thinking about having a baby, both men and women first need to make sure their health and lifestyles are in check. There are a lot of factors that come into to play with fertility for both genders.
"Basically, what stress does, it interferes with your hormonal levels, your egg production. So anything you can possibly do to reduce your stress is important," Gaither said.
So, be conscious of things that can increase your stress levels, like lack of sleep and exercise and try to increase both. Also a well balanced diet is key. You want to have good levels of iron and vitamin C, vitamin D and woman should start taking folic acid. Now for men, you need to be aware that heat can suppress sperm count.
"Don’t take long hot baths. Don’t take saunas, don't take jacuzzis or steam rooms on a regular basis. Don’t wear tight plastic underwear or Mick Jagger pants on a regular basis. Avoid cell phone radiation near your testicles and don’t keep a hot laptop on your lap," said Dr. Marc Goldstein, an infertility specialist.
Also, avoid smoking, drugs and alcohol. All have been shown to have a negative effect in men and women. Then consider timing.
"A lot of couples think they should save up sperm and have relations only every two or three days before they think the wife is going to be fertile. In fact for couples where the male is basically normal, frequent relations actually results in better sperm quality and better chance of getting pregnant," Goldstein said. "Have relations every day beginning two or three days before the woman is going to ovulate."
Now, depending on age, both doctors say in general healthy couples should give it six months to a year to try and conceive. After that, you should see a specialist.
So if you are ready for the pitter-patter of little feet, make sure you conceive a plan for your health first.