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Family Planning Advice

Family Planning Advice

No one needs to remind a woman that her body is complex. From birth control to infertility issues, there’s a great deal to consider—which is why a physician’s advice is so valuable.

Dr. Anastasia Klick, family medicine physician at Salinas Valley Medical Clinic Primecare Salinas, shares important information and helpful advice for women along any part of their family planning journey.

Preparing for Pregnancy

Once a woman decides she wants to conceive, Dr. Klick advises taking a prenatal vitamin three months prior to going off birth control—and for a very good reason. “This vitamin is actually important at the very beginning of pregnancy, before most women even know they're pregnant.”

Additional measures women can take to ensure a healthy pregnancy are to be in good physical health and good mental health. Being either underweight or overweight during pregnancy increases the risk of complications. Women should abstain from smoking, alcohol, and any illicit drugs. And, they should consider any workplace hazards (e.g. exposure to chemicals, pesticides, radiation).

If women suffer with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or thyroid issues, they will want to make sure those conditions are well-controlled before becoming pregnant, as well as review any medications with their physician. That said, if a woman becomes pregnant before that conversation happens, she should still take her medications until meeting with her doctor.

To listen to an in-depth conversation on this topic with with Dr. Anastasia Klick, family medicine physician at Salinas Valley Medical Clinic Primecare Salinas, click here.

Sometimes, Getting Pregnant Takes Time

It’s important for women to know that getting pregnant can take time, but that doesn’t mean that something is “wrong.” It’s common for even healthy individuals to wait 12 months or more before conception. Dr. Klick suggests women use ovulation tracking apps or ovulation testing kits to understand when they’re most fertile throughout their cycle.

If a woman has been trying for 6-12 months, she may consider speaking to her doctor about checking her hormone levels. Another option, especially if a woman has risk factors for infertility, it to see a fertility specialist. It’s also good for men to see their doctor to ensure that they don’t have a contributing problem.

In terms of the “ideal” maternal age, Dr. Klick explains that risk increases for women under age 18 and over age 35. However, women can have completely healthy, normal pregnancies outside of those parameters. She can attest, having had her first pregnancy at age 36.

Lean on Your Doctor for the Best Advice

Dr. Klick’s best advice is for any woman who is considering becoming pregnant—or even before then—to have a conversation with her doctor. “There are so many things we can help with, planning and also mostly just reassuring you that you can trust your body and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.”

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