You and your partner have been trying to be parents for a while now. But it’s not working. It may be that you started trying late or you have a biological problem or something else. We tell you what to do if…
You are above 35…
According to Dr Reshma Rafi, a Mumbai-based gynaec, getting pregnant after the age of 35 is not that difficult. “Before planning the pregnancy, the mother should rule out thyroid, diabetes, thalassemia, blood pressure or any other complications like that.”
The doctor will then know what precautions need to be taken. The mother also needs to check for chromosome anomaly to rule out any genetic disorders. Chromosome anomaly may occur if the mother is over 35.
“The expectant mother should undergo a triple marker at 18 weeks of pregnancy. [The triple marker is a scan to detect any sort of malformation.] After 7 months of pregnancy, her blood pressure and blood sugar should be constantly monitored,” Dr Rafi says. The mother-to-be should also be mentally prepared to undergo a caesarean, she adds.
If you have complications…
“There is no problem in getting pregnant even if you have a complication like diabetes or thyroid,” Dr Rafi says. If the person suffers from hypo-thyroid, all she needs to do is consult a good endocrinologist and keep the thyroid levels under control. The medication should ideally be continued. The dosage may increase or remain the same depending on the situation.
The mother-to-be will need to undergo counselling about cretinism. Cretinism is a condition the child may be affected with if the mother’s thyroid hormones are not treated. It is a condition where the child’s physical and mental growth may be severely stunted.
“Diabetic mothers will have to constantly monitor their sugar levels. They will have to stop taking oral medicines and start taking prescribed insulin shots,” Dr Reshma Rafi says. They will have to constantly take home glucose monitoring tests.
“If the mother does not take enough precautions, it could lead to a macrosomic or a large baby. It could also lead to a malformed baby with a dysfunctional heart or kidney,” Dr Rafi says.
If you have been trying for four years or more…
If you have been trying to conceive for four years or more, it is time to see the doctor. Talk to a good gynaecologist and try to find out the cause of the failure.
It could be anything from an unfriendly environment to low sperm count. Dr Rafi says that the couple needs to go for counselling to be able to handle whatever the reason may be. There are many solutions to infertility.
Some solutions are
This enables the sperm to be directly inserted into the cervix via the vagina. It involves placing sperm into the uterus at the optimum time in the cycle. The process is monitored by Ultrasound scans to prevent multiple pregnancies.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection
This involves injecting a single sperm to the egg using a very fine needle. This method is appropriate when the sperm has very low or no motility [ability of the sperm to move towards the egg].
This method is also adopted when the sperm and egg fail to meet in the fallopian tube. IVF allows fertilisation to take place outside, in a glass dish. The resultant embryos can then be placed in the womb.
Know your fertile days
“If your cycle is every 28-30 days, it is easy to calculate your fertile days or the days you ovulate,” says Dr Nazema Lalla, a Mumbai-based gynaecologist. The days from the 10th to the 20th day of your cycle is when you are most likely to become pregnant, she says. So get more nooky when you are ovulating.
Other rules to keep in mind
Test yourself for STDs
You should get a Pap smear test done before getting pregnant. This test ensures that you don’t have any cervical polyps or any STD.
Get yourself immunised against polio, hepatitis and flu. Check with your doctor and get immunised against tetanus too.
Go ahead, conquer all the possible barriers between you and motherhood.