This article is a part of our "Audience pick Best of 2015" series. It was published on 26th October, 2015.
- Pregnant or not? If you've had unprotected sex, missed a pill or had a condom burst and you don't want to be pregnant, make sure that you get your hands on emergency contraception within 72 hours. If your next period is normal, you’re not pregnant. If you want to have a baby, on the other hand, it's time to wait and see if the pregnancy test is positive and you don't menstruate! By the way, more than half of all women trying to get pregnant do so within the first six months after they stop using birth control. Are you pregnant? Read more about finding out and how to check, test pregnancy at home!
- Increase your chances If you’re trying to have a baby, there are several things you can do to increase your chances. Having lots of sex is obviously a good start! Your chances will be even better if you have sex when you’re ovulating, so some calculations might be in order (check out our period FAQs). Also, a healthy lifestyle will help. Stay away from cigarettes, alcohol and drugs and eat well. Women who are over- or underweight may have trouble conceiving. But the men can help to, by keeping their testicles cool! This will help with the sperm production. Lastly, relax! Lots of stress will decrease your chances of getting pregnant. Read more tips on getting pregnant.
- Have regular check-ups You’re pregnant? Congratulations! Keep some things in mind though. You need to take good care of your body now, eat well and get a lot of rest. Taking folic acid supplements during the first three months of pregnancy, or special vitamins for pregnant women, can help prevent your baby from being born with abnormalities like spina bifida. You should actually start taking folic acid when you start trying to get pregnant. Once you are pregnant, it's hard to get enough of it from a balanced diet alone, so the supplements are a good option. Also, you should see your health care provider regularly. This way, complications can be discovered early. This could save your and your baby's life! Read more about taking extra folic acid.
- Fertility testing You've been trying to have a baby for a long time and you're still not pregnant? Then it may be time for you and your partner to think about fertility testing. If there is a problem, there may be medical treatments that can help you conceive. It’s easiest to test a man’s fertility, so that’s a good place to start. It just takes a simple sperm test. There are even home testing kits for sperm, but they tend to be less reliable and won't tell you as much as a lab test. Fertility-testing on women is trickier and requires more invasive tests. Remember that if one of you has fertility problems, it’s just about as likely to be the man as the woman. Read more about fertility testing, tests for men and tests for women.
- Age issues All around the world, women these days are waiting until they’re older to have their first child. Compared to just thirty years ago, women have their first baby are on average five years later. Usually, the ability to have children stops after menopause. But with medical advances, it's now even possible for women over 50 to get pregnant. However, the risk of complications is much higher then. The oldest woman ever to give birth was an elderly Indian lady. At an age where most women are grandparents, she gave birth to her first child, a daughter. She was 70 years old!