Prenatal Vitamins, Family Planning, + When to See a Specialist

DISCLAIMER: The following post is not intended to act as medical advice. As always, please consult your doctor with any questions about fertility or infertility.

You’re ready to start a family–yay! There are so many things to think about when it comes to this phase of life. It’s such an exciting time, often filled with dreams of what could be. And while we know every person’s journey looks different, it’s important to remember that when it comes to the unknowns, chances are, you’re not the only one who has some questions about what to expect.

When it comes to questions about starting a family, our friends from Michigan Center for Fertility and Women’s Health are here to support you. You might have caught their Fertility Friday series over on our IG page–quick videos to answer common questions and provide information. Below, you’ll find some common questions they’ve answered for our community about prenatal vitamins, family planning, and how to know when it’s time to see a specialist.

How do I choose the prenatal vitamin that’s right for me?

A lot of patients have questions about prenatal vitamins: which is the best option? Which is the best type? When should I start taking them? Generally, we recommend starting prenatal vitamins as soon as you begin the process of attempting to try to conceive.

There are a few variations in prenatal vitamins, but we think it’s best to take one that’s designed to be taken before AND during pregnancy. This way, you won’t have to switch prenatals when you become pregnant. And, you’ll want to find prenatal vitamins that include folic acid and DHA, which is really important for some of the developmental steps when you get pregnant.

As for cost? Well, some prenatals are available over the counter, and others as a prescription. Prescription prenatals can get costly at times. It all comes down to what will be cost effective for you!

One thing to remember too about prenatal vitamins is that every person’s situation is different. Prenatals come in different sizes, tastes, costs, etc. You definitely want to make sure you find something that’s tolerable to take–you don’t want to be feeling nauseous after taking. It’s great to talk to your doctor about anything that seems to be of issue for you!

What family planning factors do I need to keep in mind?

When it comes to discussing fertility options, the goal is usually to have a baby. But there’s so much more to consider about family planning. If you’re seeking out fertility resources, you might be trying for the first time. Or, you may already have a child. It’s important to keep in mind where you are right now in terms of your fertility potential, your egg supply, and your hormones. Let’s dive into this a little bit more.

You might want to consider this question: in a perfect world, how many children would you like to have? If you’re in your early 20s and you want to have a few children, you have some time and may be able to take some less aggressive routes on your journey. But if you’re in your mid-30s, you may need to take a more aggressive route at the start (like IVF) in the event that the less aggressive route has less of a chance of being successful.

It’s all about mapping out a plan not only for the immediate future, but also looking ahead and trying to achieve the overall long term goal that you desire. It’s also important to remember that it’s not a guarantee, and things don’t always go 100%. But starting with a clear idea in mind is the way to go. Because while yes, you may start fertility treatments with the hope for a baby now–it’s important to look ahead to the future and plan proactively to help reach your ultimate goal.

How do I know when I need to see a specialist?

There are so many people who question themselves or don’t know exactly what their time frame is for seeking out support from a specialist, or even just asking their OBGYN for a little more information. Generally, we recommend seeking out additional support if you are:

  • under the age of 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for one year
  • over the age of 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for six months
  • 40 or older and have been trying to get pregnant

However, there are special circumstances that may lead you to seek out support outside of the parameters mentioned above. For example, if you’re having very irregular cycles, a known history of endometriosis, or if your male partner had an abnormal evaluation or semen analysis, you may want to look into other options.

Here’s the most important thing, though: if you have a question, if you have a thought about your fertility, if you’re not sure or confident if something might be right, please have a conversation with your medical provider, OBGYN, or family doctor. Often, they can help guide you in terms of whether or not they think it’s appropriate to see a fertility specialist or not.

Oh, and sometimes, people are simply curious about their fertility potential or may have an underlying feeling that something might be off. If that’s you, you can absolutely make an appointment to get a basic workup to see where you stand, even if just for general knowledge or reassurance!

We know it isn’t always as simple as taking a prenatal vitamin and getting that positive pregnancy test. There’s so many things that happen in between. If you’re navigating infertility or pregnancy after loss, we encourage you to seek out support.

We are honored to share the stories of local women navigating fertility treatment. Read what Breonna shares about her journey with infertility.

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Whitney Cornelli
Whitney lives in Rochester Hills with her hard-working husband, their three daughters, and their German Shepherd. She is an MSU grad (Go Green!) who taught elementary school before trading in her classroom to become a SAHM. At naptime, you can find her editing blog content for Detroit Mom and running the community groups on Facebook. She loves to find new places to take her kids to, and one of these days she will figure out how to get out the door in a timely fashion. She enjoys connecting with other moms and sharing the triumphs and struggles of motherhood with them!


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