Choosing the right OB-GYN is incredibly important in ensuring you feel supported and happy throughout your pregnancy journey. This is the person you will go to with questions and worries and you want to be sure they will put you at ease whatever your query. Without the right support system in place, you could risk giving yourself extra unnecessary stress as you progress through your pregnancy.
Here at OvuSense, we want to help you have the best pregnancy journey possible. In this blog post we want to answer all your questions about how to choose the best OB-GYN for you, so read on to find out more.
What is the Role of an OB-GYN in Your Pregnancy Journey?
An Obstetrician-Gynecologist, otherwise known as an OB-GYN, is a healthcare professional that specializes in all aspects of female reproductive health. OB-GYNs train to work with pregnant woman, to deliver babies, and to treat the female reproductive system (e.g. STDs, PCOS etc.)
In your pregnancy journey, your OB-GYN is there with you for the whole duration of your fertility and pregnancy journey. You will first meet them when you have either decided you want to start trying for a baby or when you know you are pregnant. They are there to help guide you on your journey, whether this is questions about pre-existing health conditions or ultrasound appointments.
What Should You Ask Your OB-GYN at Your First Appointment?
Generally, your first appointment with your OB-GYN will be to assess your current health and discuss how to have a healthy pregnancy. This is a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have and any highlight concerns. Often writing a list is a great way to make sure you do not forget any important questions that you want to ask your OB-GYN.
Will My Health Conditions/Medications Affect My Fertility?
Some medical conditions can affect your fertility. For example, medical conditions such as PCOS, thyroid disorders, or even STDs can have an impact on how fertile you are and, therefore, how likely you are to conceive. There may also be health conditions that affect your partner which may affect your likelihood to conceive. Being transparent with your OB-GYN is the best way for them to help guide you through your pregnancy journey.
Will I Need to Make Lifestyle Changes to Help Get Pregnant?
There are a few lifestyle aspects that you may need to think about before you start your pregnancy journey. For example, being over or underweight can cause complications with conceiving and giving birth. Additionally, aspects such as smoking or alcohol consumption can negatively impact fertility and pregnancy. If you feel that stopping smoking or drinking would be difficult for you, being truthful with your OB-GYN is very important. Take a look at this Planned Parenthood blog on lifestyle changes for pregnancy.
Do You Have Experience Working with Women with PCOS/Advanced Maternal Age/Diabetes?
This is such an important question to ask your OB-GYN. If they do not have knowledge and experience of working with women with your particular health issues, they may not fully understand the different types of care and additional steps you may need to take. Ensure you have an open and honest conversation with your OB-GYN about your set of circumstances and do not be afraid to test their knowledge of the subject matter. Remember to always be respectful and listen to their opinions and medical knowledge as this will be beneficial for you. Equally, if they make assumptions about your situation that aren’t true, don’t hesitate to set them right!
What Will Happen if I Can’t Get Pregnant?
If you have been trying to conceive for over a year, or 6 months if you are over 35, it may be time to make an appointment with your doctor. Around 1 in 8 American couples have difficulty conceiving, so know that you are not alone. There are many different investigations and tests out there to help you get to the bottom of why you’re not getting pregnant. What’s more, there are many methods of conception aside from natural conception such as medication cycles, IUI, IVF, sperm donor, egg donor, embryo donation or surrogacy, so try not to panic or lose hope. You can also consider complementary therapies to assist in your fertility journey, read our blog on acupuncture and fertility for more information.
What You Should Take to Your First Pregnancy OB-GYN Appointment
There are a few different objects and people you should consider bringing to your first OB-GYN appointment. These will help your doctor get a better understanding of your situation and get a holistic view of your pregnancy journey.
A fertility calendar is a record of your menstrual cycle. This calendar helps an OB-GYN see when you are fertile which means they can help you plan when to conceive. Tracking your menstrual cycle is always a good idea, but if you are not in the habit, try to start tracking at least 6 months before your appointment. By giving your OB-GYN 6 months of data you are giving yourself the best chance of getting accurate advice that is tailored to you.
Your fertility calendar will also show your OB-GYN if you have a regular cycle which can be helpful in planning for pregnancy. If you have an irregular cycle, take a look at our blog on irregular periods and what they can mean.
If you can bring your partner to your OB-GYN appointment, it can be helpful for both you and your OB-GYN. Bringing your partner also means you will both be on the same page after the meeting about your pregnancy journey. Your partner may also have questions they wish to ask or they might want to be tested for infertility if you are struggling to conceive.
If you cannot or do not want to bring your partner to your meeting then consider bringing a friend or family member. The first meeting with your OB-GYN can be stressful and overwhelming, so having someone there who can help support you emotionally is useful.
A List of Medications You Take
This helps your OB-GYN plan around your medical conditions and gives them the full picture of your health. Some medication is not safe to take if you are pregnant, therefore, you may need to discuss changing your medication with your OB-GYN. This may take time as you slowly reduce medication so bear that in mind.
What to Do if You Don’t Like Your OB-GYN
If you do not like your OB-GYN then you should consider switching to a new doctor. If you are going to make this decision, try to make it as soon as possible. If you leave your decision too long, you risk not being able to find a new OB-GYN. Also, you may want to switch quicker so that your new OB-GYN has time to get to know you and your pregnancy.
If you want an easy way to track your menstrual cycle to help you get pregnant, then look no further than OvuSense. Our product has helped women conceive quickly and without the hassle of other fertility trackers. Contact us for more information or read our blog for more advice on how to manage pregnancy.