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3 things to do before getting pregnant


Pregnant woman illustration

Family planning expert Renee Mestad, MD, gives this advice to women before they begin trying to conceive:

  1. Stop smoking. Smoking interferes with ovulation, the ability of the egg to move through the fallopian tube, and it affects implantation. It also increases the risk of miscarriage and preterm delivery.

  2. Start taking prenatal vitamins. The folic acid helps prevent birth defects that develop in the first four to six weeks, before most women realize they are pregnant.

  3. Talk to your medical provider. Some common medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, decongestants and antihistamines, can affect fertility.

Hear Mestad, division chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Upstate, give a radio interview about contraceptive choices. This article appears in the fall 2015 issue of Upstate Health magazine.