Preparing for pregnancy

Poor diet, smoking, having too much caffeine or alcohol, and being either underweight or overweight can have a significant effect on your overall fertility.

Having a healthy diet and lifestyle is important at any time, but it’s essential during fertility treatment and pregnancy to make sure your baby gets everything it needs to develop and grow.

What lifestyle changes could I make during pregnancy?

We advise that you include plenty of fruit and vegetables (at least seven portions a day) in your diet to make sure you get enough vitamins and minerals. We also recommend that you take a folic acid supplement of 400 micrograms per day.

Getting enough exercise is also important – and aim for an average of eight hours sleep a night.

Smoking and alcohol can damage egg and sperm health so, if you smoke, aim to stop. And try to cut out or reduce your alcohol to less than three units a week.

Too much caffeine has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage so try to minimise your intake of caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee.

You should also avoid recreational drugs which have been shown to harm male fertility.

At the Agora, we can also help you to optimise your fertility by achieving the correct body mass index (BMI).This can help you to ovulate regularly and reduce the risk of miscarriage.

Early pregnancy monitoring

We’ll monitor your pregnancy for the first 12 weeks after your fertility treatment before you move on to routine antenatal care.

We usually advise patients to carry out a pregnancy test two weeks after IUI or egg collection following IVF/ICSI. During this time, you may be advised to take hormonal medication in the form of pessaries and/or injections to help your pregnancy to progress normally.

We’ll then arrange for you to have an early pregnancy scan about three weeks after your positive pregnancy test (at seven weeks of pregnancy). This can confirm that everything is progressing normally, including the baby’s heart rate and overall development.

Pregnancy Ultrasound scans

Having a scan enables us to check on the health and development of your baby, including whether you are carrying more than one baby. You’ll be able to take home a picture of your scan, and we will normally advise you to contact your own GP to arrange the rest of your antenatal care. In some cases, we’ll offer you a further scan a week or two later. Your routine 12-week scan will normally be carried out at the hospital where you’re having your antenatal treatment.

“We’ve just seen our little Agora miracle having a good little wiggle…It was so amazing, magical and it’s all down to you and your amazing team.”

We understand that, for many women, early pregnancy can be a worrying time. We’re on hand to offer advice at any time on our out-of-hours telephone number. If necessary, we can perform a series of ultrasound scans to reassure you that all is well with your baby.

Although some discomfort is normal during early pregnancy, our team can advise you about how to stay as healthy as possible by making changes to your diet and lifestyle.

You can also contact us for support or advice during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Your GP will arrange follow-up appointments at your local surgery or hospital for the rest of your pregnancy.

Bleeding in early pregnancy

It’s not unusual to have some light bleeding in early pregnancy. It doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong. However, it can be an early sign of a miscarriage, so we do advise you to contact us and we will help you access appropriate care. We may recommend some blood tests to check that the levels of the pregnancy hormone (hCG) and progesterone are normal, or an ultrasound scan here at the clinic to check that all Is well.

All our Consultants have extensive experience in managing the problems that can occur in early pregnancy. You can book a consultation at any stage for further assessment and expert advice.