How many weeks need to pass before I will be able to know I’m pregnant?
Most people wait to take a home pregnancy test until after they’ve missed their period. Some tests can tell earlier than others. Most people will have a positive pregnancy test 2-3 weeks after they conceive, but if you’re pregnant you should get a positive result by 10 days after a missed period. If you’re taking a home pregnancy test it’s best to use first morning urine as the Hcg hormone is the most concentrated then and you will be more likely to detect a positive result. We offer blood pregnancy testing at both of our locations if you prefer blood to urine testing. That test is most likely to be positive after you miss your period as well.
What should I do to prepare for pregnancy?
The best way to prepare your body for pregnancy is to get healthy. If you smoke, you should stop before you conceive, and avoid alcohol. If you’re overweight, it’s best to get to a healthier BMI before you become pregnant. If you are on prescription medication, talk to your healthcare provider to see if it’s safe to be on them while pregnant. Taking a daily prenatal vitamin with iron is a great idea for anyone trying to conceive. A general wellness check-up is a good way to check in with your healthcare provider to see if there is anything else you should work on prior to trying to conceive.
When should I stop taking the pill so I can get pregnant?
I get asked this question a lot. I always tell people to stay on the pill or most other form of contraception until they are ready to get pregnant. The pill does not stay in your system long term and when you stop taking it there is generally an immediate return to fertility. This does not mean you’ll get pregnant the first month you’re off birth control though. The odds of pregnancy with a healthy woman (ovulates monthly) and a health man (normal sperm count) are about 85% in a year of trying for a baby. Those are good odds over a year, but that means that it may take several months to conceive, and that’s just being human, not due to delayed effects of your birth control. If you do decide to stop your birth control pill, or any other form of contraception, finish out the month of pills (or the ring, etc), don’t stop in the middle of a pack.
What’s the best birth control option?
This is another question I get asked all the time, and there’s not really a right answer. The best form of birth control for you might not be the best form for someone else. Personal preference, medical history, and daily routine play into a person’s decision about which birth control to use. Some birth control options are long term (5-10 years) and require no daily maintenance. These are nice, but may not be right for someone who wants to get pregnant in the near future. There are some birth control options that require daily involvement (the pill), but you can use them shorter term as well as long term. If you want shorter term, but are terrible about remembering a pill every day, a monthly birth control option (the ring) might be best for you. The condom is the only form of birth control that will protect you against sexually transmitted diseases, so if you have a new partner a condom should be used alone or in combination with another form of birth control to keep you safe. The best plan is to discuss all of the options with your healthcare provider to find a birth control that is the right fit for you.
What can I do if my period is really heavy?
Heavy, painful periods are a common problem for women, especially teenage girls. There are many things that can be done to help with this issue. When periods are painful, over the counter or prescription strength ibuprofen is often a good first choice. Sometimes taking this regularly starting the day before and the first few days of your period can even help make bleeding lighter. We also often use various forms of birth control to decrease both the pain and heaviness of a period. There are many birth control choices available, so it’s best to talk with your provider about which type would be the best fit for your particular problems. Some forms of birth control can also help make your periods more regular and even help you safely skip some periods! If you don’t want to take ibuprofen or use birth control, that ok too. A heavy and/or painful period is no fun, but it’s usually not a sign of anything dangerous. It’s ok to do nothing if that’s the best choice for you.
I’m on my period. Can I see my OB/GYN, or should I wait?
It is fine to keep your appointment with your OB/GYN if you are on your period. We deal with vaginal bleeding every day, so there’s no need to be embarrassed or reschedule. Most of the time it is still fine to do a pap smear if you are due for one. Keep your appointment.
Should I shave or wax before my visit?
This is entirely up to you. We see everything under the sun when it comes to this topic. Your personal preference is just that, your preference. Having hair down there won’t affect your visit.
I have a lot of vaginal discharge. Is daily discharge normal?
Daily vaginal discharge is normal for many women. Some women have more than others, and that’s ok. Vaginal discharge comes from glands in your vagina and cervix and are your body’s way of keeping your vagina clean and healthy. It is normal for your discharge to change in quantity and consistency during your menstrual cycle, especially around ovulation time (middle of your cycle). Normal discharge is usually thin, clear to milky in color, and has a mild smell that is not foul. Things to watch for that would signal the need to follow up with your healthcare provider include changes in color (yellow, green, or gray), changes in consistency (becomes thick like cottage cheese), a foul odor, or if the new discharge is accompanied by vaginal itching, burning, or irritation.