I’m a fertility expert – what you should be doing one year, six months and one month BEFORE trying for a baby 0 33

THERE’S a lot involved in having a baby, but you might not realise that preparation starts well before you’re pregnant

Hannah Pearn, a fertility specialist who runs clinics in South London, says women should be planning up to one year before conceiving.

Women should be making changes up to a year before considering falling pregnant Hannah Pearn is a fertility specialist who runs clinics in South London

Here, Hannah tells Fabulous exactly what you should be doing one year, six months and one month before falling pregnant.

Plus, the first things you should do when you find out you’re expecting.

ONE YEAR

Come off contraception

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“For some people, it can take up to a year for a good, fertile menstrual cycle to be re-established,” Hannah says.

This is especially important if you went on contraception for cycle issues in the first place, including painful periods and irregular periods.

Vaginal Health tests

Hannah says: “Make sure you’re up to date with your smear test and test for any sexually transmitted infections which will need to be addressed.”

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These could impact your ability to conceive and cause complications when you do get pregnant, she explains.

Evaluate your general health

Before you think bout getting pregnant, it’s important to check if any medications you’re taking are safe during pregnancy and give yourself time to switch if needed.

Hannah says you should also stop smoking, drug taking and reduce your alcohol intake.

6 MONTHS

Check sperm

“Up to 50% of fertility issues are due to male factors so the sooner you get a proper investigation the sooner you can address any problems,” Hannah says.

She also noted that it takes about 3-6 months to see improvements in sperm health.

“So give yourself time to make improvements,” she says.

Track your cycle

According to Hannah, monitoring and learning about your cycle is one of the best ways to optimise your fertility.

“Learn when your fertile time is,” she says.

You can do this by learning how to spot your cervical mucus, she explains.

She adds: “Address any cycle issues you’ve identified, including painful periods, heavy periods, or irregular cycles, which could impact your ability to conceive.”

Nutrition

Good nutrition is essential for sperm and egg health,” Hannah says noting the importance of healthy food.

“Folic acid (400mg daily) is recommended by the NHS for anyone who is trying for a baby. Plus Vit D is a good idea as so many people are low in this in the UK,” she explains.

According to the fertility expert, a good diet with fruit and veg and lots of protein is best, noting the Mediterranean diet is great for fertility.

And like with sperm health, it takes about 3-6 months to positively impact good hormones and egg quality so give yourself time.

ONE MONTH

Know when you’re fertile

On average, there are only five days each month when women are fertile, so it’s important to get it right.

“Tracking you’re cervical mucus (egg white and stretchy) is your most reliable sign that you’re fertile so use this to know when to have sex,” says Hannah.

Don’t always rely on tech

Ovulation tracking apps are a great idea for some but Hannah says they’re not always reliable.

Hannah explains: ” Your app uses an algorithm and your time of ovulation can move every month.”

Have sex

Here comes the fun part – the sex. And make sure you do lots of it, Hannah says.

In fact, you shouldn’t just be having sex in your fertile window but other days of the month too.

“Having sex or ejaculating will keep the sperm fresh and optimized for your next cycle if you’re not successful during [the current] one,” says Hannah.

When you find out you’re pregnant:

`There are a few things you need to do when you find out you are pregnant, and while it might be obvious to some, it’s not always the case.

Stop drinking

This refers to alcohol, but Hannah says expectant mums should assess their caffeine intake too and reduce it as much as possible.

Avoid some foods

In Hannah’s opinion, undercooked or raw meats/fish should be avoided. So too should unpasteurized dairy and raw or undercooked eggs.

Hannah says: “Continue to take the folic acid and Vitamin d, and continue eating well.”

Stay active

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Hannah says: “If you were active before you were pregnant then carry on if you feel like it.

“But slow down if you’re not feeling it and build up slowly if you’re starting new activities.”

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My bitter ex told lies to my friends about my ‘small manhood’ after I dumped her 0 47

DEAR DEIDRE: MY ex is so bitter about being dumped that she is spreading nasty rumours around our friendship group – saying I’m rubbish in bed and have a small todger.

She never complained when we were together, but last week she told the girls in our group that being with me was “like kissing a soggy lettuce leaf” and that she “literally didn’t feel a thing when we were having sex” because I’m so small.

My ex is so bitter about being dumped that she is spreading nasty rumours around our friendship group – saying I’m rubbish in bed and have a small todger

I’m 25 and she’s 24. I think part of it is jealousy.

She knows a couple of the other girls fancy me and I think she’s trying to sabotage any chance I have with them.

Not that I’m even planning anything.

She’s so insecure and has a vicious tongue on her.

I’m tempted to let each of her so-called friends know what she really says about them in private.

Even her best friend gets a nasty critique every time she posts anything on Instagram.

Get in touch with Deidre

Every problem gets a personal reply, usually within 24 hours weekdays.

Send an email to deardeidre@the-sun.co.uk

You can also send a private message on the DearDeidreOfficial Facebook page.

Her top is either too short, or her hair looks like wire, or her laugh is fake . . . it goes on and on.

I don’t regret splitting up with her but this last trick has really infuriated me.

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You could maybe reply with: “Let’s just say she never complained when we were together and nor have any of my other exes.”

Your friends will soon see her behaviour for what it is – jealous insecurity.

My partner said he was on a work trip – but he was actually getting married and on his honeymoon 0 30

DEAR DEIDRE: MY partner said he was on a work trip two months ago, but he had actually got married and been on honeymoon.

Our relationship had become a bit predictable, but we still had regular sex and nice days out with our two young sons.

My partner lied about his work trip – he was really on his HONEYMOON

I’m 32 and he’s 37. Our sons are four and two.

When he returned from his “work trip” he blamed me for his cheating, saying I had let myself go and didn’t pay him enough attention.

He then told me he’d “traded up” for a better model. It didn’t stop there.

He said that his wife, who is 27, is absolutely stunning and makes him feel special.

Apparently this woman was a barmaid he’d met on a golf trip and they had been seeing each other for six months.

He told me all this, then marched upstairs and packed his games console and his clothes and drove off out of my life.

The thing is, we always talked about getting married but when we had kids there always seemed something better to spend our money on.

Mutual friends have told me he has moved into a new-build home on the other side of our small town and his wife has plenty of family money.

My sons are really missing him and I don’t even know how I feel.

Sometimes when he comes to visit the boys I beg him to come home.

But other times I’m so angry with him, I refuse to let him in.

Now he is accusing me of stopping him from seeing his children.

Get in touch with Deidre

Every problem gets a personal reply, usually within 24 hours weekdays.

Send an email to deardeidre@the-sun.co.uk

You can also send a private message on the DearDeidreOfficial Facebook page.

Surely he can’t just show up when he likes?

I’m a mess and need to start getting a grip for the kids’ sake.

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DEIDRE SAYS: I’m so sorry your partner ended your relationship in such a cruel way.

This man sounds selfish and immature, and quite frankly the way he has treated you is emotionally abusive.

It won’t feel like it now, but you really are better off without him.

He is behaving like he still lives in your home, by just turning up unannounced.

Tell him firmly that you would encourage a good relationship between him and your sons but he can only collect them with prior arrangement.

Start to put down your boundaries.

I’m sending you my support pack When Parents Fall Out, which you could pass to him to help explain why you need to co-operate for the future wellbeing of your children.

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I’d recommend seeing a counsellor to help you with this betrayal and am sending you my Counselling support pack.

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