Inspired by a recent thread on the boards asking what others are doing to prepare to ttc, we’ve created a checklist of things you can do to prepare to TTC and maximize your fertility!

A lot of these are self-explanatory, but we have a couple of notes:

Get a full periodontal exam –  Back in late 2005 during a long overdue dentist’s appointment, I found out that I had the early stages of periodontal disease aka gum disease.  Periodontal disease in pregnant women can cause low birth weight and premature birth because it’s a chronic infection that enters your bloodstream!  Luckily I was able to take care of everything with three deep cleaning sessions.

A pamphlet my dentist gave me also included the following information: 1) Oral contraceptives and/or pregnancy can cause periodontal disease because of the fluctuations in hormones they cause.  Synthetic hormones in oral contraceptives are designed to mimic pregnancy.  Hormonal fluctuations can cause periodontal disease to advance so quickly that some pregnant women’s teeth simply fall out!  (My dentist told me true and scary stories.) 2) Smoking, stress, medication, diabetes, poor nutrition, grinding your teeth can increase your chances of getting periodontal disease.  And you may be genetically prone to it too.  3) Ultimately if left untreated, your teeth can fall out.


Yikes I had no idea!  Don’t forget to also get any x-rays if you need them because you won’t be able to get them when you’re pregnant.

Start taking prenatal vitamins – Folate helps prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida.  It’s important to start taking prenatal vitamins before you’re pregnant because neural tube defects can form before you even realize that you’re pregnant.

For him – We’re often so focused our own fertility, we forget that there are a lot of things our partners can do to increase their fertility.  Heat in the scrotum area (why is that funny to write?), diet, exercise, weight, and stress affect sperm, so it’s important for our partners to get serious about the lifestyle changes they can make as well.

Is there anything we’re missing from this checklist?  What are you doing to prepare to TTC?