Ask Sofia: What is a family planning visit?
A hybrid of an annual visit and a prenatal visit, a family planning visit is ideal for those who are hoping to get pregnant in the next 6-12 months.
Strongly recommended by the entire Clinic Sofia team, a family planning visit covers lifestyle topics that can lead to a healthy pregnancy, such as diet, exercise, prenatal vitamins, quitting smoking and drinking only in moderation prior to a positive pregnancy test.
“It’s all about the optimal situation for getting pregnant and enjoying a healthy pregnancy,” said Dr. David Clay. “It does require extra time, which is why we encourage these visits. We’ll talk about how to predict ovulation and the fertility window, genetic issues and any medications you’re currently taking.”
For instance, patients who take medication for depression, anxiety or high blood pressure sometimes adjust their regimen to find a safer prescription during pregnancy. Dr. Clay also recommends that women begin taking a prenatal vitamin at least one month before trying to get pregnant so they have good supplemental stores.
Family planning visits can also incorporate discussion on fertility. Dr. Clay adds that patients should feel comfortable coming in to talk about fertility at any point during their journey, while infertility is typically diagnosed at six months of trying without a successful result for those 35 and older, and one year for those under 35.
“Both partners are welcome to join the conversation—it’s always great to have an extra set of ears,” he added.