When you begin fertility treatment, it’s typically because your doctor, after evaluating you and your partner, found an issue that compromises normal fertility. Possibly it is male factor, female factor, a combination or there’s no known cause. Whatever the diagnosis, the fact remains you need treatment to conceive.
This alone may cause feelings of frustration as you can’t seem to control the dialog within your own body. Oftentimes couples think pregnancy is a slam-dunk affair, but for about one in five couples that isn’t how it goes. When pregnancy doesn’t occur within 12 consecutive months of unprotected intercourse (6 months for women over 35) it’s time to consult a fertility specialist and begin treatment. Suddenly what once seemed easy demands medical intervention involving appointments, tests, procedures, and the like.
5 Things You Can Do to Support Your Fertility Treatment
While all of this feels as though you have no control of what you do. You, your partner, and your fertility specialist are now part of a team with the focus on a successful and healthy outcome for all. That means there are ways you can support your fertility treatment and help improve the odds for success. Here we offer five ways you can support your fertility treatment and your health for the exciting road ahead.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese may interfere with your fertility. Here’s how: when you’re overweight, your body is at risk for producing too much estrogen. Extra estrogen interferes with your hormonal balance and may throw off your ovulation.
Conversely, being underweight means you may not produce enough estrogen to support ovulation. That’s why many women who are seriously underweight stop having periods.
For your own health and the health of your fertility maintain a normal BMI through your diet and exercise. Although people do ovulate regularly even though they are under or overweight why chance it? You need your body to be as healthy as possible for pregnancy and all the years ahead.
If you plan to begin a new diet or workout regimen, please check with your doctor. And remember any excessive calorie restriction, or overdoing your workouts may have a negative effect on your fertility and your fertility treatment.
- Healthy Lifestyle
Both you and your partner should maintain a healthy lifestyle always, but especially right now. If you smoke (tobacco or cannabis) now is the time to stop. Doctors associate smoking with decreased fertility in both men and women. Smoking also increases your risk for miscarriage, preterm birth, low birth weight and stillbirth.
Excessive alcohol consumption is another no-no. Alcohol has a direct effect on fertility, your own health and the health of your future child. During fertility treatment more than a few drinks per week may cause fewer quality eggs and interfere with successful implantation. If you drink, it’s time for a break from drinking.
Caffeine is another potential risk-raiser during fertility treatment. That buzz of energy you get from your daily dose of caffeine interferes with fertility treatment in that it causes sleep disturbances and stress. Fatigue and increased stress interfere with the success of your IVF or other fertility treatment. Maybe make that next latte a decaf?
Speaking of sleep disturbances did you know catching seven + hours per night of good, solid zzzz’s is not only good for your health but also helps during fertility treatment by helping regulate your hormones? Of course, the stress of infertility and treatment may interfere with your sleep, even with daily exercise and cutting caffeine. If seven hours of sleep per night seems impossible, consider some form of sleep meditation, or check out one of the many sleep apps available.
- Get Ahead of Stress
It seems these days stress plays a huge role in everything from weight gain to insomnia to, yes even the success of your fertility treatment. That’s because stress is much more than just emotional or psychological. The roots of stress lie in a physiological response to a perceived threat.
The fight or flight reaction was meant to keep us safe. When your body goes into its natural fight-or-flight mode for survival it releases certain hormones into your blood stream that raise your awareness and energy levels These hormones also slow down other parts of your body like your digestive system and your reproductive system.
If you’re under stress in your daily life, your body is in perpetual fight-or-flight response and you suffer the consequences: poor sleep, poor digestion, hypertension, and infertility to name a few. Work now at getting your stress under control. Try yoga, meditation, journaling or take up a creative and fun hobby such as watercolors, photography. Crochet or anything that suits your fancy. As your body settles down, you’ll have a much easier time responding successfully to your fertility treatment.
- Supplements Help
Most of us suffer with vitamin deficiency of some sort. Vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients maintain your health and help with your hormones. Your response to fertility treatment depends on both. And that includes your partner as well. Maintain a healthy fertility diet and take supplements specifically designed to support your fertility treatment. But always check with your doctor and only take doctor-approved supplements.
Count on Us
If you’re struggling with your fertility and sick of these monthly disappointments for the last year, it’s time to seek help. At LA IVF, we offer a comprehensive plan for treatment. You’re part of the team, and we work together to realize your goal of having a baby. Please contact us today.