Couples that struggle with infertility feel as if there is nothing they can do about the problem. But there are several things both men and women can do to encourage optimum fertility.
The first and most important thing a couple can do is visit fertility doctors in Chicago, Illinois, or a fertility doctor wherever they live. This specialized physician can determine if there is a medical issue and what procedures can correct it. Or if there is, something else that is controlling your fertility.
In the meantime, here are 12 things you can do to support your fertility and help put you and your partner on the way to being parents.
1. Cervical Screening Test
If you are between the ages of 23 and 48, you should be having a cervical screening test about every three years. This test determines if there are any abnormal or unusual cells, which could lead to cancer, located on the cervix. A test is easier before your pregnancy as the hormones from a baby makes the test hard to interpret.
2. Have a Sexual Checkup
If you believe you could have an STD, it is best to be tested before getting pregnant. Sexually transmitted diseases can affect your fertility. It is best that both you and your partner get tested as whatever one has, the other person has as well.
If you do test positive for an STD, your doctor will prescribe an anti-viral to help combat the symptoms and help you feel more comfortable. If you get pregnant, you will most likely have a Cesarean birth to avoid giving the baby any STDs.
3. Talk About Preexisting Conditions
You will need to speak openly and frankly with your doctor about any and all preexisting conditions you and your partner each have. Some medical issues can hinder fertility, and there may be medications that will help.
Don’t feel embarrassed as doctors have heard everything before and they do not judge what you say.
4. Medications and Nonprescription Drugs
Tell your doctor about all nonprescription drugs or over-the-counter medications you are currently taking. Some of them may contribute to fertility issues.
Do not stop taking any medication or OTC drugs until you have cleared it with your doctor. Sometimes stopping a prescription can have harsh side effects.
Since it takes two to make a baby, your partner will need to divulge the medications he is taking as well.
If either of you is taking street drugs, you will need to tell the doctor about this. Drugs of all types have some effect on fertility and if you are seeking help with getting pregnant, then you have to be honest.
5. Stop Drinking Alcohol
If you drink alcohol several nights a week and on the weekend, you need to cut back and then stop as soon as you can. Alcohol is damaging to a developing baby in the womb. The effects of alcohol in the first trimester or three months are the most damaging.
The list of possible complications is long when you factor in alcohol. To protect your health and your baby’s developing body, stop drinking and get help if you find it difficult.
6. Stop Smoking
If you are a smoker, talk to your doctor about smoking cessation programs. It is best you stop before you become pregnant, so your body is cleaner and better able to host a fetus.
Smoking also affects fertility and your ability to get and maintain a pregnancy.
7. Reduce Caffeine Intake
Too much caffeine during the early months of pregnancy can lead to a miscarriage. The baby cannot handle the effects of caffeine on its tiny developing body.
Both men and women need to cut back or quit caffeine before becoming pregnant.
8. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Check your BMI (Body Mass Index) before you consider getting pregnant. Someone who is underweight or someone who is overweight, will both have difficulties conceiving a baby.
No matter which category you are in, start by eating healthier to improve your BMI.
9. Eat Healthier Foods
When you are trying to become pregnant, it is important to feed your body with a healthy variety of foods. Whole grains, vegetable proteins, unsaturated fats and fresh fruits in moderation are best.
Once you become pregnant, continue to eat the same diet to maintain your health and ensure your growing baby is getting the correct nutrients.
10. Stay Active
It is important to remain active if you are already exercising regularly. As our pregnancy progresses, you will want to slow down on sports like running and most jumping exercises.
If you are sedentary, begin a mild exercise program. Your doctor can recommend something that will ease you into a workout routine. Then he or she can instruct you on what type of exercises will help to alleviate the pain of childbirth and beyond.
Yoga is another whole-body-movement style exercise that has been shown to help with fertility as it loses up your entire body and helps to rid it of toxins.
11. Check Your Childhood Immunizations
The MMR or Mumps, Measles and Rubella vaccinations are important when you were a child and are still important today. If you have a record of your vaccinations, that would be helpful. However; if you cannot locate these records, it will not hurt you to get this particular vaccination again.
Rubella, also known as German Measles, is a very dangerous illness in a baby in the womb, although it is a more rare illness in today’s world.
12. Begin Taking Folic Acid
As the buildup of the Vitamin Folic Acid in your body, it protects the baby from neural tube defects. You should begin Folic Acid at least a month or two before you want to conceive to be sure to protect the fetus from the beginning.
Many couples struggle with infertility, but there are ways to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Just remember to take care of yourself and your body before, during and after having a baby.