The start of a new year always means that it’s time for us to get our resolutions in shape and ready to go. In addition to the usual pledges to improve diet and exercise, which are genuinely admirable (and of course good for your long-term health), Fertility Solutions wishes to encourage those couples and individuals who are considering future family planning, trying to conceive or currently undergoing fertility treatments to set five New Year’s resolutions for healthy fertility in 2017 and beyond.
- Have a plan for a fertility consultation ready. When trying to conceive, women aged 35 and younger consider a visit to a fertility specialist after one year trying to conceive. For those who are older than 35 begin their fertility journey by visiting with a fertility specialist after 6 months of trying to conceive. In either case, it’s important for women and their partner to understand that it sometimes takes time and patience to conceive, but assistance should be sought within a reasonable timeframe. Waiting for years to pass before considering fertility testing isn’t the answer, especially if your individual fertility issue can be treated effectively.
- Don’t skip the clichéd New Year’s resolutions. Moderate exercise and a balanced diet are go-to resolutions for a reason: not only do they improve overall health, but they can also benefit a person’s fertility. Obesity is a real factor in successful fertility conception. Your Fertility Specialist always recommends that future individuals practice a healthy lifestyle before and after conception.
- Consider if fertility preservation or egg freezing is applicable. Fertility preservation helps preserve eggs or sperm for someone facing an illness or treatment which may affect their fertility. Egg freezing is used for those who plan on having a family but are unsure if they want to or will be able to do so before age starts to negatively affect egg quality. Those in the military who are expecting to be deployed are also candidates for egg and sperm freezing.
- Join a fertility support group. Fertility support groups offer a range of opportunities to relieve the stress of your diagnosis and treatment plan with a group of people who absolutely understand what you’re experiencing. These groups can offer the advice and support you need on your journey to becoming a parent. There are support groups held in-person or online, and there are groups separated by gender or by relationship status.
- Be kind to yourself (and to your partner). Fertility treatment and third-party reproduction can be overwhelming and it’s understandable to feel as if you and even your partner should be doing more, learning more, trying more, asking more questions or seeking more treatment until you have a baby. This drive can be valuable, but it can also be deeply draining on you and your relationship. Taking a step back, taking a breath or even a break from time to time is important for good mental health, something we all need year-round, but especially during fertility treatment.