Beginning your fertility journey?
Each couple’s fertility journey is unique. For some, it is more like an emotional roller coaster ride than a smooth road to parenthood, and it is impossible to predict how long it will take. There are many factors that can affect a couple’s fertility.
Are you at the beginning of your fertility journey?
You should consider seeing a Fertility Specialist if you are under 35 and have been trying to conceive for 12 months or more, or if you are 35 or older and have been trying for 6 months or more. These numbers can be modified if you have a known condition that is associated with infertility, such as: endometriosis, PCOS, chronic PID, fibroids, etc.
Once you, your partner, and your doctor have determined that it is time to see a fertility specialist, you will have a consultation which will include a history of your problem, along with your partner’s history, a physical examination, laboratory tests, and other special tests to rule out specific issues that could be affecting you or your partner and contributing to your difficulty in conceiving. These tests will be outlined in our “Investigative Services”.
Once you and your partner have completed your tests, you will meet with your physician again to review the results and to discuss options for treatment. The decision about whether to proceed with treatment and which treatment to initiate is one that you and your partner should make after a detailed discussion. The potential treatment options will be outlined in our “Therapeutic Services” .
Some preliminary things that you should do include:
Take a prenatal vitamin daily
- This should contain 1 mg of folic acid to help reduce the risk of birth defects such as neural tube defects
Improve your nutrition
- Avoid trans fats which will increase your “bad” cholesterol
- Consume more unsaturated or polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola oil, avocados, salmon, coconut oil
- Eat lean animal protein and plant-based proteins. (See Canada's New Food Guide)
- Choose whole grains instead of simple carbohydrates
- Increase calcium to 1000 - 1200 mg/day
- Try to get 4-5 fruit and vegetable servings per day
- Consider following the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to be ideal for those trying to conceive
- Try to obtain or maintain your weight in the “fertility zone”, i.e. BMI at 18 - 25.
- Smoking has been shown to reduce a woman’s egg quality and quantity, and has also been associated with fragmentation of sperm DNA
Limit alcohol and caffeine
- You and your partner should have no more than 1 caffeinated substance per day
- You should both limit your alcohol intake
Get plenty of sleep
Take care of yourself and your relationship
- Remember to get regular exercise while on this journey
- Find time for your partner and activities that don’t revolve around getting pregnant