30 Dec Top 10 Fertility Goals for 2020
Planning to get pregnant this year? Are you already trying? Wondering whether it’s time to seek fertility assistance or not? What are your fertility goals for 2020?
Your OB/GYN – and then a fertility specialist, if necessary – are first-line of supporters when it comes to getting your body ready for pregnancy. In either case, your physical, mental, and emotional well being are essential to facilitating a healthy pregnancy and birth.
As we head into a another year, make these goals a part of your 2020 New Year’s intentions.
1. Schedule a pre-conception appointment with your OB/GYN
If you haven’t done so already, schedule a pre-conception appointment with your OB/GYN. If you aren’t in love with your current GYN, this is a good time to start consulting with other physicians in your area until you find one you connect with since you’ll be enjoying a long-term relationship with him/her once you’re pregnant.
2. Eat as if you’re already pregnant
Unless you’re participating in fertility treatments, there’s no way to know exactly when you conceive. Therefore, it’s a good idea to eat as if you’re already pregnant. While you don’t need to increase your calorie count just yet, adopting a conception-friendly, pregnancy nourishing diet ensures you and your baby get exactly what you need the minute s/he’s conceived. Speak to your OB about taking a prenatal vitamin.
3. Make weight management a priority
Women with a BMI either above or below the normal, healthy weight ranges have higher infertility rates. Rather than looking at exact pounds, we evaluate your body mass index (BMI). The American Pregnancy Association recommends having a BMI of between 18.5 – 24.9. Anything below or above that range can compromise conception or a healthy pregnancy. Click Here to evaluate your BMI. If your weight is outside that range, discuss it with your physician during your pre-conception appointment.
4. Make sure you’re timing intercourse to optimize pregnancy
Women historically focused on the day they’re ovulating to get pregnant. Since healthy sperm live longer (up to four or five days) than the egg (about 12 – 24-hours), we recommend using a fertility app and then having sex every other day for several days leading up to your predicted ovulation. This gives the egg the best chance of fertilization.
Also, have sex more often whether you’re ovulating or not, as studies have shown women who have sex more frequently have higher fertility rates.
5. Have your AMH levels tested
AMH testing used to live solely in the realm of infertility diagnostics. Now, women in their 20s are getting tested to have a more informed idea of their future fertility prospects. If you’re over 30, is it time to consider egg freezing?
6. Focus on the romance
Pregnancy and parenthood throw couples on an emotional roller coaster that lasts for two decades or longer. The stronger your relationship foundation is, the better you’ll weather parenting storms ahead. That’s especially true if you find yourself on the fertility treatment journey. Keeping the romance alive now, making special memories with just the two of you, is an invaluable gift you can give to one another.
7. Have a realistic perspective on your age
Waiting to get pregnant is the norm these days, but it’s also the reason why so many women wind up needing IUI or IVF to get pregnant. While our cultural standards around marriage and family building have changed, the female’s most fertile window continues to be her 20s and early 30s. If you’re 30+ years old, take stock and create an informed fertility plan.
8. Don’t wait too long to seek fertility support
Most women, 35-years old and younger – should get pregnant within the first 12 months. That means you’ve been off hormonal birth control, are timing ovulation (as mentioned above), and time intercourse to optimize conception for each consecutive month. If you’re 35-years or older, give yourself 6 months.
9. Create healthy sleep habits
Are you someone who burns the candle at both ends? Do you constantly sacrifice sleep in order to keep up on your list-of-things-to-do? Do you struggle with sleep disorders as it is?
Sleep is a key to health and wellbeing, and it plays a large role in hormone regulation, including reproductive hormones. And, just like BMI, too much sleep can be as harmful as too little. Studies evaluating the sleep habits of women participating in IVF found that women, “…who got seven to eight hours of sleep a night were 25 percent more likely to become pregnant than those who snoozed for nine hours or more.”
10. Ditch all the “bad habits”
From smoking and drinking excess alcohol (more than one drink per night) to vaping marijuana and over-caffeinating – all are associated with lower fertility rates and higher rates of pregnancy complications. To err on the safe side, ceasing all of the above is the best way to know you’re not putting your baby or yourself at risk.