Ah Springtime! The time of year when mother nature is showing off her buds! And those of you with lawns and gardens are adding fertilizer to the soil. But what about us? What are some “Fertility Do’s ” for us? Well….I just happen to have some – of course I do!
1. Do get those annual exams done! If you are thinking about getting pregnant – get your annual exams done first! You know what I am talking about – get your teeth cleaned and any x-rays done. What about you mammogram and your pap? If you have been trying to conceive for a year – please take a short break and do your annual exam again! We want you to be a healthy parent!
2. If You Are Under The Age of of 34 and not planning on getting pregnant right now: Do Get a Fertility Evaluation.
3. If you are sexually active and you are not in a monogamous relationship or only “fluid bonded” to one person – Do use condoms. Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STD’s) is a leading cause of infertility.
4. Do see a Fertility Specialist if you are 35 years old and have been trying for six months or longer. Too many women waste precious years sitting in their gynecologist’s office cycle after cycle. Or on too many cycles of clomid.
5. Do make friends with your body. Your relationship to your body does count. Get in touch with yourself. What is your body trying to tell you through physical symptoms? Read “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing” by Christiane Northrup, MD. Learn about how the effects of nutrition, stress reduction, complimentary medicine, sex and lifestyle can impact on your fertility.
7. If you find yourself going through infertility, Do build yourself a “Fertility Support Team”. A Fertility Support team could consist of your everyday friends and family. For some people that is the best – and for others the idea of talking about infertility with close family and friends is really edgy. But there can be lot of components to a “Fertility Support Team”. For peer support there are lots of great on line opportunities for connection. Check out Fertility-Ties for a great on line 24/7 community of peer support and professional answers, or INCIID has a great network of message boards. If you prefer meeting face to face check out the in person support groups that are offered by RESOLVE and Parents Via Egg Donation.
8. Do think about hiring a “Fertility Consultant” if you are able to afford one (and some of them are not too pricey at all). It is wonderful to have your own personal guide through the world of reproductive medicine. Your Fertility Consultant acts as a kind of “Conception Life Coach” You don’t need to live in the same town or even state as your consultant. Most of the work is usually done on the telephone. A short resource list would include - “My Fertility Plan”, and “Lotus Blossom Consulting”.
9. Do get a second opinion if you are working with a doctor and have not achieved a pregnancy in six months to one year. A great way to get a second opinion is to take advantage of free consultations. To learn more about free consultations and second opinions read this blog entry.
10. Do read fertility blogs like The Fertility Advocate or The Fertility Doc. There are all kinds of fertility blogs on line and they are wonderful and different. It is a great way to feel like you are not alone – get daily support and information – and learn about the reproductive medicine community. There are doctor blogs, reproductive attorney blogs, patient blogs, and “Tell it like I see it blogs”!
Fertility Authority has a great blog community – but there are lots of independent fertility bloggers out there, (I only linked to a few here) with so many unique stories and points of views. Go investigate community sites like Blogher, and Empowher. You will find just what you are looking for…..
11. Do explore the websites of the fertility industry’s professional organizations such as The American Society of Reproductive Medicine and The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. These professional organization often have good patient information on them – and you can get familiar with fertility practice guidelines there. Also the medical information may be more updated then the fact sheets that are on the patient organization’s websites. I was just checking some of those out – and I was shocked to see some fact sheets that were older than ten years old on some of these sites. Check for dates! Don’t just assume that fact sheets are current just because they are there (uh-oh a “Don’t” slipped in here!).
12. Do Investigate your clinic’s success rates by jacking into The SART Report. And remember when you are reviewing success rates that small differences mean nothing.