For women, there is a lot of guidance and information about “how not to get pregnant” starting with school and well into the 20s, but there isn’t nearly enough information about the “how to get pregnant” part of fertility care.
It is not only our mission to treat patients who are struggling to conceive but also to educate women (and men) about their fertility potential and the importance of being proactive about their fertility.
Whether you are ready or not to start a family, you should consider some key steps if the idea of building a family is in your future.
Learn About Your Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation
While you may not be tracking your period or ovulation regularly, it’s a great habit to get into. It can help you learn more about when you ovulate and can conceive and lead to some important information about your overall fertility. For those who do not have a regular menstrual cycle lasting approximately 28 days each month, it’s good to be evaluated by your doctor to learn if you might have a condition such as PCOS or other endocrine disorder that can impact your fertility.
Get Your Hormones Checked
Getting hormones checked is one of the first steps for those wondering about their fertility. Specifically, we recommend having your OB run tests that check your ovarian reserve (i.e. anti-Mullerian hormone -AMH). This number decreases over time but can let you know where you are in terms of how many eggs you have left and how that reflects for your age.
Take Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Your overall health can impact your fertility, so making healthy lifestyle choices can maintain and potentially increase your fertility potential for the future. Some great lifestyle choices include limiting your use of alcohol and recreational drugs. Drinking in moderation is okay, but there isn’t data to show that any amount of recreational drugs is okay when considering fertility.
Smoking cigarettes is known to impact fertility severely, and we highly recommend quitting altogether to avoid any further damage to your future fertility potential.
Regarding diet and exercise, it’s great to enjoy things in moderation and consider some moderate exercise each week (approximately 30 minutes, five days a week) to maintain a healthy body.
Consider Fertility Preservation
You may wish to have a family in the future, but know that you will not be ready anytime soon, so a great option is to look into fertility preservation such as egg freezing. This process allows you to freeze your eggs when they are healthier to use at a later time.
If you are ready to learn more about your fertility potential, consider setting up an initial consultation with one of our doctors. They can run simple diagnostic testing and get a full evaluation of your health history to help you learn more about your fertility options for the future.