Can You Really Optimize Your Health to Prepare for Pregnancy?
One common question that fertility patients ask during their first consultation with our practice or prior to starting treatment is whether it’s possible to optimize their health to prepare their body for a pregnancy. The term “optimize” insinuates that there’s a way to supercharge your fertility potential so your chances for success during treatment are at their most advantageous. Patients may assume that there’s a quick fix, like taking medication, but the reality is that the steps to optimizing your fertility lies in lifestyle changes – and these take time and energy to succeed.
Yes, diet and exercise matter during fertility optimization.
Everything you put into your body impacts your overall health; what you eat, how much, and how often are important. It’s common for a fertility specialist to recommend nutritional changes in order to place a patient’s weight within a healthy range that’s ideal for treatment. Exercising is also an important part of optimal health. Aim for consistent, moderate exercise that increases your heart rate. You can always talk to your general physician about any diet and exercise goals you have, but be sure to consider the potential effects of any changes you make on your overall health and to take into account any underlying health concerns.
Manage your stress and anxiety as well as possible.
No one wants to hear the words “Just relax. Everything will be fine.” Telling someone to relax when they are stressed or anxious is often dismissive of their concerns, and saying this to a fertility patient is dismissive of concerns related to whether or not they will be able to successfully grow their family. Emotions run high when fertility care is needed. There’s a great deal of planning, organization, financial considerations, medications (including injections), appointments, tests, and more involved at any given time.
This being said, stress does directly impact a person’s health. Stress puts strain on your mind and body, both in the immediate and long terms. At Aspire Fertility, we understand that there is no simple remover of stress, no quick fix to help you wind down and feel at ease. To suggest so is both naïve and insensitive to a patient’s concerns. However, we do kindly suggest making an effort to do things that you find relaxing whenever possible. Finish a book you’re enjoying, take a bath or a weekend trip with friends, make a full dinner from scratch or try a new recipe, take a bike ride, visit a dog park – do anything you enjoy. Even brief stretches of time not focusing on your next fertility appointment or test results can go a long way toward making a difficult, stressful situation less of something you have to work through.
If you have questions about fertility care, please contact the team at Aspire Fertility today.