The First Three Steps of a Good Pre-Conception Program
Once deciding to start a family, many women believe that once they stop using the birth control pill that they will fall pregnant. However, with infertility rates increasing and couples starting a family later in life, it is crucial that women follow these three steps when embarking on the fertility path. Don't make the mistake of just "trying" for a year and then decide to see assistance. Finding out if there is a functional problem with either the male or female reproductive system is a prudent first step.
The Three Crucial Functional Tests
Testing the function of the reproductive system just makes sense. If you haven't driven a car for 20 to 30 years, you want to make sure that all of the parts are working. Also, when women put off starting a family until their 30's and 40's and they have been on hormone altering medications for a long period of time, the body's hormones can take a while to balance out again. I recommend that men get a semen analysis from the get go. It's a non-invasive test and it's smart to know in advance that the sperm count is sufficient and the swimmers are strong.
For women, I recommend getting an HSG (hysto-salpingogram) to make sure that your fallopian tubes are free from obstruction. This is a critical first test to get, because if there is something blocking the tubes, the sperm and egg can not meet. Secondly, I recommend a sono-hystogram, which is a saline vaginal ultrasound. This checks the uterus for abnormal structures, fibroids or polyps. Any of these issues can prevent a successful implantation and may even cause a miscarriage, so it's prudent to make sure the uterus is in good shape to support a pregnancy.
A Smart Fertility Diet
A smart fertility diet doesn't need to be complicated or difficult. You basically want to be smart in your food and drink choices. Avoiding toxins and consuming only nourishing foods is the most expedient path to preparing your body for pregnancy. Be smart! Don't drink coffee, alcohol or sugar laden drinks. All that you really need is water. Really!
Smart women realize that preparing their bodies with a nourishing diet before conceiving gives both them and their babies a strong start. Women who eat well for a year before conceiving have better pregnancies with less complications. Also, we see less gestational diabetes, better birth weights and healthier babies overall.
Eat real foods that nourish your tissues and your hard working endocrine glands. Real Foods consist of organic, pasture raised animal protein, plenty of organic vegetables, full fat, organic dairy and healthy fats. Minimizing or eliminating grains and being mindful of stable blood sugar will reduce inflammation, keep moods stable and reduce cravings for sweets and junk food.
If you can imagine harvesting, slaughtering or catching your food in the wild, it's Real. If your food comes in any sort of packaging with a long ingredient list, it's not Real. Eating smart fertility diet isn't difficult. Just trust your instincts.
Take Advantage of the Benefits of Acupuncture
Getting regular acupuncture is one of the most effective ways of preparing your body for pregnancy. Acupuncture has been found to help with fertility issues because it calms the mind, increases blood circulation to the reproductive organs and helps improve the function of the endocrine system.
Acupuncturists today enjoy a plethora of conferences, seminars and high level research focusing on fertility acupuncture. This makes choosing a fertility acupuncturist a wise decision when preparing your body for pregnancy. Finding an acupuncturist that specializes in fertility issues is easier now, than it was 10 years ago.
If you live in a metropolitan city, you will probably have the leisure of choosing between a number of well qualified acupuncturists. Ideally, you'll find someone that is not only knowledgeable, but has a warm and supportive bedside manner. Finding an acupuncturist that you trust and are comfortable with will remove a lot of stress from the process and that can only be beneficial in helping you get pregnant.
Be Smart from the Start
Many of the women that I see in the clinic have been trying to conceive for over three years. Many of them have already done multiple rounds of Clomid, injectable drugs and IVF cycles. Unfortunately, very few of them have a diagnosis or a reason given for their infertility. If I could turn back the clock, I would encourage each of these women to be smart from the start and follow these three steps when first trying to conceive. Just moving forward without knowledge or information is a very disempowering pathway that often leads to more stress, confusion and frustration.
I don't want to meet you after three years of trying in this fashion. Take my advice and seek your answers early and start preparing your body from the get go. Your baby will thank you someday for your wisdom in preparing your body for conception.