Happy New Year’s Eve 2016! Now that I have eaten my body weight in chocolate and chips, it’s time to make resolutions. First, stop eating my body weight in chocolate and chips. My other resolutions are pretty similar to previous years:
- Read more
- Listen more
- Move more
I generally achieve some minor version of these. I imagine running a marathon, but instead settle on walking in the evenings a couple of nights a week while I tell myself all the health risks of running a marathon.
What will you resolve? Maybe you don’t make resolutions, but if you do and they include something like “do everything I can to get pregnant in 2017” here is my advice:
1. Get a referral to see us right away. Not pregnant in 4-6 months? Talk to your GP and get referred as it takes a few months to get an appointment. This wait is hard, we know, but during that time we’ll get your records and have you do some testing so we can “hit the ground running” when we do see you. Remember the wait is for a reason - we are helping lots of people like you.
2. Don’t over test yourself - it causes stress. My most stressed patients seem to be the ones monitoring their basal body temperature and charting their cervical mucous. I know it is important to ovulate and to have intercourse at the right time but excessive testing is counter productive. Check your urine for LH using ovulation predictor kits you can buy at a pharmacy or on-line. I suggest you buy them on line as they are MUCH cheaper. Start testing around cycle day 10 and if by the 16-17th day of your cycle the ovulation kit is not positive let us know. We’ll help you figure out if/when you are ovulating with blood work.
3. Trust us. I know we aren’t perfect. Sometimes patients don’t get a phone call back as fast as they should. Sometimes we mess up but 99% of the time we get it right. We are one of the largest fertility clinics in Canada and help nearly 4000 couples/singles each year. We have the among the highest pregnancy rates in North America. We got this - let us carry the heavy load of infertility with you. So if you have a question or need reassurance - call our nurses, email or call your doctor.
4. Love your partner (if you have one, if you don’t then doubly love yourself!). This process can tear couples apart, cause depression and anxiety and bring out the worst in people. Remember you are both suffering and you are both trying your best to get to a healthy pregnancy.
5.Do the tests we suggest. I know they are painful (the HSG), embarrassing (the semen analysis), a hassle to organize (the blood testing) and you are busy but the few tests we suggest really do give us a lot of information about your fertility.
6.Before you see your doctor think about a couple of things: why do you think you aren’t getting pregnant? How often do you have a period? Review your past health history in your mind, like the appendix you had removed, the chlamydia your ex- gave you, the weight your gained/lost in the past year, etc. Are there any diseases in the family (including infertility)? Having that information can help us sort out why you aren’t pregnant.
7. If you are over 42 consider the ways you are open to trying: IVF? Donated eggs? Surrogacy? Adoption. After age 42 it is more common for couples to have to try something more aggressive or different than traditional pregnancy to have a child.
8. Be patient. This is the tough part. Persistence pays off. I cannot tell you how many of emails of this holiday read say things like “here’s a picture of our new baby, thanks for not giving up on us,” or “we’re pregnant on our 6th insemination,” or “just when we had given up my period is late!,” or “here’s a Christmas photo of the baby - our last embryo was the good one!” Emails like that are sent to me almost daily. Sure, many people get lucky the first IUI or embryo transfer but most people take a few attempts. Hang in there!
May good things happen for you and your family in 2017. Let’s make it a fertile year.