For most people, fertility discussions don’t happen until there is a desire to start building a family. Still, it’s important to be proactive in understanding your fertility before this point.
Being aware of your fertility potential and anything that could get in the way of building a family in the future is important to your future, as nearly 1 in 8 couples struggle to conceive when they are ready.
This valuable information can help you be more prepared for the future and make important decisions necessary for your fertility goals. Below are five ways you can be proactive about your fertility today.
5 Ways You Can Be Proactive About Your Fertility
Know Your Family History
While not all issues related to infertility are genetic, it’s important to recognize if certain conditions may be prevalent in your family. Having family members with endometriosis or PCOS may put you at higher risk for having these conditions, which could impact your fertility potential for the future. Being monitored and managing any possible complications for these disorders is ideal.
Understand Your Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation
Whether you track your menstrual cycles with an app or mentally keep tabs on your cycle length, we encourage everyone to find some way to keep notes about their cycle. You should know your average cycle length and any symptoms you experience during the cycle or menstruation. There may be some concern about ovulation for those who do not have regular period intervals (typically between 28-35 days). If you do not have regular cycles, talk to your doctor to see if you can get to the root cause.
Check Your Hormones
Checking your hormones requires a simple blood test and is a great way to keep track of your fertility potential. A commonly performed test is the anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) -this gives patients an idea of their ovarian reserve. It doesn’t actually tell us anything about someone’s fertility potential (i.e., will they get pregnant if they try to conceive right now), but it’s helpful when discussing fertility preservation options and what their fertility might be in the future. This number will decrease as you age, but it can help determine if you have a lower ovarian reserve than expected for your age. This information can better prepare you to make decisions about your future fertility.
Adjust Your Lifestyle Habits
Making healthy choices in your life today can impact your future health, including your fertility health. Daily steps to better your health is a great way to be proactive.
Limiting alcohol intake benefits your fertility health while quitting smoking is also shown to impact your fertility significantly. We strongly encourage you to take steps to quit smoking now rather than later, as it can cause irreparable damage to your body.
We also recommend moderate exercise at least five days a week and choosing healthier options for meals and snacks. Just 30 minutes of walking a day can significantly improve your health while swapping a bag of chips for carrots and hummus is a great way to maintain weight and health.
Review Your Fertility Preservation Options
Men and women have options for fertility preservation. These options allow them to make key decisions for their fertility today that will significantly help them in the future when they are ready to build their families.
For women, there is an option to freeze their eggs while they are younger and have healthier eggs to use down the road when they are ready to have kids. The earlier you freeze your eggs, the more likely they will be successful in the future.
For men, they can freeze sperm for the future. While sperm regenerates approximately every 90 days, unexpected changes to your health between now and when you are ready to conceive could occur.
To learn more about your fertility potential for the future, schedule your introductory consultation today. During your consultation, your doctor will do a full health history workup and provide some diagnostic testing to give you an idea of your fertility potential. Both of our doctors are highly skilled in fertility care and will be able to guide you through your options once they have a better understanding of your health.